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MyHome offers full-service wood floor refinishing. Refinishing your wooden floors is a complex, multi-step process. Here are the basic steps involved.
Flooring Fundamentals


Because the sanding and buffing stage creates a lot of dust, it's important that you protect your furniture and belongings. Dust has been known to get into closed cabinets, so be sure to seal everything that may be exposed to the work areas.

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This process involves sanding the floor repeatedly, with varying grades of sandpaper. First, the floors are sanded with a rough grade to remove the old finish, until the bare wood is exposed. Then, a finer grade of sandpaper is used to smooth and level the floor's surface. Lastly, the new finish is applied. Special tools are used for the edges of the floor, while difficult to reach areas are sanded by hand.

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Before the finish is applied, the floor is buffed with a special buffing machine. This removes any scratches, including the ones you can't see now (but you would see once a finish is applied). The floor is also buffed between coats, smoothing out the "crumbs" and achieving a smooth, beautiful surface.

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Protective sealer is applied before the finish. Especially in humid environments, if you don't apply a sealer, the finish will peel. If you've decided to stain your floors, the stain acts like a protective sealer.

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There are two types of polyurethane (the substance used to finish the floors). Oil based polyurethane, the more traditional finish, gives the floors a darker tone, but also gives off toxic fumes, especially dangerous if you have children or pets, and is forbidden in some buildings. Water based polyurethane is more common, and has several advantages over the oil based finishes - it dries fasters, is environmentally friendly with no toxic fumes, and has a clear finish, as opposed to the oil based finish that leaves a yellowish-orange tone. While oil based polyurethane is more durable, you can achieve a similar level of strength by applying several layers of water based finish.

The polyurethane also comes in a few degrees of shine, so you'll want to choose between high gloss, gloss, semi-gloss, or satin.

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You may want to consider staining your wood floors to add some color. Oils based stains are best, though water based stains are also available. The stain is applied evenly in order to penetrate the wood. Minwax® produces a variety of stains to choose from, and a new technology allows stains to be mixed and matched so you can achieve a larger range of colors. If you do decide to stain your floors, keep in mind this is a time consuming process and will take longer than a typical refinishing.

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Don't worry about the dust ruining your new paint job, as it's all removable. Most floor refinishers will not do much more than remove their garbage and tools after the work is complete, so if you want your home to be as clean as it was before the floor renovation, it's best to hire professional cleaners. To make the clean up easier, do everything you can to protect your furniture and belongs before the floor work begins.

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