By Steve Cooper
Though there are many home improvement projects that the average homeowner can tackle, refinishing your wood floors should be removed from the list in most cases. Putting life back into hardwood flooring can challenge the skill and experience of most DIYers.
Not convinced? Here top five reasons you shouldn’t attempt refinishing floors yourself:
1. Clueless about wood flooring. If your floors are less than 20 years old, chances are good that they are engineered wood. This means that they were made like plywood, with a series of substraits topped by a beauty layer that may be too thin to sand.
2. Struggling for time. It takes time to prepare and refinish a floor. It’s tempting to think that the drying of finishes will take up most of the time. However, there’s also moving furniture, cleaning floors, repairing flooring flaws, restaining, and putting down mutliple layers of clear topcoats.
3. Dangerous with a sander. You’ll probably feel in control right up to the moment that the sander digs in and gouges your flooring. Even if you use an well-worn sander belt to rein in the machine’s strength, it takes just a split second to ruin a job.
4. Mystified about stains. In a perfect world, getting the stain color you want requires making samples on small pieces of flooring material. But your house didn’t come with flooring samples, so all you can do is try out stain colors on a closet floor. Does this seem professional? Will the results be?
5. Confused by oil-based vs. water-based finishes. One smells more than the other—so what more do you need to know? But there may be a problem with the consistency of the finish. What do you use to dilute it if it seems too thick? Oh, yes, and what’s too thick?
There are more reasons, too. They add up to one obvious conclusion: Hire a professional to refinish those floors. This is a job that is definitely tougher than it seems.
To find a professional who specializes in cleaning and restoration, click here.
For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.