The Art of Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors

If you have hardwood floors, then it is imperative that you refinish it and keep it looking good not only for keeping it well maintained but also looking good to you and any visitors that you may have.

Today, with a little help from floor sanding expert Ben, we are going to cover the art of refinishing hardwood floors, because wood floors that are refinished are happy wood floors.

Steps to Take For Refinishing Wood Floors

Step 1: Clean the Floor and Remove Furniture

This is pretty straightforward, however some people just go straight to trying to finish their floors which is a huge mistake.

You will want to remove all of the furniture in your room, and then from there you will want to mix about 10 parts of water with 1 part of white vinegar. This will get up any grime, and dust that could have been built up on your wood floors.

We also suggest closing any windows in the room because dust can end up floating in and collecting on your floor again, thus potentially making it harder to refinish your floors.

Step 2: Prep The Edges of Your Room

You will want to use a 180-grit sandpaper and use it on the edges, and corners of your room, pretty much any where that your buffer cannot reach.

You will want to rub about 3-6 inches away from the wall, which will give you enough range in order to make up for the buffer not being able to reach those parts.

Lastly do not use a sanding block, this can make uneven spots in your floor (which is no good).

Step 3: Scuff-Sand The Floor

You are going to want to put on your buffing pad and starting using the buffer. Oh and don’t forget wearing a dust mask and goggles, wood dust is harmful for your lungs and you don’t want your eyes to get those particles in your eyes.

All you need to do is move the buffer side-to-side across the floor in the direction of the grain. Do not go against the grain. Also make sure to overlap them by about 6-8 inches, this will allow for optimum buffing and that you don’t miss any spots.

The old finish will turn into a powder which is going to allow you to see everything that you buffed, thus enabling you to see if your miss any spots.

We also suggest stopping every few minutes to vacuum up the dust and wood particles because this will keep your room from collecting a ton of dust.

Step 4: Vacuum Up Dust and Then Tack

You will want to leave the room for about 15 minutes to allow any leftover powder to settle. This will make it easier to vacuum and clean up.

There is going to be a lot of dust and powder (depending on a room) so make sure to put in a new vacuum filter before vacuuming.

After vacuuming you are going to want to sweep up across the grain to collect any left over dust and powder, and then finally dry-tack the floor with a microfiber cloth. This is will allow for optimum dryness and cleanliness, thus making it very easy to finish the floor.

Step 5: Apply Finish to the Borders of Your Room

This is going to require speed and efficiency (especially if you have a larger room) because you will want to apply it all before it dries.

You will want to add booties to your shoes so that you don’t walk all over the ground, and you will want to put on a mask for breathing because you do not want finish chemicals going into your lungs.

With a paintbrush you are going to want to brush about 3-4 inches away from your wall (and any spots you won’t be able to reach with a roller).

YOU NEED TO BE QUICK: The reason is, because if it begins to dry you will leave edge marks between where you paintbrushed the finish and rolled it out with a paint roller.

Take at most 10 minutes for this, but try to keep it under 8 minutes to prevent edge marks from forming.

Step 6: Bust Out the Paint Roller and Apply the Finish

This is the most crucial step, you will want to pour down about a 1-inch wide strip of finish inline with the grain.

From there you will want to use a long handled roller (so that you can do long strokes to cover the most area) and make sure to keep the edges wet as well. As mentioned if one part starts to dry before the rest, it will leave edge marks (no thanks.)

Keep pouring and rolling out the finish and brushing finish along the edges of the borders of the room to prevent any edges to form.

Lastly, wait 3-4 hours to reapply your finish and then wait about a week to add in your furniture again (you don’t want to ruin your finish.)

Key Steps to Follow

  1. Clean the floor & move furniture
  2. Prep the edges of the room
  3. Scuff-sand the floor
  4. Vacuum up the dust and then tack
  5. Apply finish to the borders of the room
  6. Apply finish with the paint roller

Key Tips That You Must Do

  1. Do not allow edges to dry, this will leave edge marks (thus you will have to redo it)
  2. Be quick & efficient with applying your finish
  3. Use a long handled roller to allow for optimum rolling out finish
  4. Make sure to clean up your room before applying finish
  5. Give your room a week to dry before putting your finish back in your room

 

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The 4 Steps You Must Take to Stain Your Wood Floors

Are you tired of your hardwood floors looking old and worn out? Well if you are then you need to read this post. Because dull and drab hardwood floors is a sad thing to deal with, because nobody likes to look at wood floors that look old and worn out.

