10 Tips For Successful Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Bergen County NJ add value to your home and are a stylish design choice. Over time, however, the wear and tear of everyday life can cause your hardwood floors to look dull and tired.

Refinishing your hardwood floors can rejuvenate their appearance, extending their lifespan and restoring their natural beauty. This article will explore the steps involved in refinishing your hardwood floors.

Hardwood floor refinishing breathes new life into old, tired floors. This intensive project involves sanding the surface to remove deep scratches and imperfections, then staining it. While refinishing isn’t easy, it is a rewarding DIY project. If you’re considering refinishing your hardwood floors, here are ten tips to help you succeed.

Before you sand your hardwood floors, it’s important to assess the condition of the wood. If the wear layer is still intact and your floors have only light, low impact scratches that don’t go all the way through the wood, refinishing might not be necessary. You can also consider re-coating your floors instead of refinishing them, but this is usually only possible if the protective layer is still intact.

If the protective layer is worn, your floors will be vulnerable to water damage. You can test for this by dropping a drop of water on the floor. If the water soaks into the wood immediately, it’s time to refinish your floors.

Start by sanding the main part of your floor using a drum or belt sander equipped with 40-grit sandpaper. Make sure to follow the direction of the grain to prevent damaging your boards. Once you’ve sanded the main area, switch to a medium-grade sandpaper for any remaining areas. Be sure to sand the edges of your floor as well.

Once your sanding is complete, vacuum the room thoroughly to remove all traces of dust. Vacuuming also helps to prevent sanding dust from being carried into the next step. If there are any stains or gouges on your wood floors, these can be filled with wood putty that has been allowed to dry before sanding again.

The final step of sanding is to use a buffer or sand-screener equipped with 120-grit sandpaper to achieve that new-floor smoothness. Be sure to also use the sand-screener on the edges of your floor to get into any nooks and crannies.

Once you’re done sanding, vacuum again and mop your floors to remove any residual dust or dirt. If you have any areas that need touch-up, you can apply a wood stain refresher or an oil-based polyurethane wood finish with a lambswool applicator. This will help your hardwood floors last longer and protect them from moisture.


Choosing the right stain for your hardwood floors is one of the most difficult steps in the refinishing process. You’ll want to choose a color that suits your home, while matching with the furniture and other design elements. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s important to test the stain on some practice boards before tackling your actual floor. Depending on the wood species, age and finish, light can have a significant impact on the final color of your stain.

Before starting to stain, make sure you’ve gathered all of your tools and supplies. Be sure to include a respirator and rubber gloves for safety. Also, don’t forget to use painter’s tape on any vents and baseboards to prevent staining them. You’ll also need to vacuum the floors to remove any dirt, dust or debris that may be present. This is an excellent time to clean up and organize your work area, as well as take the opportunity to do some light cleaning.

If you’re going for a more natural look, try to stick with lighter colors. Darker stains can be difficult to keep looking clean, and they can show scuff marks and scratches more easily. If you’re worried about maintenance, go with a semi-translucent or water-based stain rather than an oil-based stain. The latter can be extremely difficult to maintain over the long term.

When applying the stain, follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully. It’s also a good idea to start in the corner furthest from the door and work your way out, making sure you’re not leaving lap marks. If the stain isn’t the exact shade you want, apply additional coats until it is.

Another thing to remember is that stain can be blotchy. This happens when the wood doesn’t accept the stain evenly. It could be a sign that the sanding wasn’t done properly or it might just be an inherent property of the wood.

Before you stain, make sure to stir the liquid thoroughly. It’s also a good idea, especially with pigmented stains, to stir the stain before and after each application. This will ensure that the color is consistent throughout.


As a general rule of thumb, hardwood floors should be sealed once a month. This will keep the surface from becoming dull, and it will help protect the wood from moisture and sunlight. There are several types of sealant available, and choosing the right one will depend on your preferences and budget. Penetrating sealers are popular, but they can be difficult to work with, and they will need to be reapplied more frequently than other types of wood sealants. Water based polyurethane is another common option, and it comes in a wide range of finishes from gloss to satin.

Before you can apply any sealant, it’s important to make sure that your sanded floors are smooth and free of dents, scratches, and gouges. A light sanding with a fine grade of sandpaper can help achieve this. After sanding, vacuum up the dust and wipe down the surfaces with a tack cloth to remove any remaining debris.

Once the tack cloth is dry, it’s time to apply your first coat of sealant. Use a lambswool applicator to apply the coat in the direction of the wood grain, and try to get as even an application as possible. It’s also a good idea to open any windows necessary to allow unwanted fumes to escape during this process.

After the first coat of sealant has dried, you’ll need to lightly sand it with a fine grade of sandpaper. Be careful not to over-sand, as this can damage the cured finish. When you’re done sanding, vacuum up any remaining dust and wipe down the surfaces with a clean tack cloth.

While refinishing can significantly extend the life of your hardwood floors, there will come a point when replacement is the best option. If your floors are in serious disrepair, hiring a professional can save you both time and money. They will be able to perform all of the necessary steps from sanding to staining, and they will have access to the proper tools and equipment to ensure a job well done. The best way to choose a contractor is to check their references, licenses and insurance. A reputable company should have no problem providing these details, and they will be willing to settle any customer complaints in a professional manner.


Refinishing is a labor-intensive process. It’s best left to professionals who can finish the project in a few days, rather than a few weeks, and provide you with expert advice along the way. They’ll start by sanding the floors, using 80-grit sandpaper to remove the old coating and get the wood down to bare boards. It’s important to sand the whole floor, including the trim and baseboards, because otherwise the new finish won’t adhere properly.

Once the sanding is complete, it’s time for staining. Your flooring pro will help you choose the perfect color to suit your home and taste. They can also help you decide how much sheen, or glossiness, you want to achieve. Sheen levels range from matte to glossy, and they affect how your hardwoods look.

A topcoat protects the stain and adds a layer of shine, so it’s a vital part of your floor’s health. The most common topcoat is polyurethane, which creates a hard plastic-like surface that’s extremely durable and resistant to stains. Polyurethane is available in a variety of sheen levels, from matte to glossy, and it’s easily reapplied as needed.

Before applying the finish, your floor will need to dry completely. If you’re refinishing the entire room, this can take a few days. In the meantime, you can put down tarps and seal off the area to keep the dust out of the rest of your home. If you’re refinishing one room, it’s still a good idea to place a few doormats at the entrances to catch dirt and sanding particles that could scratch your newly refinished surfaces.

Investing in refinishing your hardwood floors can add value to your home and prolong their lifespan. It can also make it easier to sell your home when the time comes to move on. To ensure a successful refinish, find an experienced flooring contractor with a positive reputation in your community and an excellent Better Business Bureau rating. Check to see if they’re licensed and insured in your state, and make sure they have a liability insurance policy.