How to Redo Hardwood Floors for Your Entire Home

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Hardwood floors are some of the most beautiful, hardy, classy, and long lasting additions (and investments) you can work into your home. It’s one of the best types of flooring that you can have installed in your home–but it also comes with some responsibilities. Keeping it from getting damp for extended periods of time is important, as is taking care of unsightly scuffs and scratches (that, depending on if you have kids and pets, can sometimes seem to come with the territory).

You’ve invested a lot of money in these floors and you want to keep them looking as nice as possible, right? Well, there will likely come a time when you’ll need to redo your hardwood floors. You have a couple options: you can call in the professionals or you can do it on your own. There are pros and cons to both methods, but in this blog post we’ll mostly be focusing on the second–doing it yourself.

Now don’t be intimidated! Making your hardwood floors shine against may seem like a big responsibility, maybe too big, but you’ve got this. And if you do find yourself in over your head, wood flooring help is just a phone call away!

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to redo hardwood floors for your entire house:

Step #1: Inspect your hardwood floors

When you want to redo hardwood floors, start by taking a look at the wood flooring in your entire home. Maybe you’re already in the same room, maybe you have to get up and take your phone or laptop with you. Whatever the case, study that floor! There are probably some marks on it, right? Scuff, scratches, etc. Well, the solution may be simpler than you thought–take a close look and see if those marks have made their way into the wood itself.

Chances are, they haven’t! See, hardwood flooring is typically protected by a clear layer that protects the wood itself from getting gouged and scarred. Instead of taking sandpaper to the wood itself and going to town, you may simply need to get a new protective coat put down! This is definitely something to look into as it could save you time and trouble.

Step #2: Clean and prep your hardwood floors

You can’t start going to town on refinishing your hardwood floor without taking the time to do it right. First, you’ll need to remove anything that’s in the room. Furniture, an entertainment system, books, etc. Then make sure that the nails are all in securely and that there are no loose or broken floorboards to give you concern.

Once you’ve taken care of all that, you’ll need to sweep, mop, or vacuum the floor. You may want to do all three in order to get as much dirt, mud, and grime off your floor as possible. Get it as clean as you can and then keep it that way by keeping windows closed, as well as air vents.

Step #3: Refurbish the hardwood floors

When you spilled that coffee on the hardwood floor last week, did it all disappear pretty quickly–absorbed by your hardwood floor? That’s a major sign that the protective coating has worn away and that your floors need to be reworked as soon as possible.

Once you know one way or another, you’ll need to make a decision to either sand the floors (if the boards themselves are damaged) or to ‘install’ a new protective coat (there are several products out there that will get the job done, so be sure to check them out–after all, even if you end up sanding the floors, they’ll still need that extra layer afterwards).

Step #4: Buff your hardwood floors

So you’ve decided that your hardwood floors do need some sanding and buffing? Well in that case, get your equipment (either what you already have or something purchased just at this occasion) and get those floors in tip-top shape! Check out the instruction manual for best practices (as well as online guides or even your local home hardware store employees), make sure to wear a dust mask, googles, and ear protection, and then get to it!

Step #5: Fix scratches on hardwood floors

Fix the scratches on hardwood floors with mineral spirits! You may not be in the mood to buff/sand your hardwood floors right now–but you still have the problem of annoying (and unsightly) scratches getting into the floor instead of just the clear layer on top. In that case, you can employ some mineral spirits to help those scratches become less noticeable. There are other methods to help with that as well–do some research to see which one might be best for you!

Step #6: Use a professional refinisher on the hardwood floors

If the scope of the damage to your hardwood floors is beyond what you can do–or if you simply don’t want to bother with refinishing, whatever the amount of damage is–then you can surely enlist the help of a professional refinisher. Make sure you hire a reputable one and then watch your flooring come to life.

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About Author

Hi, I'm Bryan! I'm the guy who writes most of the home improvement tutorials in Step By Step House. If you have any questions about what I've written, just contact me and I'll get back to you. Thanks!

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