Replacing hardwood flooring is expensive. There are alternatives for those of us whose floors are showing some wear and tear; whether from age, children or just regular use. The right products in the hands of a skilled professional can enhance the longevity and looks of your hardwood flooring.
1. Cover up or clean up
With a professional power scrubber and a hardwood specific cleaner months and years of grime ground into flooring can be removed. Follow this with a good polish and shine to add a luster and a little protection from scuffs and scrapes. Invest in a large, stylish rug or a collection of rug tiles to cover dents and dings that are too deep to merely scrub away. With minimal effort, a sophisticated look can be achieved.
2. Change the Sheen
Changing the sheen of your floors with a new top coat can be a powerful change to your overall design. For a farmhouse look consider a matte finish, or for a contemporary, sleeker feel you could use a glossy finish. Keep in mind that more light reflects the higher the sheen. More imperfections in the floor will be noticeable with a higher sheen. A professional cleaning and prep work will definitely help to create a more flawless look.
Some products are specifically designed for heavy traffic areas. When deciding on the sheen for your flooring consider your lifestyle and how much protection is needed from the top coat you choose for your flooring.
3. Consider Changing the Color
Matching the color of your stain to your home’s color scheme is a way to renew hardwood floors. In term of stain color, the browns are a more classic look, the grays more modern and a whitewashed look will add an airy, relaxed feel, like a beach house. Based on the type and brand of stain, you may be able to mix colors and hues to come up with a custom color. Once again, the design and scheme of your home should be your guide to the right color.
If your plan for staining the floors will require sanding first, develop a plan with a professional. Many stains come with fast drying and low-odor ingredients that can make improvement stressful.
4. Enhance the Depth
Grain patterns, which naturally occur in wood flooring are part of what makes wood floors seem so luxurious and artistic. Natural oil finish can further enhance the character of wood floors. An added benefit is that they are greener, having the lowest VOCs (volatile organic compounds), compared with water- and oil-based finishes.
Two tones blended together will give you a custom look. Some natural oil finishes will dry in 8 hours, some less. Natural oil finishes stain, seals and protects all in the same application.
5. Add some Texture
If textured floors are your dream flooring, then it is best to hire a professional who can wire-brush your existing floors. The process removes the softer grains highlighting the visually appealing hard grain. It usually takes a two-person crew one day per 1,000 square feet of flooring which includes wire brushing and sealing the floor.