Answering Some Commonly Asked Questions About Timber Floor Refinishing

Timber floors are very popular for homes today, as they offer a classic look that never seems to get outdated or dull and which works for any style of furniture and any paint colour on the walls. However, timber floors can suffer damage and wear over the years, just like any other flooring material, and they will then need to be refinished in some way. Note a few commonly asked questions about this refinishing work so your timber floors always look their best.

What are the different refinishing options?

Screening refers to a light buffing or polishing; this can restore shine to worn floors and also remove very small, light nicks and scratches. Recoating is a bit more involved, and this will remove the sealant that is on the timber floors, along with some deeper scratches and scuff marks. Recoating can also restore the colour of the wood if it's gotten dull over the years. A fresh coat of sealant is then applied.

Floor sanding is a more involved process; as the name implies, the timber is sanded down to the bare wood, with more of the top layer removed than with other processes. Sanding can remove deeper scratches, chips and dents. The timber can then be painted or stained, or the floor can simply be buffed, and sealant is then also applied. Sanding can only be done so many times to timber floors, as the timber slats get thinner with each sanding. However, for very damaged floors, this can be the best and only choice for making them look new again.

Will refinishing change the colour of the timber?

If you know someone whose timber floors seemed to change colour with a refinishing, there may be two reasons for this. One is that their timber floors faded with age or because of exposure to sunlight and moisture, and the refinishing may have simply brought back the original colour and tone of the wood.

Another reason for refinishing to change the wood colour is that wood has variations of tone; rarely is a wood species just one solid, consistent colour. Buffing or sanding will then bring out those variations in its colour; you may notice more red tones in cherry wood floors, or more yellow tones in oak floors, as an example. If you want a perfectly consistent colour to your timber floors, consider having them painted after they've been recoated or sanded, and this will ensure the colour is the same across the floor's entire surface.