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Refresh Hardwood Floors After Winter

March 4, 2024

Refresh Hardwood Floors After Winter

Why Floors Need Refreshing

Hardwood floors can really take a beating over the winter months. The dry air from furnaces combined with people tracking in salt, sand, and moisture from the outside can dull and damage hardwood floors. By the time spring rolls around, you may notice your floors looking a bit lackluster. The good news is that with a proper deep clean and refinishing, you can restore the beautiful look of your hardwood floors.

Thoroughly Clean the Floors

The first step is to give your floors a deep clean before applying any new finish. Make sure to vacuum thoroughly to remove any loose dirt or debris. For a more intensive clean, use a hardwood floor cleaner and go over the floors with a microfiber mop. Pay close attention to high traffic areas and be sure to get into corners and along baseboards where dirt loves to accumulate. You may need to get on your hands and knees for spot cleaning any stained or sticky areas. Take your time to really clean every inch of the floor to prepare for refinishing.

Consider Refinishing Options

Once your floors are clean, it’s time to consider refinishing options. Here are a few ways to refresh hardwood floors:

Screen and Recoat

This is the easiest and quickest option. It involves lightly screening or sanding the existing finish to rough it up. Then, a new coat of polyurethane is applied on top. This adds protection and restores shine. It’s a good option if your floors just need a little pick-me-up.

Sand and Refinish

More extensive refinishing involves sanding down the floor’s top layer to remove scratches and wear. The floor is then stained if desired, and new polyurethane coats are applied for protection and sheen. This fully updates the look of the floor. It takes more time and effort than screening and recoating.

Buff and Recoat

Using a buffing machine, the finish is smoothed out and roots are evened out. This is followed by new coats of polyurethane. It’s slightly more involved than screening but less work than full sanding.

Stain, Paint or Whitewash

For a whole new look, floors can be stained to change color, painted with opaque floor paint, or whitewashed. This totally transforms the appearance but requires the most time and work. Floors must be sanded first before applying the new color treatment.

Hire a Professional or DIY

Refinishing floors is messy and time consuming, so hiring a professional is often a good idea. They have the right tools and expertise. That said, with care and patience, DIY refinishing can also yield great results. Arm yourself with knowledge of the process and proper equipment. Consider starting in a closet or hidden spot to get the hang of it. Taking it slow helps avoid mistakes.

After Refinishing Care

Once your floors are refreshed, you’ll want to be diligent about protecting them. Here are some tips:

  • Use door mats and area rugs to prevent excess dirt and moisture.
  • Sweep and mop regularly using hardwood-safe cleaners.
  • Add floor protectors under furniture legs.
  • Avoid walking on floors with sharp heels or cleats.
  • Maintain indoor humidity between 30-50%.
  • Reapply polyurethane every few years for added protection.

With the right refinishing techniques and ongoing care, your hardwood floors will continue looking like new for many years before needing deeper refinishing. A little love keeps wood floors looking their best.

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