Unfinished Hardwood Flooring – Knowing What You Are Getting Into
The idea may seem great, but if you are going to do an unfinished hardwood flooring project in your home, take the time to learn about it to make sure you can handle the work if you plan on doing it yourself. It is a time consuming process that cannot be stopped once it gets started. You are going to have to be competent in all phases in order to do the project successfully.
Installing unfinished hardwood flooring is something that a good DIY person should be able to handle. You more than likely will have the basic knowledge down on just about every facet, but it sure won’t hurt to watch a couple of videos or read a book to give yourself a refresher. You will want to schedule the time so you can knock out the complete job as your house is pretty much off limits during the process.
If you are just a good carpenter, you must realize that is only a third of the job. Once the wood goes down, there is still some significant work to be done here. The wood will then have to be prepped for finishing. This is where the job really gets messy and where serious and costly mistakes can happen.
Sanding down the floors – you haven’t seen dust fly until you have been deeply involved in this process. Seal everything off and cover up all outlets and duct work as this stuff will find every hole in the house and take weeks to clean up if you are not prepped properly. It is not uncommon for someone to actually rent a drop off storage unit and literally move everything out of the house before they start sanding.
When you are ready to go, you will need to use a heavy gauge paper that can really level off the wood surface. When that pass has been completed, you will need to smooth everything out with a lighter gauge paper. The fine quality will get rid of all of the little digs and should give you a perfectly smooth surface. Then you have to clean the mess up. You can usually get a lot of it with shop vac and then pass over everything with a tack rag to get all of the fine particles. Do not move onto the next step until you are sure that you have cleaned everything up entirely.
Staining the wood – The best way to go about this is to use a rag. Apply the stain to the rag and then work it into the wood. Let the first coat dry and then apply a second coat. Let it dry again and you can move onto the next step. If you want, you can use a brush for this application, but you are still going to have to use a rag or sponge to wipe off excess and ensure that it has been rubbed into wood. In essence, you are just making more work for yourself by doing this.
Apply a polyurethane finish – make sure the stain is dry and then you can put down the first coat. You will use a brush to apply the stain and should use long even strokes. When the first coat is dry to the touch, you can apply the second coat. For best results, let the floor sit undisturbed for a couple of days before moving everything back in or allowing anyone to walk on it.