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Buffing vs. Sanding Hardwood Floors

Well-maintained hardwood floors make your home appear warm and inviting. Hardwoods can look very modern, traditionally attractive or even historic, depending on their finish and condition. But when the finish becomes dull, buffing or sanding hardwood floors can make them look fresh again. You can choose to do the work yourself or call upon the experts for the most convenient, professional and hassle-free results.

When you want to improve the appearance of your hardwoods, you probably need to buff or sand them. By doing so, you can return them to their original glory. But whether you should be buffing or sanding hardwood floors in your home is the big question. 

Buffing and sanding hardwood floors are not the same thing. Both of these methods reduce the appearance of wear and tear on your wood floors. But they do so with different results.

Sanding Hardwood Flooring

Sanding hardwood floors involves using coarse sanding equipment. This process removes the finish and stain. At the same time, it smooths the wood by grinding it down. By sanding, you take off the sealer and surface shine along with color applied as part of past finishing.

The process starts by stripping the protective layers applied to the wood. After this, you continue sanding hardwood floors to remove flaws like nicks and scratches. This usually requires a drum floor sander rented from a home improvement store or the help of a professional floor refinisher.

There is no quick or single process for sanding hardwood floors. Most floors require multiple passes of the sander. With each of these passes, you must use progressively finer sandpaper. By doing so, you make the floors as smooth as possible. 

After sanding hardwood floors, you stain it. You can choose to use the same stain as before or a new color to update or change the look. Once the stain dries, you then apply a finish. Common finishes include lacquer, polyurethane, alternative oils or sealer. Having an expert do this work for you certainly provides the best results. 

Buffing Wood Floors

While sanding hardwood floors makes over the whole floor at once, buffing addresses small areas where needed. You can buff your hardwoods to remove small nicks or scratches. You can also buff it to improve shine and make the finish look fresh again. This saves you from having to go through the labor-intensive and multi-step process of sanding and refinishing.

To buff your floors, choose whether you wish to use a hand-buffing process or stand-behind machinery. Of course, you do not have to do this work yourself. You can have experts come to your home and provide the results you want without the DIY inconvenience.

Before buffing, you must ensure you thoroughly clean your wooden floors. If you skip this step, you risk getting dirt, pet hair, lint or dust permanently stuck in the polish. After cleaning the floors, hand buff the scratch by rubbing brass wool over it. Continue doing this until you no longer see the scratch, nick or other damage. 

After hand buffing flaws in the floor, apply the originally-used polish to the area. Use a terrycloth towel for this step and rub the polish onto the affected flooring. To match the shine of surrounding areas, rub the hardwood floor with a buffing pad.

If you want to buff your whole floor for a fresh shine and flawless appearance, you need a buffing machine. First remove wax polish, then thoroughly clean the floor. Once the floor dries, again use the buffing machine to add a new coat of polish. As with sanding hardwood floors, getting professional help always provides the best results without the hassles of doing it yourself.

Buffing or Sanding Hardwood Floors without the Hassle

Tri Point Flooring in Cary, Apex and Raleigh, North Carolina provides the area's best hardwood floor refinishing and installation. When your hardwoods look dull, damaged or dreary, you only have to call Tri Point Flooring for expert help. Schedule an in-person consultation or obtain a competitive quote for residential or commercial service throughout the Triangle Area by calling (919)771-7542.

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