How to Make Hardwood Floors Look New Again

I have a lot of foot traffic in my home office and after a while, my hardwood floors began to look worn, scratched and quite grimy. I needed to find a way to restore the new look to my hardwood but I was slightly hesitant to call a professional (I was working on a budget). So I decided to find an easier way to restore the floor myself.

Understanding Your Floor Type

The first thing I need to do was understand the type of hardwood that was used for my flooring. You can easily do this by simply placing a few drops of water on the most worn out parts . If the water beads, the finish can handle an extra shining process. However, if it is absorbed and turns the wood dark, then you need extra professional care.

I finally realized my floors were laminated, which require a lot less care than genuine hardwood. These kind of floors (laminated) come with inbuilt shine, meaning that you can easily clean them with soap and water.

If you have genuine hardwood floors, but cannot afford custom refurnishing, then try wax products with an excellent quality broom. Once you know the kind of floor you are dealing with, you need to be careful with the kind of finish you use.

To test it, apply some of the finish on an isolated area, and if it dries without adhesion problems or peeling, then it is safe for use.

The Restoration Process

When you determine the kind of cleaner or vanish that is appropriate for your flooring, then you are ready to start the restoration process.

  1. First, you will need to check for discolorations caused by foreign material, stains or paint marks, and clean them away with mild soap solution, warm water and a soft cloth.
  2. Once you have removed the stain, it’s time to clean the floor. Use a vacuum cleaner, a mop or a broom expertly. Ensure the floor has completely dried up before attempting any screening.
  3. Screen the floor using either steel wool and a rotary floor buffer, or a pole sander. This will remove the top layer of your floor’s finish leaving a dull, even finish. This will ease reapplication making it easier and even across the surface.
  4. Re-vacuum the floor to remove the grit and dust, produced during the screening. Clean the floor with a rag and some warm water, and leave it to dry completely.
  5. Apply a coat of the finish with the correct brush, giving special attention to corners and edges. Ensure you apply with the grain, then once that is complete, coat the remaining area of the floor using a foam pad applicator.

If you had cleaned and waxed your floors previously, ensure you use the same products for consistency. Hardwood flooring that’s oil treated or come treated with penetrating sealer, do not need to be waxed again.

To make my floors really shine, I used a mechanical floor buffer, but I had to take extra care to ensure a consistent pattern. The whole process is time consuming and requires considerable muscle, but after all that work, my hardwood look amazingly new.

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