So what are the steps to staining your wood floors?

1. Clean the Surface of the Floor

You cannot expect to stain your wood floors if their is dirt, dust or other debris on your wood floors. Here are a few ways you can overcome a dirty wood floor is by…

  1. Vacuuming your floor then dusting it
  2. Using a SwifferVac (highly recommended because of how easily they can clean and pick up dust/grime off of your floor. 
  3. Going over your floor with a tack cloth 

These are a few ways you can clean up your wood floors before you stain them, but the easiest method is to use a SwifferVac.

2. Apply a Penetrating Stain With a Rag or Paint Roller

You will want to follow the grain of the wood and try to coat as even as possible. If you stain more in one spot than others it will end up being darker/lighter in some other spots. Which is a big no-no because it will look tacky and ugly.

On top of this, you will want to choose a stain that will NOT raise the grain of your wood, because that will lead to you having to sand the floor after applying the finish. (It’s really just extra work that can be avoided if you choose the correct stain).

Typically you will want to wait an hour to allow it to dry, but it is all variable upon how much stain you use, but generally speaking give it about an hour to completely dry.

Lastly, make sure your house is well vented because the chemicals in stain are harmful for your lungs and you will not want to be breathing in those toxic chemicals.

3. Using a Brush or Paintroller to Add a Polyurethane Finish

This is what gives your wood stain the pop that makes it stand out and look really nice. The polyurethane is what makes the wood floor durable and the glass-smooth finish that is shiny.

This is extremely important, because this is what keeps your wood floors safe from spilling water or other liquids on your floor.

You will want to add the polyurethane by following the grain of your floors and allowing for 6-8 hours to dry.

4. Lightly Sand & Apply the Second Coat of Polyurethane Finish

This is where you will finally smooth out any uneven edges or areas on your wood and then give it the final touches with another coat of polyurethane finish.

You will want too…

  1. Sand lightly with a fine sandpaper (preferably #220) this will prevent you from tearing up the floor
  2. Dust off and wipe away all the remaining dust on the floor
  3. Add polyurethane finish
  4. Allow the polyurethane finish to dry overnight (8 hours +)

Important Takeaways

  1. Clean the surface of the floor
  2. Apply a penetrating stain with a rag or paint roller
  3. Using a brush or paintbrush to add the polyurethane finish
  4. Lightly sand & apply the second coat of polyurethane finish

And there you have it, the 4 steps to adding stain to your wood floors. We highly suggest doing these steps exactly, because if you don’t you could end up ruining your floor or leaving unnecessary bumps or rough spots on your floor.

If you have any tips, or suggestions then let us know in the comment section below!

Till next time.

 

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How to Prevent Scratches on Your Hardwood Flooring

scratches hardwood
Thanks Jdeboer for the photo!

 

We talk a lot about hardwood flooring, because we absolutely advocate that you have it in your house for these many reasons…

  • Easy cleanup & maintenance
  • Adds value to your home
  • Makes your home look beautiful inside
  • Can slide around on it (kids especially love this)

These are just some reasons why we love hardwood flooring… however today’s topic is about how to prevent your hardwood flooring from being scratched up, because it is important to keep your wood floors maintained and looking good!

How to Prevent Hardwood Flooring Scratches

Keeping Furniture From Scratching Your Floor

Have you ever seen those felt pads that you can put underneath your furniture?

Well how they work is you place them underneath each leg of your furniture which will ultimately prevent the legs from scratching the floor.

They not only prevent scratching but also make it much easier to move your furniture, because most of the place mats are smooth and slide very well on hardwood floors.

Keeping Shoes from Scratching Your Floor

Well you can make people take off their shoes at the entrance of your home which will ultimately be the best way to prevent shoes from scratching your house… however we realize that some people may not be this strict.

