5 top tips for refinishing hardwood floors

(BPT) – Since spending more time at home, you’ve probably started eyeing projects that need attention. If so, you’re not alone – Houzz home renovation website reported a 58% increase in leads for home improvement professionals this past summer.

One project that can make an impact on the look and value of your home is refinishing your hardwood floors. It may seem like a big project to tackle, but refinishing can not only improve the look and value of your home but will extend the lifespan of your floors.

Here are a few tips to get the job done right:

1. Choose carefully

Do your research. Since floors comprise one of the largest surfaces in your home, you want them to look great and wear well for years to come.

Consider the room’s overall aesthetic such as color palette and light. A darker space could benefit from lighter colored floors, while darker floors can add rich contrast. In addition to color, pay attention to the variety of floor finish sheens, which can range from extra glossy to super matte.

Don’t forget to account for other room changes you’re planning such as wall color, window treatments or furnishings.

2. Use a professional

While you may be handy around the house, this is one area where you don’t want to make costly mistakes. Hiring a qualified professional flooring craftsman will save time and could also save you money. DIY floor refinishing mistakes are difficult to repair and may mean replacing the flooring surface all together. Consult an expert such as a Bona Certified Craftsman to ensure your floors are refinished with the best products and tools to safeguard the health of your home.

3. Think environmentally friendly

When it comes to a hardwood floor finish, the best choice for keeping your home free of toxins is a water-based or waterborne finish.

The three most common hardwood floor finish choices are – acid cured (also called Swedish finish), oil-based polyurethane or waterborne. Acid cured is high in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and is even outlawed in some regions. Because of its toxic nature, homeowners, pets, food, houseplants and even fish tanks must be removed from the home during the refinishing process to keep them safe. Even after the homeowner’s return, this floor finish will continue to release toxins into the home.

Oil-based polyurethane floor finish also emits a high level of VOCs creating an intense smell. Additionally, it can have an extended drying time (making your flooring project take longer) and over time, the color can turn yellow compromising the original floor color you selected.

By contrast, waterborne finishes are durable, sustainable and safe enough for homeowners, pets, plants and food to remain in the home during the entire refinishing process. A waterborne finish may take a few hours more to dry than acid cure finish, but it will be ready to walk on hours before an oil-based polyurethane finish. The environmental and health benefits are also well worth it. A high-durability waterborne finish like Bona Traffic HD has low VOCs and is Greenguard Gold certified, ensuring that your finish looks beautiful and will keep your home healthy.

“Hardwood floor refinishing has come a long way from 10 or 15 years ago,” said Kenny Boggs, Jr. of of CHP Inc., a Virginia Beach-based hardwood floor installation and renovation company. “With low VOC waterborne finishes, environmentally friendly sealers, and dust containment systems, the refinishing process will only leave a beautiful floor behind.”

Finally, ask your flooring craftsman to use a dust containment system to further protect your home from potentially harmful dust, while also making clean-up a breeze.

4. Let the floors unify your space

Designers often select the same flooring throughout several rooms, especially on one level of a home, to connect the spaces visually. If you have other rooms on the same level that aren’t hardwood, see if there is hardwood under those other surfaces that could be refinished to create a unified look, or consider if installing hardwood floors would be worth the investment.

5. Keep them clean

Once the floors are refinished, cleaning and protecting your hardwood floors is essential. Ask your flooring craftsman to recommend products that will keep your newly refinished floors in great condition. The right floor care after refinishing will help keep your home looking beautiful for years.

Follow these tips to keep your hardwood floors looking their best. Consult a Bona Certified Craftsman at bona.com/bcc for expert advice on achieving beautiful floors that will last a lifetime.