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Sand, Buff, or Just Clean Hardwood Floors?

I just bought my first home and it came with these great hardwood floors throughout (about 1300 sq ft), but they look like they could use some attention, and I'm not sure what method would be best. It looks mostly like there is some where in the finish in high traffic areas, a few water spots in the dining room by the sliding door, dirt build up from where furniture was, and finally some paint splatering in the mater bedroom (quite a bit actually). From what I've read my options are completely refinishing the floors, with mutliple sandings and apply all new poly. I have also read about buffing the floors, which would take care of minor scratches, but I don't know about water, paint and dirt. Then when I was at Home Depot last, a guy recommended using a rejeuvenating cleaner and anotherproduct to take care of the paint. I've read a lot about how you should only clean floors with water and maybe some vingar in the water, but I don'tknow if that is for floors that are already in good condition. I was also reading about a product called BONA from a floor porfessional's website in my area that is all he recommends. I would love if if I could get my floors looking great with only cleaning since it is easier and less costly than the other two options. However if that doesn't work I don't know when option of sanding vs buffing I would need. Does anyone have any ideas, or recommendations? I just really don't want to do something that will makes my floord worse, but I can't afford to pay a professional to do them.

Re: Sand, Buff, or Just Clean Hardwood Floors?

From what you're describing, you have multiple problems. You'll get the most satisfying results from a complete sanding. To cut costs you can rent a professional sander, but I must warn you: if you've never done it before, your little savings will turn into a nightmare. Why don't you hire someone just for the sanding?

After the sanding and cleaning is complete, assess the condition of the floor. Look at the areas with the water spots and see if you need to replace a few boards.

Then on to the coatings.

Re: Sand, Buff, or Just Clean Hardwood Floors?

Thanks for the advice. I did have a guy some buy and also say it just needed to be completely redone. He quoted me $1932 total for about 5 rooms. I think what we will try to do is do one room on our own and see how it goes. If it seems way to daunting, then I'll be calling up my floor guy : )

From all the stuff I've read about refinishing floors, an orbital sander is best for DIY since it takes less know how to use correctly, unlike belt sanders. I also ready you have to go over the floor 3 times, with 36, 50, and 80 grit paper. Does all this sound right? Then I just need to decide what finish to use. I want an oil based natural finish since I prefer lighter floors. The floors are oak and I just want a nice amber glow to them.

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