A home with hardwood floors is simply stunning. When cared for properly, hardwood floors add tremendous value to the home, they create a beautiful environment, and they even improve overall air quality. Today, hardwood floors are more affordable than ever, making their popularity reaching new heights. However, questions still exist, some that we wanted to cover in this article.
What is the finish on the floor?
If buying a home with hardwood floors or simply wanting to know more about existing floors in your current home, you should find out the type of finish. Hardwood floors installed prior to the mid-1960s were finished with shellac or varnish. To confirm, take the edge of a coin and in a corner, scratch a small area. If you find the finish flakes, then you know you have one of these two surfaces. Today, shellac and varnish are seldom used. To see if wax was used, take a couple drops of water and again, in a hidden area, let the water sit for 10 minutes. When removed, you should see white spots, confirming a wax finish.
Is refinishing hardwood floors difficult?
The answer is yes, and no. The process itself is not rocket science but it is time-consuming and messy. We strongly recommend you have a professional do your finish job to ensure the sanding is done so the floor is not damaged. Additionally, the professional will use special equipment and prepare the room and your home to protect it from dust.
What is the best way to protect my newly sanded floor?
If you have just had your hardwood floors refinished, they will need to cure for about 20 to 30 days. During this time, you do not want to place rugs, furniture, or anything else on the floor. The reason is that exposed areas of the floor will lighten, meaning if rugs or furniture were placed on the floor, they would not lighten the same degree, giving you a mismatched floor.
How do I handle pet stains?
This problem is common but there are solutions. Usually, the darker the spot the deeper the moisture has penetrated the wood. If the pet stain were light, it could be sanded gently and then refinished. However if the stain is deep, you would likely need to have the damaged plank or strip replaced. If this is not an option, you might see if the pet stain is in an area of the room where a design, border, or motif could be added to help hide it.
My hardwood floors are covered with tile and adhesive. How can I remove them?
This task is without doubt, time-consuming. Many times, the tile is difficult to remove and once off, you find yourself faced with leftover adhesive or felt paper. The best option is to take a four- or five-inch putty knife and by hand, begin scrapping, going with the grain to remove as much as you can. Adhesive and/or felt paper left over would need to be sanded. Although you could do this yourself, we strongly suggest you have a professional handle the job to ensure the wood floor is not damaged.