They may have gone out of style for awhile, but hardwood floors are back with flair. This means that whether they’re brand-new and you’ve installed them for the first time, or you’ve unearthed some old sturdy hardwoods by ripping up that dingy carpet from the 70’s or 80’s, wood floors are the quite possibly the best thing you can do for your home these days.
If it is hardwood that you’ve uncovered underneath your carpet, chances are, it’s quite old. Possibly as old as the house you’ve bought… possibly several to many decades. The beauty of wood floors is much more than cosmetic, though: even when they’re in rough shape, there is both potential and value in restoring them back to their original splendor.
Imagine yourself hosting that dinner party, and telling your guests that they are walking upon original hardwood that serviced so many generations before. The wood you have in your home may not even be available anymore! You could be sitting upon something so vintage and unique, it’s like a priceless heirloom.
So, how do you return your old wood floors back to beauty? Short answer: very carefully. Long answer: keep reading.
Stripping and Re-finishing
If you wish to retain hardwood that’s seen better days (days long, long ago), the entire floor surface may require stripping, and refinishing. This means that the original finish that was upon the hardwood has been worn away, and possibly rendered the raw wood to abrasions.
No worries, a thin layer of wood can be stripped away, and new finish applied. This process MUST be done professionally. Hire a professional, OR become one. Here is a good source for getting all the necessary knowledge: http://www.wikihow.com/Refinish-Wood-Floors
If there was ever a time to let your perfectionist show, this is it. Make sure you have all the necessary time involved before you start the task. Make a plan. Prepare yourself for having to deviate from it. You will encounter obstacles; home renovations almost never go according to plan, and yet they simply must be well thought-out in advance. Gather all your materials before you start anything.
Work together with your spouse or partner on this task; or, if you’re making a go of home renovations solo (you ROCK) secure some backup. And whatever you do, do NOT, EVER forget the most important step, the rule you must take into account at every single stage of the process…
Yes, this is hard work. But it’s not sitting-at-the-office-on-a-deadline hard work. It’s not the pressure of living up to anyone’s expectations, but your own.
This is your home, and you’re making it beautiful. As stressed out as you may feel as you undertake the task, keep your eyes on the prize, and never forget that this is probably an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.
If you start to feel too overwhelmed by it all, take a break from the difficult manual labor and spend some time on one of the more pleasant steps, like deciding the right stain to apply after everything else is done.