Renew Your Wooden Floors

08/03/2016

A few simple tips to revamp and gloss up your wooden floors

Do you have a beautiful, hidden gem in your home, waiting to be discovered? You never know what amazing hardwood floors are lurking beneath that mangy wall-to-wall carpeting, or what the full potential is of your current, tired-looking wooden floors. Once you do, you will be hugely and pleasantly surprised. With the right treatment and refinishing, you will boost your property value, and overhaul your interior without even trying.

People pay a small fortune to have bamboo, cork and wooden parquet flooring installed, which is a great investment, but many already have fantastic wooden floors in their homes and they don’t really know the value of what they have. If you already have wooden floors, we think it’s time for you flaunt them. Here are a few tips to renew the life of your hardwood floors:

Preparing

If you have carpeting, you will need to remove it in sections and trash it. Once the wooden floor is exposed, you should check for protruding nails and hammer them down. These loose nails could mean loose floorboards.

Next, you need to clear the random dust that you pretended wasn’t there, and the bits of plastic Xmas tree leaves, all of which blended perfectly with the old wood. Moving on, you need to clean, clean, clean; make sure the floor is super smooth and free of all old carpet backing, glue etc. Use a vacuum and mop afterwards for good measure.

Sanding

Once the floor is smooth and clean, it’s time to get down to the real work of stripping the floor of its old top layer. You may need to hand-sand a few areas so make sure you have sandpaper around, and that you’ve been lifting some weights because this is going to give your muscles a real workout.

Hand sand the perimeter of the floor because, unless you have a specialised sander, you’re not going to get into those corners and crevices. When you start using the machine, you will need to start with course-grit paper to cut through the years of imbedded dirt and grime. Next, use medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out the rougher grit streaks and give the floor a smoother finish. Remember to change the sandpaper regularly to ensure a consistent finish across the floor.

Chemical Stripper (Optional)

This is for those who haven’t been to the gym to lift weights; a chemical stripper can be used instead of sanding. It’s a quick-fix solution if you want to avoid the trying task of sanding, but it does require a lot of preparation beforehand, due to the poisonous nature of the chemicals.

Ensure the house is well ventilated and that you have goggles, gloves and a mask because you don’t want to inhale these toxic chemicals. If you have little ones, make sure they do not enter the house at all for several hours after applying the chemical. Chemical strippers should not be inhaled and your skin should not come into contact with the actual liquid.

Leave the stripping liquid on for about five minutes and you will notice the old varnish will start bubbling and peeling from the floor. Start removing it with a paint scraper before it dries otherwise you will struggle to remove it.

Mind the Gaps

Fill all remaining holes with wood paste, which you can make from any leftover sawdust – if you’ve sanded. Mix the dust with some wood glue and create a paste, which you immediately use to fill the holes and gaps. Leave it to dry and then sand it down by hand before varnishing. Make sure you give the floor one more vacuum before applying the finish.

Varnishing

Once you’ve decided on a gloss or matte finish, you need to apply it at this stage. Open all windows and doors as the fumes can be overpowering. Once again, wear a mask and gloves.

Do a spot test on a small area first, so you can see what the final result will look like. Some people use synthetic brushes while others prefer to use cheesecloth, either way you will need an applicator pad afterwards to evenly spread the varnish across the floor. Start from the outer perimeter and work your way in, ensuring you leave a place for you to exit the room without leaving footprints over your hard work. You can give a light sand between each application to ensure a smooth consistent finish.

Overhauling your floors will add value to your home and turn the interior around, making it stylish and functional because hardwood floors are easier to maintain than carpets that stain and fray. So take the step, we dare you. If you want to discover the beauty of your wooden floors but don’t have the energy, time or know-how, then contact the flooring specialists who will get it done in next to no time, and with phenomenal results. Here’s to wooden floors, glossy finishes and increased property value!