So what can you do to prevent shoes from scratching your floors?

You can put down place mats, or throw rugs at your doorways and hallways which can help keep people from dragging sand, grit or dirt on your floor.

We highly suggest though that you keep your shoes at the entrance of your house so that you don’t risk anyone being able to drag their shoes around and scratch up your floors.

If you Get Scratches

I know, you can do everything in the world to try and prevent scratches, but accidents happen.

So with that said there a few ways to get rid of scratches in your hardwood flooring.

  1. Simple scratches: There are hardwood scratch removal sprays that you can use
  2. Oils and finishes: repairs smaller but deeper scratches on your floor
  3. Wood patching: used on moderate scratches that are longer and deeper than normal
  4. Wood chemicals and fillers: if you happened to deeply scratch your floor then this is a must
  5. Lazy mans way: Just place a carpet over it and call it good (we don’t suggest this. ha)

Important Takeaways

  1. Prevent scratches by furniture with felt pads
  2. Place down rugs and place mats to prevent shoes from scratching your floors
  3. If you do get scratches then there are many ways to repair them

Read more here about maintenance on your hardwood floors.

Osborne Woodcare

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How to Select the Best Species of Wood

Here’s a really good list of domestic and exotic wood species.

When it comes to finding hardwood flooring and picking out the right one for your home, it can be a bit difficult because there are so many species of hardwood flooring. In fact there are over 50 different types of domestic and exotic wood styles you can choose from.

The most popular though tend to be…

  • Oak
  • Cherry
  • Hickory 
  • Maple
  • Walnut

When it comes to choosing the right wood species you will want to think about how you want it to look inside of your home. This ranges from style/patterns, to color. It is important that you put into consideration of these few things that we will cover today for picking the right wood for your home.

1. Choosing the Right Color of Wood

This can range from wanting a darker wood (like a walnut, merbau) to lighter shade wood (like a red/white oak or maple). It all depends on the shading of your home and what kind of feeling you want to create in your home.

We suggest though that if you want a darker color wood that you stick with a maple domestic wood Walnut or the exotic Merbau which is dark and comes in a mosaic design style. (You can check out images of these here)

As mentioned it all depends on the feel you want for your home. If you want a lighter, and brighter feel to your home then you should definitely stick with an Oak, Maple or Cherry. On the other hand though if you want a darker color wood for a feeling of relaxation and calmness then you should stick with a Walnut.

2. Styles & Patterns of Wood

If you want the classic straight, and original patterned wood then you want to stick with an Oak, Cherry or Pine woods. These are very original in design and classic. These definitely look good, and gives your home a feeling of straightness and orientation of being classic.

On the other hand though, if you want a mosaic or uniquely patterned wood then you will want to stick with the Merbau or Hickory. These are very different and unoriginal in design because they are not a straight patterned wood that is orientated to one direction. These woods tends to go off in different patterns of styling and add a certain uniqueness to your home.

3. Hardness of the Wood

Hardwood floors do vary in hardness, which means if you get a harder wood floor it may be more durable, but will hurt more if you land on it. While on the other hand, if you get a softer wood then it will be still durable but won’t feel as hard if you fall on it.

Something to factor in, is that exotic woods tend to score higher on hardness compared to it’s counterpart the domestic wood styles. It is important to factor in the hardness, because a harder wood will also not be as easily indented.

Here is an awesome chart of measuring hardness in wood. It’s called the Janka Hardness Scale…

Thanks  Hosking Hardwood  for the photo!
Thanks Hosking Hardwood for the photo!

Important Takeaway Points to Factor When Picking the Right Wood Species

  1. Choosing the right color
  2. Certain styles and patterns
  3. Hardness of the wood

If you have any suggestions or factors to add in then let us know in the comment section below!

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Hardwood Flooring Vs. Carpet Flooring

Thanks  Jdeboer  &  Hisks  for the photos!
Thanks Jdeboer & Hisks for the photos!

 

Your home is important, and the way it looks matters a lot to you. And that is why today, we are going to be talking about hardwood flooring vs. carpet… both have their benefits and negatives.

