The color and shine of hardwood floors can fade over time as the floor is worn down. However, unlike other types of flooring, hardwood flooring can be refinished, which is much less expensive than replacing the entire floor. However, before you can refinish a hardwood floor, you have to strip it first so that the new stain is evenly and properly applied to the floor. Thankfully, stripping a hardwood floor is a fairly simple process that won't take too much time with the right knowledge and tools.
Before You Begin
You'll need a belt sander, a hand sander, painter's tape, plastic sheets, a vacuum cleaner, wood filler, and three types of sandpaper: coarse, medium, and fine. All of these items are available at most hardware stores. Instead of purchasing a belt or hand sander, many hardware stores rent them, which can help you save some money.
Stripping the Floor
- Clear the room of all furniture, and thoroughly wash the floor to remove any dirt and grime.
- Cover the doorways and vents of the room with the plastic sheets to prevent dust from traveling throughout your home. Use the painter's tape to fasten the sheets securely.
- Use the belt sander to begin sanding the floor, using the coarse sandpaper. Start at the corner farthest away from the door, and move along the grain, doing one row of hardwood at a time. It is imperative that you keep the sander moving – stopping for too long can cause damage to your floor.
- Once you have sanded the entire interior of the room, use the hand sander (again, with coarse sandpaper) to sand the edges or the room, where the belt sander cannot properly reach.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove all of the built up sawdust from the floor.
- You'll now want to repeat the sanding process using medium sandpaper, sanding the edges with the hand sander and the rest of the floor with the belt sander. Use the vacuum to clean up the dust, and then repeat once again with the fine sandpaper.
- Once the floor has been completely sanded and cleaned, visually examine the floorboards to see if there are any gouges or holes in the wood. If there are, fill them in with the wood filler, smoothing it over with your thumb to create a level surface.
- Now that the floor is sanded and the holes filled in, you can refinish your floor as you see fit.
For assistance, talk to a professional like House Of Floors.