If your hardwood floor is looking old, then it may be time to revitalize it. This process involves either applying a new coat of poly or a complete refinishing job. If you have grown tired of the current stain color, then you can have that removed and re-stain the floorboards.

The tricky thing about refinishing hardwood floors is that you have to take into account the current finish. If your floor has a wax finish, then you will have to use a different method then if you are re-coating a poly floor.

Here are two common hardwood floor scenarios, and the methods you should use.

If Your Floor Is In Good Condition: Screen and Re-Coat

Sometimes you only need to re-coat with poly. When your floor is in good condition, except for the shine on the poly, then you can get a screen and re-coat. This is a process where a very fine sander is used that only removes the topcoat of polyurethane. The floor is then vacuumed. After the floor is vacuumed, the floor is buffed with a damp cloth and left to dry. When the floor is dry, a new coat of polyurethane is applied.

This is not possible if you have a wax finish. It is also not designed for people who have cracks, splinters, or other surface issues.

Complete Floor Refinish

If your floor has cracks, damaged boards, or is coated in wax, you will need to have a complete floor refinish. This is also necessary if you plan on changing the stain color. You will need to have the original finish completely sanded away.

For this process, a heavy grit sand paper is used. The heavy girt will sand away the upper layer of the wood. This includes any wax, poly or stain. It will also remove all of the imperfections in the wood. In essence, you are removing part of the wood, whereas with screening you are only removing the poly.

Once the floor has been sanded down, the person manning the sander will switch the sanding pads. They will remove the heavy grit and replace it with a finer grit. This is done so the finer grit will polish out any scratches left by the heavy grit.

At this point, if there are any exposed nails of large cracks, they need to be addressed. Nails should be tapped back in. Cracks should be filled with stainable wood filler.

Once the wood filler is dry, the floor should be vacuumed and mopped with a dry mop. This is to remove any lingering dust. Finally, the stain and poly can be applied. For large jobs, you may want to look into floor repair services.