Is it Time to Refinish Your Hardwood Floor?
By Rob Buenaventura
How do you know when the time is right to refinish your hardwood floors? Hardwood floors tend to be quite durable and the stains long lasting. There are, of course, places in high traffic areas that will begin to show signs of wear long before the floors have worn out their beauty of usefulness. With that in mind, how do you know when the time is right for refinishing?
Refinishing hardwood floors doesn't have to be the stuff that nightmares are made of. In fact, if at all possible this is the kind of chore you should really entrust to professionals (this way someone else is responsible if something gets messed up). Another reason to entrust this to professionals is that they have access to the best of power tools for this specific job. And using the right tools is sometimes all the difference in the world. While it wouldn't be cost effective for the average home owner to purchase these tools for a one time project, a professional floor person would often have cause to use these tools.
So what is the difference between a floor that simply needs to be cleaned and one that needs to be completely refinished? One way to do this is to go to one of the high traffic run down areas of your floor and spill a few drops of liquid onto the floor. If the liquid beads up there is still some life left in your original finish and you are not quite ready for a major overhaul. If on the other hand, the wood soaks the water right up, it is time to refinish.
One of the great things about refinishing is that you can choose to go lighter or darker than before or even to use the exact same finish. If you're looking for a way to change the look of a room, changing the finish of your floors is definitely a way to make a large impact on a room. Keep in mind that stain samples will look different when they are on the entire floor and that different stains react differently to different hardwoods, you definitely want to choose a stain that is compatible to the hardwoods of your floors. The age of your floor also has a tremendous impact on how the stain will look when the floor is finished. A good place to try stain samples is the floorboard of a closet.
Hardwood flooring comes in many different stains and colors, the more popular stain options include stains that appear natural, light stains that don't significantly altar the look of the wood, medium stains, which bring out a darker tint in the grain of the wood, and dark stains, which provide a rich, velvety feel to the floor.
If you haven't something that reaches out and grabs you, you can also go to a local hardware store and have a stain custom blended for your floors. You can get really creative for these stains and have a lot of fun in the process, but remember this is your home and you have to live with the floors once they are finished.
About the Author
Rob Buenaventura provide tips on installation of hardwood flooring and hardwood refinishing. For more tips on diy hardwood refinishing, check out Hardwoodscene.
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