Hardwood floors need an occasional touch-up to retain their beauty. Except in cases of severe damage, these floors can be sanded and refinished rather than replaced, not just once but multiple times over the years. The process removes a thin layer of wood containing polyurethane and stain, ridding the wood of scratches, marks, and discoloration. The newly exposed wood can then be re-stained and restored to its original luster. Sanding and refinishing can also be done on hardwood floors in otherwise good condition simply to change the color.
Protect the beauty and durability of your hardwood flooring by hiring a professional who knows the right tools, techniques, and materials for each job. As with any home improvement project, select the contractor carefully. Skill and professionalism can vary considerably, so get referrals and ask questions that may help you judge a person’s capability. For instance, does the contractor use dust containment equipment, which results in a significantly cleaner work-site? Will the contractor sand the floor more than once, as is recommended, using varying grids of paper each time? Does the contractor seem qualified to properly operate the heavy sanding equipment without damaging the wood? Also find out if the contractor uses branded stains and polyurethanes such as Bona or Dura Seal.
You can sand prefinished engineered wood flooring if the wood has a thick enough wear layer. A better alternative may be to clean, buff, and re-coat the wood. Traditional hardwood floors can also be re-coated to remove surface marks, although this process will not remove deep scratches or allow you to change the wood’s color. However, re-coating the wood every five years or so extends the time between re-sands.
A properly maintained hardwood floor will help ensure the value of your flooring investment.
Author: Dean Howell, president, MODA Floors & Interiors
MODA Floors & Interiors is a flooring and window coverings resource with showrooms in the West Midtown Design District and at Town Brookhaven.