What Do You Need To Do Before You Start To Refinish Your Hardwood Floor?

What do you need to do before you start to refinish your hardwood floor? Before you refinish your hardwoods, make sure there's no mold or foundation damage beneath the boards. First the room must be cleared...

First the room must be cleared of all furniture, rugs and any old flooring that is covering the hardwood floor. It is best to remove any adhesive and carpet pad that may be stuck to the wood flooring, along with all staples and nails that were used to hold down the additional floor covering.

Any underlying structural problems must be corrected before refinishing the floor. Beki Willis has been repairing, restoring and remodeling homes in the greater Austin area since 1989. She says, "Check for any foundation damage or too much bounce in the floor and correct that, or have it corrected by a professional."

Hardware stores and flooring supply houses can be a great resource and should be contacted before the project is initiated. Beki says, "Call a company that sells floor refinishing products like polyurethane. I do this for a living so I like to call the place that sells the products and ask them if they rent the sanders also. This is what I've done in the past: I've bought the products from them and rented the drum sander. You will also need to rent an edge sander, or a mouse sander. You will need to sand the edges differently. The drum sander won't get up to the wall. The supplier can recommend how many sheets of the rough grit of sandpaper you need and how many sheets of the finer sandpaper you need for the size of floor that you are refinishing, along with the options of products to go on top of your floor." Beki explains how the sander is used, "If your planks are fairly flat, you can sand with the direction of your planks starting with the courser grit and finishing with the finer grit."

"If you are refinishing, then you don't necessarily need to clean the floor first because you're going to sand it, so it doesn't matter. But you will want to sweep your floor thoroughly," says Beki.

"Before you start any of the sanding, you will need to first remove the shoe mold that's next to the base board." Beki continues, "The easiest way to do this is to cut the paint line at the top of the shoe mold with a knife and carefully remove the shoe mold with a thin pry bar, trying not to scar it so you can reuse it." Some houses do not have shoe mold. Beki says, "If you don't have shoe mold at the bottom of your base boards, edge sand up to your baseboard carefully. After your floor is refinished you can put new, already painted, or stained shoe mold at that corner." She also has some suggestions for putting the trim back together after refinishing the floor, "I recommend putting clear caulk in the crack between the floor and the baseboard before installing the quart around for what we call, zero tolerance. This is so that no bugs can come through there and so that no 90-year-old dust that's in the wall can make its way to the room. I recommend painting the quart around or staining it before you install it, and then only touching up the nails afterwards. It makes it easier so you don't have to paint right next to your freshly refinished floor."

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