Wood is perhaps the most practical of all flooring materials. But over time, the protective finish may wear off. This occurs most noticably in heavy traffic areas, or you may decide to freshen up the finish of a wood floor that’s been hidden under carpet for years. Also, applying a modern new finish can make hardwood floors much easier to maintain than when they were originally installed.
Anyone who’s tackled a refinishing job can tell you it’s a mess, starting with the removal of the previous finish. Service professionals have the knowledge and experience to give your wood floors a quality new finish. They have the proper equipment to handle the job efficiently, including power sanders to remove the existing finish and to prepare the wood to accept new stain.
To determine whether your floor’s finish is shot or simply dirty, try this simple test. Go to a high-traffic area where the finish takes the most abuse. Pour a tablespoon of water onto the floor. If the water forms beads, the floor is properly sealed. At most, cleaning and stain removal is needed. If the water takes a few minutes to seep in and only darkens the floor slightly, the finish is partially worn. Don’t wait too long to refinish the floor. If the water soaks right in and leaves a dark spot, it’s time to refinish.
Floor Stain Options
Wood floors can come in a variety of different shades and colors. Here are some options:
* Natural looks like bare wood.
* Light is a very popular shade of stain because it darkens the grain and adds a subtle tone to the wood. It often has a slight tan hue to it.
* Medium is another popular choice. It’s darker than the light, so both the grain and the wood will have an obviously darker pigment, commonly a medium-brown hue.
* Dark is usually a very dark brown and has a very rich feel.
* Custom is any color besides tan/brown/sand.
Types of Stain
There are many different stain colors available. Although color charts are helpful, what looks right printed on paper will always look different on its intended surface. Stain will also look a little different on refinished flooring than on newly installed wood, but proper sanding will help it accept the stain better. Try several different stain colors on a sample of the same kind of wood as your flooring to get a good idea of the final result.
Once you think you have found the stain color you want, take some home and try it in an inconspicuous place, such as inside a closet, if possible. Be sure to wait until the stain is dry before you make any decisions. (Paint often dries darker than it looks at first when it’s wet, but stain will usually dry lighter.)