Hardwood Refinishing Process
Step 1 – Preparation
Preparation is the starting point of every refinishing project for your hardwood floors. Before we get started we make sure that the room is completely empty and that the floors are free of any debris that might interfere with sanding process. The floor is then inspected to ensure that all nails are countersunk and that the floor contains no loose or damaged boards. Any loose or damaged boards will be re-nailed or replaced before sanding begins. The surrounding areas are then sealed off with plastic as an added precaution.
Step 2 – Sanding
Sanding is the next step. We start with the belt sander and edger typically using 36-60 grit sandpaper, depending on the condition of the floor. This will remove the existing finish. We then do a second sanding using 60-80 grit sandpaper. This finer grit sandpaper removes the coarse sanding marks left by the initial belt sanding. The floor is then vacuumed to remove dust that may have collected in nail holes. Once all dust has been removed and any exposed nail heads have been set (in the case of a top nailed floor), the entire floor is trowel filled with high quality commercial grade wood filler. The filler is applied by using a trowel that forces it into the cracks and nail holes and other areas that may be damaged. The floor than undergoes a 3rd and final sanding with belt sander and edger. The 100-120-grit paper takes off a very minimal amount of wood so the longevity of your floor is not really affected. We then bring in the buffer or orbital sander to give the floor a final polish.
Step 3 – Staining
Next, if you have chosen to stain your floor, we will “pop” the grain. This entails wetting the floor with water, which swells or opens the grain. This allows the wood to better absorb the pigment of the stain, adding depth and richness. The stain is generously applied and allowed to soak into the wood grain before the excess is removed. This process is carried out on our hands and knees using rags to apply and remove the stain. Although arduous, we find this method to produce the most consistent results.
Step 4 – Coating
Finally the Urethane finish coats of are applied. This is a 2-3 day process in itself, depending on whether an oil or water based finish is being applied.
Dust check, final inspection. We double-check that all horizontal surfaces within the working area are clean and that all waste has been removed. Our goal is that you won’t even know we were there except for the fact your hardwood floors have been transformed to your specifications and expectations.