There are few sights more heartwarming than the trusty family dog snoozing on a rich hardwood floor, but what about when there's a knock on the door? The sudden scrabble of claws against your floor can sound more like nails on a chalkboard, and over time, your flooring will develop unsightly scratches, dents and chips as a result. Rather than allowing your valuable hardwood to deteriorate over the course of a few months or years, you can help offset the damage done by your pet's paws by regularly sanding and refinishing your floors.
Determining the Thickness of Your Floors
Not all hardwood floors are eligible for sanding; the wood surface must be of a certain thickness to reliably form a new surface. Anything too thin can simply lead to permanent damage and even worse scarring for the floor, and vinyl imitations will be irreparably damaged by the sandpaper. Check your manufacturer's instructions to get a better idea of what your flooring will and will not support, or call a professional refinishing company for an expert's opinion.
Choosing Your Tools
An orbital sander is the tool of choice for more sanding projects, particularly over large, flat surfaces like a floor. You will also need wood putty to fill in any chips and several different grains of sandpaper, ranging from somewhat coarse to fine. Finally, a finishing seal will be needed to protect your floor from moisture and claws in the future. If you have never used a sander before, your floors may not be the best place to start experimenting, so keep your own limits in mind when deciding between a do-it-yourself project or hiring professionals.
Sanding an Increasingly Fine Finish
Once you have everything you need, it's time to lock your faithful pet in a different room and get to work. Start by sanding at your coarsest grit, moving slowly across the floor to achieve even coverage. Once the first pass is done, you will need to sand again at finer grits several more times, stopping in between to apply the wood putty. Once you are satisfied with your new surface, you can begin the process of staining or sealing as you see fit.
Entrusting Your Floors to the Experts
Hardwood floors are a significant investment in your home, and most homeowners want to do everything they can to keep their flooring in good shape for as long as possible. If you aren't familiar with sanding or refinishing wood, it may be best to leave the renovations to an established business (such as Kenton Carpet - Hardwood Floor Care), which can offer consistent results and avoid any home improvement disasters. There's no need to choose between your beloved dog and your floors; with basic maintenance and periodic upkeep, your pet's nails shouldn't noticeably tarnish the wood, allowing you to enjoy lazy afternoons together without the stress of worrying about your house's value.
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