Hardwood Floor Repair Tips
Few things add to the beauty and atmosphere of a home more than hardwood floors. Unfortunately, these floors are also susceptible to various types of damage as the years go by. No matter how careful you are about the maintenance and up keep of your floors, eventually you will probably have to deal with some type of repair to keep your floors looking their best. Hardwood floors can suffer damage for any number of reasons. It could be normal wear and tear from continued use and high traffic. Your floor may have also been damaged by dragging furniture or appliances across it. In any case, it can be very helpful to know how to address the various types of repairs that your floor needs.
Most hardwood floors are covered by some type of polyurethane finish. Sometimes the damage to your floor is nothing more than a scratch in the finish. This is fairly easy to repair. First, clean the area thoroughly with hardwood floor cleaner using a soft cloth. All dirt particles must be removed prior to repair. Once the area is clean, simply apply a thin layer of polyurethane finish to the damaged area and let it dry. You can then buff the area and polish it with steel wool.
In some cases, the scratch may be deep enough to have gone through the finish and in to the surface of the wood itself. This is called a gouge. This will require a little more work, but it is something you can easily do yourself. First, get rid of any rough edges from around the damaged area with sandpaper. Next, clean the area thoroughly using mineral spirits and a scrubbing pad. All dirt, residue, and dust from sanding must be removed before proceeding. When sanding and cleaning the area, it’s important to keep your strokes in the direction of the wood grain. After the area has dried, apply wood putty to the affected area using a putty knife. Be careful not to further damage the wood while doing this. You can find colored wood putty to closely match most shades of flooring. When applying the putty, make sure you fill the gouge slightly above the surface of the flooring. After the putty dries, sand it down until it is flush with the surface of the wood. Make sure to clean up all sanding dust before moving to the next step. You can then use a wood grain pencil to draw the grain on the putty to make it blend in with the rest of the floor. The last step is to apply a thin coat of polyurethane finish. This should be done with a small paint brush.
More severe damage may require drastic measures to repair it. If the gouges are too many or too deep, you may want to consider replacing the damaged floor boards. If the scratches in the floor’s finish are widespread, you may need to think about stripping and refinishing the entire floor. In these cases, you may not feel comfortable doing it yourself. For replacing floor boards and refinishing, it’s probably best to contact a professional. It may cost you few extra dollars, but at least you will have the peace of mind knowing that the job is done right.