When Your Floor Tells You It Needs To Be Refinished
When wood floors get deteriorated, it doesn’t always mean that you have to rip out the boards and replace them. In fact, a round of floor sanding and refinishing will restore the elegance to your installation. Whether it’s dealing with wear and tear, or you simply want to change the look and feel of the floor, this can be done. However, wood floors have a limited number of times in which they can be sanded. This will depend on factors such as the type – since solid wood floors can be sanded more times than engineered wood floors, to the thickness of the wear layer. While the floor sanding and refinishing is important, you want to ensure that it gets done at the appropriate time, so as to protect the flooring and prolong the life of the unit without sanding too much into the wood. We have compiled a list of signs that you should watch out for that will point out that the refinishing is due.
- Splintered planks
Splintering can occur at the floorboard edges, especially in environments with high levels of foot traffic, plus those with kids and pets. The splintering is not only unattractive, but it also increases risk of injury to the household occupants. The splinters also provide water an access point into the wood, and this increases the chances of water damage. Areas that are particularly prone to splintering are the doorways and hallways.
No one likes their wood floor getting discoloured. It takes away the charm of the installation. What causes it? There are multiple reasons. For instance, using harsh cleaners perhaps in an attempt to get rid of stubborn stains can result in this. The sun’s radiation can also cause discolouration, especially for the wood floor areas that are close to the windows which get exposure for longer time periods. The washed-out look gradually drags down the decor of the space.
Water damage can also lead to this, depending on the wood species that has been affected. The water that is absorbed by the hardwood causes it to change colour due to the oxidising processes that occur. Actually, grey stains and discolouration are common signs of there being water damage. These particular stains get darker over time, eventually turning black. If left unchecked, this water damage can force you to end up replacing the floorboards that are affected.
- Failing the water test
This is a quick test that is used to check the condition of the existing finish on the floor. Simply pour a little water on the surface – a tablespoonful of water will suffice. Check the rate at which the water is absorbed. If the droplets of water pool together and don’t seep into the floor immediately, then the sealant and finish are intact. However, if the water is readily absorbed by the wood, then it is a sign that the floor sanding and refinishing is overdue.
For scratches, these are inevitable. They are bound to pop on the floor, with the chances increasing with the amount of foot traffic witnessed. There’s no need to go into panic mode because of a few small scratches. However, when there are multiple scratches all over the surface, then this is a sign that the installation should be refinished. This is especially important if the scratches are deep, getting through the wood stain and reaching the wood.
Will You Do It Yourself Or Hire A Professional?
Despite the lure of cost savings that come with DIY home renovation projects, for the floor sanding it usually ends up with the individual paying more in the long run, in terms of the amount of time, energy, and actual money that will be spent on the process. It starts off at renting the equipment, where different types of machines are required. From the drum and orbital sanders to the edger and buffer, these have their role in the floor sanding process, and are typically rented from local dealerships, with a set charge per day. Trouble is that the equipment has a low capacity compared to the industrial-grade machinery that the floor contractors use, meaning that the task will take far much longer, costing you in the process. Extra gear is also required, like the mask/respirator, safety goggles, protective shoes, all through to work gloves. Add sandpaper to this, where costs can dramatically increase if the sandpaper is used wrongly.
Speaking of wrong procedures, the insufficient skillset of the DIYers puts them at a greater risk of ruining the floor. For instance, one of the common floors sanding mistakes made by DIYers is not sanding the floor properly – where they can overdo it, or fail to sufficiently sand the floor. For the former where the sanding is done too deep into the wood issue, it shortens the life of the floor. On the other hand, failing to properly remove those old coats of finish means that surface will not be ready for the new treatments to be applied. They will blend differently to sections with bare wood and others that have patches of the old finish, resulting in the floor having a blotchy appearance. Moving the sander too slowly on the floor will cause it to grind away more wood tissue than is needed, and staying on one spot for too long can even cause it to dig a depression into your floor.
There are also those cases where the wrong grits are used, and the common result is scratches being left on the floor. These will become more prominent with the finish coats are applied. Those ridges and depressions need to be evened out, thus the need of ensuring that the proper grit sequence is followed. Sure, it can be exasperating especially when you’re already been sweating through the job for days, and are dealing with loads of dust in your interior space. You don’t have to put yourself through all this, and still face the risk of low-quality results. Get the job done right by hiring floor sanding professionals who have been trained for the task, and come with the experience needed to get it right within a shorter time.