Hardwood flooring can be a major plus for potential home buyers. A good hardwood floor can keep its rich color and shine for years. After years of living in a house, however, many hardwood floors need to be spruced up to look their best before you list your home for sale. Here are my tips for getting your floor looking refreshed, depending on the state of your floor.
A full refinish is recommended for a floor with deep scratches, water damage, warped floor boards, or split wood. A full refinish is a big project. If you plan to do it yourself you will need to rent an orbital or drum sander (depending on how bad the damage is) and sand it down to bare wood. This means starting with a rough grit and in multiple passes working your way down to a fine grit. All saw dust must be removed before applying stain and/or polyurethane. This will give your floor a brand new surface, but it will require you to have the room empty and in a state of being worked on for at least a week.
Screen and Re-coat
If the scratches on your floor are light and don’t go all the way down or if the shine of the finish is scuffed and worn, you may just need to do a screening refinish. You can rent a buffer for this project, but unlike a full refinish, you don’t need to sand the floor down to bare wood. The goal of screening is to rough up the surface of the floor and then apply a fresh coat of polyurethane. Make sure your floor has not been treated with a wax finish, because a new coat of polyurethane will not stick to this. It is much less labor intense than a full refinish and it can still leave your floor looking shiny and new.
A Good Cleaning
If your hard wood floor is largely free of scratches and scuffs, but is not looking as shiny as you would like it, you may be able to refresh it with a good cleaning. To achieve a thorough cleaning of your hardwood floor first sweep all large dust particles up. Then vacuum the floor with the hard wood setting on your sweeper, making sure to do several passes so that you can get the fine dirt that collects between floor boards. Then mop using a product suitable for hardwood floors. Make sure you wring your mop out to where it is damp, not sopping. Too much water on a hardwood floor can cause damage.
You can make your own hardwood floor cleaner at home using warm water, white vinegar, and lemon essential oils. Just mix to this proportion:
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 gallon of warm water
2-3 drops essential oils
Whatever your hardwood floor needs to look shiny again, putting in the effort to refresh it is well worth it. Potential home buyers will see the full value of your hardwood floor when it looks clean, shiny, and rich in color.