Q: mine oak floors room covered in scratches. Carry out I have to sand under to bare wood to remove them?

—Susan Bankhead, Meridian, Idaho

A: The editors of This Old house reply: not necessarily. If the scratches don"t walk all the way through come the wood, you deserve to scuff-sand your floors through a buffer and apply a fresh coat or 2 of finish. The hardwood floor refinishing procedure is easier and also less expensive than sanding under to ceiling wood and also takes less time. In a couple of hours, your floors will look as good as new.

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The job requires using a buffer, which you have the right to rent at a residence center, and a vacuum come suck increase dust. Buffing hardwood floors deserve to be tricky, for this reason if you"ve never ever used a buffer before, practice in the center of the room till you gain a feeling for exactly how to exercise it.

Once the finish is roughed up, we placed on a water-based polyurethane, which have the right to be recoated in 3 hours. Oil-based polys are cheaper, however each cloak takes around 8 hrs to dry. Through either finish, us recommend a fresh coat every two years or anytime the floor looks worn. Rod to that routine and your floors will never wear out.

Pro guideline to protect against Discoloration: Sometimes the tannins native your wood floor reaction to water-based polyurethane, leading to discoloration. To stop this, apply a base coat before using your water-based poly. Smooth the basic coat out evenly around the edges v a paint brush. (Don’t brush too quick or you may develop bubbles, i beg your pardon will present in the finish.) Smooth the end the rest of the floor through a fabricated floor finish applicator and also give her base coat around 2 hours to dry.

Here are some additional common questions we’ve come across:

How much does it cost to sand and also refinish hardwood floors yourself?

If you setup on DIY-ing her hardwood floors, expect to pay a tiny less 보다 $500 per 275 sq. Feet. The average range tends come be in between $1,000 to $2,400.

The full cost includes renting sanding equipment together with purchasing sanding pads, timber stain, brushes and also finish.

Is that cheaper to refinish or change hardwood floors?

You can nearly always bet the refinishing is cheaper than replacing hardwood floors. V the latter, you’d be paying not only for the brand-new wood but additionally for the job of ripping the end the old wood and toting that away.

What room The measures To Refinishing Hardwood Floors?

Read this 6 procedures for refinishing the hardwood floors in her home:

1. Clean the Floor with a Hardwood Floor Cleaner

photograph by Reena Bammi remove all the furniture, and spray the floor through a hardwood flooring cleaner or your own mix the 10 components water to 1 part white vinegar. Gently wipe the floor v a terry-cloth mop or a towel wrapped around a mop head. Nearby the windows and doors to keep dust included in the room you"re sanding.

2. Prep the Perimeter

picture by Reena Bammi making use of 180-grit sandpaper, hand-sand the perimeter that the room and any nooks the the buffer can"t reach. Rub with the grain 4 come 6 inches out from the baseboard, functioning over every board until the finish dulls and also a powder forms. Pro Tip: Don"t use a sanding block because that refinishing hardwood—it might miss uneven clues in the floor.

3. Scuff-sand the Floor Finishing

photo by Reena Bammi stick a maroon buffing pad to the buffer, and also put top top a dust mask. Move the buffer from side to side across the floor in the direction of the grain, overlapping every course by 6 inches. The old complete turns come powder together you go, therefore it"s straightforward to view the areas you"ve covered. Save the buffer relocating at every times, but stop every 5 minute or so and vacuum the pad.

4. Vacuum and Tack

picture by Reena Bammi leave the room because that 10 to 15 minute to allow the powder settle. Put a clean filter in the vacuum, and sweep the floor making use of a felt-bottomed attachment.Work in line with the flooring strips, climate sweep across them come get any type of powder that worked out between the boards. Finally, dry-tack the floor with a microfiber towel pushed v the grain.

5. Cut in follow me the Edges

photo by Reena Bammi Cover her shoes through booties and also your nose and also mouth v a respirator that has actually organic vapor canisters. Stress, overload the finish through a cone filter right into a clean plastic watering can, minus a sprinkler head, climate pour some strained complete into a tiny plastic container. Brush a 3-inch-wide stripe alongside the baseboards in ~ a allude farthest from your leave door.You"ll have lap clues if the leaf of the stripe starts come dry, so prevent after 10 minutes and go come the next step.

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6. Roll Out the Poly

photo by Reena Bammi Pour out a 1-inch-wide strip of finish in line through the grain—only as lot as you can spread in 10 minutes. Making use of a long-handled roller through a ¼-inch nap cover, roll out the finish with the grain, then across it. Overlap every pass and work conveniently to keep a wet edge. After ~ 10 minutes, brush an ext finish follow me the edge, climate pour and also roll again because that 10 minutes. Continue until the floor is covered. Wait 3 hours before recoating and a week before putting ago furniture.

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