But what we are going to do today is find out which one is better because carpet is nice for some rooms, but hardwood flooring is also better for certain rooms.

So let’s take a look at some of the benefits of each…

You can read more info about carpets and hardwood flooring here.

The Advantages of Carpet

Carpet is definitely more comfortable for walking on, and easier on your feet because it is softer and has extra support.

On top of that if you slip on a carpet it will not hurt as much if you were to fall/slip onto a hardwood floor. Duh. But this is a major benefit because nobody likes to bruise their tailbone or hurt themselves worse than a bruise.

Lastly carpet makes for a great insulator which will help keep your feet and house warmer during the colder seasons of the year.

Key Benefits of Carpet

  1. Comfortable
  2. More cushion if you were to fall/slip
  3. A great insulator

The Disadvantages of Carpet

Now carpet does have benefits but it also has cons… let’s take a look.

Carpets tend to have loops in them, which means that they can get caught on something thus tearing out the fabric and damaging the carpet. Which sucks, because that means you will have to repair or replace it more often.

On top of this carpets are easily soiled, thus if you spill something it will end up staining, which means you will have to pull out the carpet cleaner or spot remover and having to worry about the spot/stain coming out.

Lastly, carpets can look tacky if you get a cheap quality carpet or a pattern that doesn’t look good.

Costly Disadvantages of Carpet

  1. Fabric tears
  2. Soiled easily
  3. Look tacky

The Advantages of Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors can boost the value of your home, because they make your house look more beautiful and classic. On top of that they are very easy to clean.

Let’s say you spilled some juice on your hardwood floor, well with a carpet it would be stained, however with hardwood flooring all you would need to do is wipe it up right away and your floor looks fine! Granted sometimes you will need to use a wood cleaner, but in general you would be fine and your floor would still look the same.

With that said, if you end up staining your floor by accident or ruining it, all you would need to do is sand it, re-stain and refinish it, easy as that.

Lastly though, if you have allergies then hardwood floors are great for you. They don’t collect the near amount of dust or allergens as carpet does, because hardwood flooring doesn’t have microfibers that hold in allergens.

Great Benefits of Hardwood Flooring

  1. Boost the value of your home
  2. Makes your house look beautiful
  3. Easy clean up
  4. Can sand, and refinish without having to replace the floor
  5. Collects very low amounts of allergens

The Downside of Hardwood Flooring

Well, if you live in a colder climate then they may be a problem for you, because they get very cold during the winter because they don’t have insulation. However this can be fixed by wearing slippers.

Secondly, if you fall or slip on hardwood flooring it is going to hurt more than carpets because… well it’s hardwood flooring.

Thirdly, hardwood floors can swell up during periods of high humidity and if not installed correctly they can be ruined because they will expand so much. Luckily if you install them correctly and install a vapor barrier beneath it, then that should subdue any swelling.

Lastly, they can chip or break because it is wood… which is a real pain.

Key Downfalls of Hardwood Flooring

  1. Cold during the winter/fall
  2. Hurts to land on if you slip or fall
  3. Swell up if there is high humidity
  4. Can chip or break

Overall Verdict: Which is Better?

We feel that hardwood flooring is better than carpeting because it adds more value to your house by looking beautiful and is more durable than carpet. However if you prefer to have carpets that could potentially be stained but will keep you warmer during the winter and won’t hurt as much if you fall on it.

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The Top 3 Things You Need to Remember for Installing Hardwood Floors

It is important to be precise and efficient when it comes to installing your hardwood floors. Although most people prefer installing hardwood floors than carpet because it is easier to customize and lay down.

So let’s dive into the steps of what it takes to install your hardwood floors.

You can also check this website out for a complete list on installing hardwood floors in your home!

1. Choose The Wood You Want

This is important, because if you choose the wrong wood then it could end up making your interior look way different. On top of that, you want to choose the right board widths for your rooms. I cannot begin to express to importance of choosing the right wood for your home.

If you want a darker wood I would go with something like a mahogany, and vise verse if you want something of lighter sorts then I wood choose Red Oak.  It all depends on your taste, and how you want your house to feel and look.

Again though, this is extremely important because you don’t want to setup your house with the wrong styling and coloring of wood.

