An Easy Guide On How To Recoat Hardwood Floors

How Often Do I have to Recoat Hardwood Floors?

Any wood item that has a finish or sealant applied to it will eventually need to be recoated, and that includes having to periodically having to recoat hardwood floors. The period between recoatings and refinishing depends on wear over time, the finish used, the wood your floor is made of and other factors.

You can also recoat hardwood floors if you feel like switching up the color scheme. If you have a darker stain but are wanting to brighten up the room, the floors can help a great deal with that. Just don't do it too often, make sure that when you're looking into recoating hardwood floors that you can live with the color for awhile. Sometimes you do have to recoat hardwood floors, but other times you can do it by choice. They are your floors after all. 

Before you go and start getting bids from contractors or grab the tools to recoat the floors yourself, there are a few things you'll want to know. Anything to do with hardwood floors is a lot harder to fix after a mistake has been made. 

Let's start off with a common misunderstanding. Recoating is different than refinishing. It's a much more intensive process to refinish hardwood floors than to recoat them. 

Bear in mind that recoating is different than refinishing, which is a much more intensive process. A recoating is merely getting a new coat of seal, stain or what have you onto the wood. How is it done? Let's go over that.

Reasons To Recoat Hardwood Floors

There are a number of reasons to recoat hardwood floors. The exact reasoning a person will have in the moment can vary in the specifics, but generally it gets done either as regular maintenance or because a person wants to change the finish on their floors.

Either is perfectly valid, whether it's a maintenance coat or a different finish that you'd like to apply to your floors.

In the case of a maintenance coat, you want to start thinking about recoating your hardwood floors once you start noticing scratches in the finish in more than a few isolated spots. If the finish is starting to wear thin across much of your floors, it's time to start thinking about it.

Wood Floor Refinishing Service
Wood Floor Refinishing Service

The duration between maintenance coats depends, of course, on wear over time and what sort of abuse the floor and its finish receive. The finish itself also makes a bit of an impact, as every finish and sealant have their own innate characteristics. That said, you can expect about three to five years before you see sufficient wear to consider a thorough maintenance coat.

Since a recoating is less intrusive as refinishing, you can actually extend the life of your floors with an occasional recoating. You can also put more years in between refinishings. A recoating every one to three years can stave off the need for refinishing for a very long time indeed.

However, you may also want to recoat floors during a remodeling, to better match the new look of your home. You may just decide you want a different color than the one you currently have.

To Screen And Recoat Hardwood Floors

The how of recoating hardwood floors is most commonly through a method called a screen and recoat. To screen and recoat hardwood floors, you subject the floor to a very light abrasive. While it's called screening, or alternately scuffing or buffing in some cases, it's using a fine grit sandpaper to take off the top layer of finish.

The idea isn't to take the finish down to the bare wood. Instead, you take away the most recent finish and create a smooth surface.

At that point, you apply the next coat of finish, whether it's the same finish that was applied previously or a whole new finish. However, you should know that this method is not always appropriate, as there are some finishes that require a different approach. Best approach is good hardwood care and prevention in most cases.

Can You Recoat Hardwood Floors too Much?

Wood is an organic material and no matter how much it has been treated or polished, it's still organic. That's why things like water and moisture can do so much damage. Do you know what else can destroy your hardwood floors? Too many recoats. Just like most everything else, maintenance has its endpoint. Sooner or later you're just going to have to get something new. 

It isn't so much the switching hardwood stain or restaining the wood that does the damage as it is the sanding part. Each time you sand the hardwood floors you take more and more off. So, eventually, you're going to a point where you can sand the floor down no further. On average, you can get away with sanding your floors ten times. That also depends on how skilled the person is doing the sanding. You may be able to squeeze a few more times in there. 

Save yourself the trouble of slowly widdling away are your hardwood floors and recoat them when you have to. It only has ten lives.  

When You Have To Recoat Hardwood Floors By Other Methods

There are multiple types of finish for hardwood floors, but a few require a different approach when you want to recoat hardwood floors.

Wax finishes require a different method than a screen and recoat. Hardwood floors that have been finished with wax, even acrylic waxes, have to be chemically stripped, usually by applying ammonia or paint thinner. Without a chemical stripping, the new finish will not bond with the wood properly. If said floor has also been maintained with silicon or oil cleaners, a recoating may be all but impossible.

Additionally, aluminum oxide coatings are likewise very resistant to recoatings. These finishes have to be chemically etched - almost like scouring with acid - in order for a surface to be created that will take a new coat of finish.

While the amateur can certainly recoat hardwood floors via a screen and recoat, and can also perform a chemical strip on wax finishes, chemical etching should be left to professionals.

Black Forest Floors Is Happy To Offer Their Recoating Hardwood Floors Services!

Considering a recoat? Contact Black Forest Floors! Hardwood floors are our business, including everything from installation to maintenance coats to complete refinishes with our dustless refinishing process.

If you'd like to see what Black Forest Floors is able to do for you in terms of recoating, contact us for a consultation and a bid! We'll be happy to go over what your floor may need in terms of recoating and what we can do for you.