Can my hard wood floors be done myself?

  5 answers
  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jan 24, 2019

    Rhonda: this is a HUGE job... but installing it yourself can save a ton of $$.

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Jan 24, 2019

    Hi Rhonda,

    My name is Linda. It depends on the skills and tools that you have or can rent. Here's an article that will help you start your research and understand the steps that are involved. I hope this will help you. Wishing you the best.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jan 24, 2019

    Yes, if you are handy. If you are not the average refinishing cost for hardwood in my city is $2.50 sq. Ft. Cheaper than carpet. You need to rent a floor sander and all the correct sanding pads and hand sander. This is the hardest to do and not gouge out your floor. You have to sand several times using finer and finer grit paper. Then doing the same around edges with a hand sander. Most people do ok with the big machine but gouge with the hand sander. Look at a lot of you tube tutorials on how to refinish a hardwood floor. You can decide if it's for you or not. Personally, I feel hardwood floors are too valuable foe me to ruin. I'd hire it out.

  • Susan Bohdan Susan Bohdan on Jan 24, 2019

    Installing? or refinishing? Refinishing is best done by professionals with heavy duty sanding equipment. The fumes are very caustic. Get at least 3 bids. Installing Hardwood floors, do you have a nail gun, a cut off saw, etc, etc. You would still need to finish wood. In either case, the base toe would have to be removed. It is a lot to learn and will be mistakes and rip outs. Do you have health insurance?

  • Oliva Oliva on Jan 24, 2019

    Hi, Rhonda,

    If you're referring to refinishing:

    You'll need to be very focused and very patient to do this, yourself. A 16' x 13' room can take weeks to do with a small rotary sander, but it's far less dangerous than using a professional floor sander which can easily gouge your floor.

    When sanding, always keep the sander moving. Count your strokes to insure all areas are evenly sanded.

    As Kelli stated, you need to start with 40 grit paper (you'll need many, many sheets), moving to 60, 80, 100, 120 (you can advance to 240, if you feel the need)..

    You will need a shop vac attached to your hand sander to exhaust dust, taping the sections of tubing tightly together.

    You'll need a good quality dust mask, eye and ear protection, protective clothing and hair covering, very good knee pads, tennis shoes or equivalent, and anti vibration gloves.

    This is a good winter project, because it's easy to become overheated. Take frequent breaks, working in a maximum 3' x 3' area at a time. Unless you're very skilled and can support the weight of the sander held on edge for areas close to baseboard, you'll need a "mouse sander" or you'll have to manually sand these areas.

    Keep the door to the room closed. You can crack open a window if additional ventilation is needed.

    Vacuum the floor, window sills, and walls frequently because dust does escape. It doesn't hurt to damp cloth walls and windows.

    When floor sanding is completed, you'll need to do baseboards by hand. Tack cloth (you'll need a good many) the floor, several times. You do not want any dust left behind.

    Select a stain or sealant, appling with a swiffer type mop for ease of application. If you find any bubbles, you can very lightly sand by hand, but if you've applied the stain carefully, this should not occur.

    Make sure you let each coat dry completely prior to walking on it to apply the next coat. Apply 3 coats of sealer. Let it dry completely.