After many years of use, your hardwood floors are starting to look a little rough. Scratches, small dings, and even stains can start to make them look old and worn down. If you want the look of new floors, but don’t want to purchase new floors to replace your hardwood floors, sanding is going to be your best option. While it won’t fix all issues with hardwood floors, it can help your floors look great again. Our experts can help you with the sanding and refinishing to help you get the beautiful, like-new floors you want.
Why Have Your Hardwood Floors Sanded?
Hardwood floors are tough, but they still start to wear down over time. The finish on top of the hardwood floors can become scratched or dented and the expansion and contraction of the wood itself can lead to floors that aren’t perfectly level. Over time, it becomes important to sand and refinish the hardwood floors to make them look like new again. Sanding removes the finish on the floor as well as a very thin top layer of the floor, getting rid of many of the unsightly issues that make the floor look old and worn. The floor is then refinished and ready to walk on again.
How Long Does Sanding Take?
The length of the job depends on a few different factors. Sanding one large area is going to be a bit faster than sanding a bunch of smaller areas because there are fewer edges to worry about. Floors that still have quite a bit of finish on them are going to take longer to do because it takes more time to get through all of the layers of finish. If it has been a long time since the wood was last sanded, it may take more time to complete the sanding because the boards are more distorted. They’ll need to be sanded until they’re level again. Deeper scratches or stains might take longer to sand as well since more wood needs to be removed to get rid of them.
The Process of Sanding a Hardwood Floor
Everything needs to be removed from the room where the floors will be sanded. The floors then need to be carefully sanded using a floor sander. These sanders are much bigger than the ones you might use to sand smaller projects at home and can be difficult to work with. A mistake while using them can gouge the floors, which means more sanding needs to be done to level the floors again. Sanding starts with the lowest grit needed to remove the finish and any issues on the flooring.
The lower the grit number, the more material is removed at one time. A 15 or 16 grit sandpaper is going to remove a lot of the finish in one pass. However, it’s not going to look great. It needs to be followed up with a higher grit to smooth out the floors. Progressively moving on to a higher grit and sanding the floors again leads to a smoother floor with a better finish. Most sanding jobs require at least 3 passes with the sander, progressively using a higher grit each time, to remove the old finish, smooth out scratches, and get the floor smooth again.
When is Sanding Not an Option?
Sanding is great for issues with the finish and can be a good option to restore the floors if the expansion and contraction with the climate has caused them to cup a little bit. However, sanding cannot fix all issues with a hardwood floor. If the cracks have become too big or the scratches go deep into the wood itself, sanding may not be enough to fix the floors. In these cases, restoring the floors may require replacing some of the boards.
Additionally, if there are pet stains in the flooring, it can be impossible to get them out fully with sanding. The pet stains tend to go deep into the wood itself, which means a significant amount of sanding would be needed to completely remove them. Depending on whether the floors have been sanded before and how deep and old the stains are, replacing the boards is going to be a much better option.
Sanding Can be Done a Few Times
Sanding can be done a few times over the years to help your floors continue to look beautiful. However, sanding does remove the top layer of the wood. In most cases, around 1/16th of an inch will be removed when the floors are being sanded as it’s impossible to remove just the finish without removing a small amount of wood.
If there are deep scratches or dents, more wood may need to be removed to correct them. Since hardwood floors are only around ¾ of an inch thick, after sanding the floors a few times, the wood begins to be too thin to sand and refinish. At that point, it’s better to begin thinking about replacing the floors with new hardwood floors.
Dustless Hardwood Floor Refinishing Method
Sanding creates a ton of sawdust as little bits of the flooring are removed through the sanding process. However, there is a dustless refinishing method available. A professional can use this method to ensure dust will not end up all over the house or in the air ducts where it can be spread throughout the home. This typically costs a little bit more than sanding itself, but most people feel it’s well worth the cost. With this method, they can have beautiful floors without worrying about dust getting all over their home.
Choose an Expert to Handle the Sanding
There is a lot that can go wrong for DIY hardwood floor sanding. It’s possible, and easy, to deeply scratch the hardwood floors, especially if the DIYer is not experienced with using a huge floor sander. It’s also possible to use the wrong grit, making the job take longer or taking off more of the top layer of hardwood than is necessary. Plus, it just takes a lot longer when the person doing the floors isn’t experienced. This is not an easy job and should be left to the experts for the best results. Our team is experienced, with decades behind them working on hardwood floors, and we’re licensed and insured. We can make sure your hardwood floors look gorgeous again.
If your hardwood floors are starting to look worn down, scratched, or uneven, contact us to learn more about hardwood sanding and to schedule a time to get an estimate. We take care of the hard work for you so you can look forward to how beautiful your sanded hardwood floors will look.