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Should you DIY, or is it better to use a professional?

Hardwood floors, like those manufactured by Mannington Residential using the latest technology, look great and are extremely durable. Another advantage is that when they do eventually lose their original luster (which might be only after 20 years), you can refinish them. Do this effectively, and it’s like you’ve invested in a whole new floor.

In this article, you’ll learn what needs to be done to give an old wood floor a new lease of life, and we’ll answer the question “How much to refinish hardwood floors?”

Three steps to successfully refinish a hardwood floor

There are three steps to effective refinishing of a hardwood floor:

  1. Preparation and sanding
  2. Staining
  3. Finishing

Here’s a brief description of what needs to be done at each stage:

1.     Preparation and sanding

Because of years of use, your floor will have suffered. It may be that it hasn’t been cleaned properly. There could be blemishes, scars, and stains. You once felt that these added character; now they are an eyesore.

The floor must be prepared for refinishing. You’ll need to repair damaged patches, clean it thoroughly, and make sure it is dry.

You’ll need to sand the wood down to a level below these features of a well-trodden hardwood floor. You may have to remove wax from the floor, too.

Using a sanding machine, grind the floor to a smooth and blemish-free surface, working with the grain of the wood.

2.     Staining

Once sanded, your hardwood floor should be like new, untreated wood. You may wish to stain or color it now, to match your furniture or home style better. This process can also bring out the natural grains and pattern of the surface, embellishing its own natural character.

3.     Finishing

By sanding, you will have removed the protective coating that helps to preserve the color and resist damage. Without this coating, a hardwood floor is susceptible to stains and water damage. You will need to protect it with a finishing coat, like a varnish.

How much might it cost to refinish a hardwood floor?

By refinishing a hardwood floor, you could save a lot of money compared to installing a new hardwood floor. How much depends upon several factors:

·       Labor

It will probably take a professional four to five hours per 100 square feet to refinish a hardwood floor. If attempting to do the job yourself, you can expect to spend a lot longer.

·       Size matters

Smaller rooms will cost more to refinish. Bathrooms may not be big enough for basic sanders. Large areas are easier to refinish, taking less time per square foot.

·       Furniture removal

Rooms will need to be cleared of furniture before work begins. If this job is left to the contractor, you can expect to pay more. Another complication exists if the furniture cannot be removed and so needs to maneuvered. In this case, you will need to do a section of the room at a time, and this could add several days to the project length and may increase the expense.

4.     Cleanup

Refinishing can be messy. A professional contractor should take precautions to contain this mess (such as sawdust from sanding), but you may need to pay for cleaning after the job has been finished.

Does it pay to DIY?

You may be tempted to save money by doing the refinishing job yourself. However:

  • You’ll need to hire a commercial drum sander (usually between $60 and $100 per day), and purchase stains and finishing sealants
  • You will also need to factor in the amount of time it will take you, and consider whether the job will be done as well as a professional
  • When you DIY, there are no warranties or guarantees that come with the work you do
  • Moving furniture around and covering everything to prevent it getting covered in dust is time-consuming, back-breaking work

Should you hire a professional?

‘You get what you pay for’ is certainly true when refinishing hardwood floors. A professional will ensure a super smooth finish. Staining to bring the best out of the wood takes skill and experience – drips and runs are easily made by a novice. If you are hiring a professional to refinish for you, ask them:

  • What is your experience?
  • Can you supply references?
  • Will you include the cleanup?
  • What warranties do you offer?
  • Will you do all the heavy lifting and furniture moving?

Whether for your home or office floor here in New Jersey, Porter’s Cleaning are trusted experts for restoration work. For all your flooring needs, don’t hesitate to contact Porter's for a no-obligation quote. We’ll bring our expertise and experience to the table, and help you get the longest life from your flooring.

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