Hardwood floors are a true investment that can yield improved aesthetics and enhanced property value over the years. However, the floor must be properly cared for in order to extend its life in these ways. If your hardwood flooring has seen better days, you may be thinking about refinishing it or replacing it altogether. Before you take such significant steps, consider the benefits of buffing the floor. Once you learn how to buff hardwood floors, you will realize that a better solution is available.
The Benefit of Buffing Hardwood Floors
Older hardwood floors have some character, and this character can instill a touch of charm to some homes. However, excessive scratches from pets, shoes and furniture can detract from the floor’s appeal. When these scratches are not properly addressed, the exposed wood may be more likely to wear in the future. Buffing a hardwood floor is a cost-effective and time-saving solution. When completed properly, buffing can rejuvenate the floor’s beauty, conceal damages and add a protective layer.
How to Buff Hardwood Floors in Five Easy Steps
Before you begin this project, you need to analyze the condition of the wood planks. Buffing is a great way to conceal numerous minor scratches or blemishes. However, deep gouges, splintered wood and other issues may need to be addressed through refinishing or through a full flooring replacement. After you decide that buffing the floor is the best option for your space, you are ready to begin.
Prepare the Floor
If your floor currently has a layer of oil or wax on it, this must be removed. A mineral spirit or a wax stripping product can be used to remove the substance. After the oil or wax is removed, wipe down the floor with a damp mop or rag. You can also wait for the floor to dry and sweep the floor.
Gather the Supplies and Equipment
You are now ready to rent a buffing machine from your local home improvement store. Purchase buffing and polishing pads if they do not come with your equipment rental. You will also need a finishing product to use with the buffer.
Focus on Safety
While buffing your hardwood floor is a relatively easy project, there are some safety concerns that you should plan ahead for. Work gloves and safety glasses are essential. Because of the noxious fumes from the finishing product and the particles that may spread through the air, a respirator mask is essential.
Apply the finishing product to the floor according to the instructions on the label. Ensure that the buffing machine is set to rotate in clockwise position. Inspect the condition of the buffing pad, and replace it if it is worn or filthy. Run the buffing machine lightly over the floor in a sweeping, left-to-right motion. Start in a strategic location so that you can work backward. The buffing machine should never remain in one position for too long. Repeat this step a second time for the best results.
Now that you understand how to buff hardwood floors, you may feel confident doing the work yourself. This is the perfect do-it-yourself project that can restore your floor’s beauty and protect it from additional damage.