2. Get the Right Measurements

Nothing is worse than accidentally writing down measurements that are a few inches off, why? Because this can lead to ordering to big of wood boards thus leading to you being frustrated and asking “Why didn’t I just take my time with getting the measurements right?”

You can avoid the wrong measurements by measuring not only once, twice but three times, because if you get the same measurements 3 times then you know you have just about the right measurements.

So keep in mind that you need to always check your measurements over, and over again so that you get the right sized boards.

3. Install Your Vapor Barrier’s

This is the final one simply because it is one step that can be easily overlooked. In the excitement of getting your new hardwood floors you can easily overlook adding in your vapor barrier’s… these are what keep your boards from collecting moisture underneath your boards.

You don’t want moldy boards, because those are the worst. And on top of that mold is hazardous and is an extreme health risk, so make sure to always place down your vapor barrier’s before you place down your boards.

Important Takeaways

  1. Choose the wood you want
  2. Get the right measurements
  3. Install your vapor barrier’s

These are 3 of the most important things you can do before you start installing your boards.

If you have any suggestions or tips let us know in the comment section below, till next time!

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The Top 5 Benefits of Having Hardwood Flooring in Your House

Thanks  for the image!
Thanks Little Visuals for the image!

Hardwood flooring is not only great for adding value to your house, but it also looks great and most people who walk into your house will mention something like, “wow this hardwood flooring looks so good!”

With that said, what are the main benefits of hardwood flooring?

Top 5 Benefits of Hardwood Flooring

1. Variety

There are so many different types of hardwood flooring you can grab. There is American Cherry, Brazilian Cherry, unfinished wood, engineered wood, and much, much more. With hardwood flooring there are so many looks and styles you can choose from, which is awesome because you aren’t stuck with one type of carpet that is either tan or white.

2. Better Acoustics

Have you ever walked into an auditorium and noticed how the sounds bounce off of the walls and make the music louder? Well that is what hardwood flooring (if installed correctly) can do for you. Sound bounces off of hardwood flooring, which if you like to throw parties or play loud music, then hardwood flooring is a nice additive to that.

3. Easy Cleanup

In the “better acoustics” section I mentioned how if you like to throw parties then hardwood flooring is good for you, well this is also true for clean up. Imagine if you had carpet flooring and you were throwing a party and people started to spill food, alcohol and juices on your carpet… it would stain and be ruined.

Well with hardwood flooring, all you would need is a towel, and possibly some wood cleaner like Orange Glo. Imagine that, no need to bust out the carpet cleaner the next day or having to worry about if there will be stains in your carpet!

And even if you are not throwing a party, it is easy to maintain, because all you need is to vacuum, dust, mop and make sure the wood is dry, that’s all! Imagine that, no more needing to shampoo that carpets.

4. Strength & Durability

“High quality hard wood floors that are kiln-dried, manufactured, installed and finished to certain standards can last for generations.” (Source via Build Direct) So what does that mean?

Well if you purchase and install high quality wood flooring into your house, it will last for a very long time. Which is always a plus, because imagine if you had carpet… most people put new carpet in their house every 10-20 years, well with hardwood flooring you wouldn’t have to worry about always putting in new flooring every decade.

On top of that, with hardwood flooring you don’t have to worry about tears, or rips in it because it’s hardwood.

5. Quality that Stands the Test of Time

The beauty of hardwood flooring is not only that it looks good, but that as other flooring, (like carpet) begins to fade and look raggedy, hardwood flooring will still look good. Not only that, but you only will have to refinish, buff or polish your floor again to make it look brand new! That saves a ton of money, because instead of having to re-install your flooring you can just touch it up again.

Takeaway for the Top 5 Benefits

So today we covered the top 5 benefits of hardwood flooring…

  1. Variety
  2. Better Acoustics
  3. Easy Cleanup
  4. Strength & Durability
  5. Quality that Stands the Test of Time

So what does this mean? You should definitely think about upgrading your house to hardwood flooring for those reasons and many more.

If you enjoyed this post make sure to spread the wood and leave a comment below if you have any other benefits of using hardwood flooring!

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