Recoating Hardwood Floors vs Refinishing

Recoating Hardwood Floors

Over time, it’s inevitable that a hardwood floor will become nicked and scratched from normal everyday wear and tear. If your hardwood floor has what’s known as a memory finish, it can generally be recoated, meaning you won’t have to sand your entire floor first. Recoating works in situations where the floor is mildly nicked and dinged, the finish isn’t completely worn away, and it doesn’t have a build up of wax and other chemicals (the latter can create adhesion problems as well as cause the floor to be able to reject the modern finish, resulting in ripping and peeling).

A recoat is an easy process that entails a thorough cleanup and scuffing (mild sanding) to the wood floor’s final applied level of finish. Then the new refresh coat of finish is applied. Recoating can revitalize your shine and rid the floor of any kind of mild discolorations which have settled into the wood. This rejuvenates the wood floor and increases the life of the protective finish. It is best to recoat the floor while it still looks good. This will extend the life of one’s floor and reduce how often it has to be refinished.

Recoating hardwood floors should not be mistaken for or confused with refinishing a hardwood floor. Refinishing hardwood floors entails extensively sanding the floor to expose your wood – necessary when there are deep scuff marks, damage, or perhaps if the floor has been waxed.

Hardwood Floor Recoating: Testing

To find out whether the floor can be recoated, execute a small area test in the inconspicuous location. It is often best to analyze along a wall where floor cleaners may have accumulated. Clean up the area employing a wood floor cleaner, and after that lightly sand with light (120 weight) sandpaper. Next, wash away any accumulated dust, and then apply polyurethane floor finish on the area. After applying the finish, you should wait one day before doing anything else. The finish must be smooth, and should not be rippled or have an orange-skin feel. Scratch the surface with a moderate level of force using a coin; it should not flake or perhaps peel aside. If the surface area does not pass these checks, the floor will likely have to be completely sanded as well as refinished.

If you are uncertain whether or not the floor has a wax layer, wipe a tiny area with a rag wet with thinner. In the event the thinner takes away the existing finish, your floor has a polish coating and will definitely require a complete sanding and refinishing.

In order to recoat your hardwood floor, the floor first must be lightly sanded. You might want to employ buffing equipment (turning at 300 revolutions per minute/RPM). Floors in good condition can be sanded with 120 weight sandpaper. If the floor is poorer condition, 100 or perhaps 80 weight sandpaper may be necessary. If one of these lower weight (higher grit level) must be used, it is advisable to re-sand your floor using a 120 weight paper to remove any resulting swirl marks in the wood floor. This can ensure a smoother final surface area.

After sanding, your floor should be vacuumed to remove wood, dirt and dust. Next, wet a rag with pure spring spirits and run the rag on the floor to pick up any kind of fine dirt or slimy residue. Avoid using less processed oil-based materials on the rag, including kerosene or wax-based treatments, as these could result in poor adhesion as well as peeling.

When applying the finish, it’s best to use the exact same finish that was originally applied to the floor. If the new finish layer isn’t compatible with the existing layer, problems such as peeling can happen. If you’re not sure what the present finish is, your safest way of determining compatibility is to decide on a small inconspicuous area to apply a tiny spot to analyze. If, after a few days, you’re not seeing any warning signs of bubbling, ripping, or decline in finish strength, then it should be safe to seal the entire floor.

Once you have decided on your finish, put it on to the sides of the floor which has a brush, after that coat other floor using a froth or lamb’s constructed from wool applicator. Make use of smooth strokes, going in the direction of the wood grain. Ensure that the house is well ventilated and if possible, avoid occupying the dwelling during the first few days after each coat to avoid breathing noxious fumes.

By committing to the appropriate care as well as maintenance of the hardwood floor, including recoating as well as refinishing when required, you will be able to give your floor a much longer life.

And, if you don’t want to deal with any of this, you can always feel free to call about our services for refinishing and  recoating hardwood floors; We’d be happy to help you out.

6 replies
  1. Jay Jorgenson
    Jay Jorgenson says:

    I used to live in a house that needed restoration super bad on the hardwood floors. I really like that this article explained the difference between restoration and refinishing, because when I went to restore my flooring, I had no idea which one to choose. I decided to go with refinishing because the glaze had all chipped off. It looks super good now!

  2. Scott
    Scott says:

    I didn’t realize that you should go in the direction of the wood grain when applying the finish. I can see why going the other way might make it be less effective. My mom is wanting to put remodel her kitchen, including putting in new floors. I’ll have to make sure she looks into how to properly do everything before actually doing them. Otherwise, she could end up with something she doesn’t want.

  3. John Mahoney
    John Mahoney says:

    I’m glad you talked about the importance of making sure you use the same material that was previously used when refinishing your floors. Back when we first bought our house we wanted to use a different material but the person we hired for it advised against it. It makes sense that choosing who you work with carefully can help you protect your floors properly and make sure they look great all the time.

  4. Amy Winters
    Amy Winters says:

    Thanks for explaining that refinishing a hardwood floor is a process of sanding down and exposing your wood to get rid of deep scuff marks or other damage. I recently scratched my hardwood floor pretty badly while moving furniture, so I’ve been looking into my options to have it fixed. It sounds like having the floor refinished is the answer to my problem, so thanks for explaining the process here!


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