Did you know that your flooring can be restored rather than replaced? If you have a cherished hardwood or laminate floor in your home, it may be worth considering restoration rather than replacement. Professional floor restorers can bring back the shine and luster to tired-looking floors, at a fraction of the cost of replacement. So before you go through the hassle and expense of replacing your flooring, be sure to explore the option of restoration!
Types of floor restorers
Professional floor restorers are skilled in a variety of processes for restoring hardwood, laminate, vinyl or marble floors. Some of the most common include sanding to remove damaged layers and prepping the surface to receive a new coat, buffing old wax off before applying new coats, stripping ‘sanding dust’ between multiple passes with sanders etc.
Preparation work can vary greatly depending on whether your floors are sanded or polyurethaned. Generally speaking sanded floors are rougher than their polyurethaned counterparts so sanding dust removal is more extensive. There is also much greater potential damage when working on sanded surfaces – any mistakes could potentially ruin an entire floor so care and attention to detail needs to be taken.
Polyurethaned floors are generally much smoother than sanded floors so dust removal is often less thorough. There is also far less risk of damage when working with polyurethaned surfaces which makes the restoration process easier and cheaper than for sanded flooring.
Why restore your hardwood or laminate rather than replace?
Some homeowners opt to simply refinish their old floors instead of investing in new ones, but this does not last as long as restoring an old floor with new coats of finish will. Plus, there’s always the possibility that you may accidentally remove too much wood during refinishing, decreasing the lifespan of your floor significantly. Furthermore, stripping followed by another coat on top can sometimes leave swirl marks on your floor. Restoring your floor (if done correctly) guarantees that you will end up with the same type of finish on your floors, even if it is sanded!
A restored hardwood or laminate floor can last decades longer than a newly installed one – sometimes as many as 40 years or more, depending on how well it’s maintained and the quality of the restoration process. Also, you won’t have to worry about carpet-to-carpet transitions if you choose restoration over replacement – this is because there are no seams during restoration unlike in new construction. If your home is older or has particularly high traffic, then restoring your old floors may be the best option for you. Comparison of Costs for Replacement and Restoration
- Replacements costs:
- Cost of materials and installation (carpet and padding)
- Sales tax
- Disposal fees for old flooring.
- Restoration costs:
- A one time fee for the restoration process, which includes stripping down of the existing finish, sanding or polyurethaning of the surface to repair any damage, proper dust removal procedures etc. (prices vary according to number of coats needed.)
- Disposal fees for old flooring.
Estimated lifespan of completed project after thorough restoration vs replacement. Repair jobs can last anywhere from 5 to 20 years depending on the quality of work and material used; while new construction lasts somewhere between 10 and 50 years.
How to apply floor restorer?
It is important to remove dust and debris from the flooring before applying the finish; this will ensure that your floors are protected. The best way to do this is to use a high-speed sander (or scrub brush) with an electric floor polisher which can be rented at your local hardware store.
– Wearing protective gear such as safety glasses, ear plugs etc., apply restorer evenly; 6-12 square feet per gallon of material should be sufficient for most rooms
– Let dry for 2 hours (more if using primer) between coats
- Clean floor well with damp mop or rag for removing any mildew, dirt etc.
- Apply stain resistant primer in thin coat following manufacturer’s instructions.
- Apply 2 coats of finish following manufacturer’s instructions, allowing 2 hours drying time between coats.
Some flooring requires a primer to be applied prior to the restoration process, especially when dealing with porous surfaces such as oak, maple or pine floors. It is important that you use the correct type of product for your chosen material.
Tips and tricks for using floor restorer:
- Use only the amount recommended by the manufacturer. Overuse will result in unpleasing end results and waste of product which will cost you more money.
- Filling cracks or holes before applying finish can help restorer last longer. Patching these holes with putty is advised, but make sure that the filler is completely dry before applying your second coat!
- Sand down any glaze on your floor prior to priming; this will allow for better adhesion.
If you are using a dark stain (such as red mahogany), apply the stain first; followed by two coats of polyurethane over top. This way, there won’t be any visible lines between coats once completed
– however, do not attempt to use polyurethane on top of water based stains; this will make the stain run off.
FAQs about floor restorer:
Q: What type of primer should I use?
A: It depends on the material your floor is made from. For example, water-based stains require a water-repellent priming agent while polyurethane cannot be applied to top of water based stain; only oils and stains. In most cases, a stain resistant product will work just fine – you can always apply this first before any color coats if unsure whether it’s oil or water based. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions when in doubt.
Q: How many coats should I apply?
A: If using an oil-based sealant/primer/finish, 2 coats is usually required for complete coverage however many manufacturers recommend 3 just to make sure.
Q: What is the difference between oil and water based products?
A: Oil-based liquids are thicker in texture; often requiring more coats to achieve desired look however they tend to be more durable than water based products. Water based liquids on the other hand are thin like water, but provide a consistent looking layer which repels liquids (such as coffee or wine) better by preventing stains/damage from absorbing into the surface of your flooring.
Q: How do I apply new finish to my existing floor?
A: You will need an electric floor polisher/buffer with 36-40 grit sandpaper for this job – these can be rented at your local hardware store for roughly $25-$30/day. Follow instructions for applying oil-based products to bare wood and allow 2 coats to dry.
Q: Can I use water based finish on top of my existing finish?
A: Yes however it is not recommended that you do this because the water will eventually seep into your pores and cause damage; this will end up costing you time, money and effort in restoring/protecting your floors again!