Recoating Hardwood Floors
Re-coating hardwood floors in its simplest definition is the applying of a fresh coat of finish to your hardwood floors. Re-coating is often confused with refinishing hardwood floors. However, unlike refinishing, you are not removing the original finish of the floor.
Re-coating may be done to change the color of the finish, or to reapply the same finish that was on originally. Re-coating uses a polyurethane finish. It is normal for hardwood floors to be re-coated more than once during the life of the hardwood floor. Re-coating a hardwood floor is not the option to choose if a floor is very worn, or has a lot of scratches, nicks, etc. that you want to see gone. These floors should be refinished.
Re-coating hardwood floors helps to maintain hardwood floors from the wear and tear that they endure. It is also an affordable way to spruce up the appearance of older worn floors, but without getting a factory finished look.
Though re-coating a hardwood floor is not as time consuming as refinishing, there is still a process to be followed to get proper results. First, it has to be determined what kind of a finish is on the floor to begin with. It will either be a wax finish or a polyurethane finish. To determine this, in an inconspicuous area a spot can be tested. A piece of extra fine steel wool can be dipped in water or mineral spirits and rubbed on the spot. If it is a wax finish it will show up on the steel wool as a grey smudge or dirty looking film – no so for a polyurethane finish.
If it is a wax finished floor, the wax finish will have to be removed first to apply a polyurethane finish, as the polyurethane will not properly adhere to the wax. In these cases, re- waxing the floor can be a good option. If the floor has a polyurethane finish preparation can begin for re-coating with a polyurethane finish.
The first step in recoating a hardwood floor is to lightly sand or etch (also called screening, scuffing or buffing) the floor. This is typically done with a rotary floor machine. You don’t go down all the way to the bare wood; you only want to sand or etch the last finish. This will provide a smooth surface that the polyurethane finish will properly adhere to. The next step is to thoroughly clean the floor so that no debris will end up in the finished floor. Dust is vacuumed up and the floor is scrubbed with absorbent material using a hardwood cleaner or mineral spirits. The floor is given time to dry – air movers can be used to speed up the process.
Then the floor is ready for an application of polyurethane finish. Edges that connect to other flooring should be taped off with masking tape and paper. Edges along walls should be done first. Application can be done using a long handled foam or lamb’s wool applicator. Application is done going with the grain of the wood, using long even strokes making sure to get a proper and complete layer of finish. The room should have good ventilation. After 1 hour a second coat can be applied to ensure a stronger end result.
Finished floors can be walked on with stocking feet in 1 hour. After 4 hours furniture can be put back in place.
For any questions on hardwood re-coating, please call Ram Cleaning Services @ 403-291-1051
Complete Cleaning and Maintenance Care in Calgary and area since 1967
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