Wood floors can be a sturdy and attractive feature for any home. However, they are susceptible to scratching and general wear and tear; over time, a wood floor can end up covered in dust and grime or littered with deep scratches and dents, which can be a big turn off as well as a safety hazard.
Given the cost and aesthetic appeal of wood flooring, most homeowners would rather repair than replace it. While sanding a wood floor is typically the best way to remove any deep imperfections, it is a labour and time intensive task. Certain wood floors may also be unsuitable for sanding, such as those that are fixed down with nails that would rip the paper to shreds. Luckily, there are certain alternatives that can allow someone to revive a wood floor without having to sand it down.
When it comes to floor repair, the best course will be to speak to a qualified local flooring specialist about your options. A carpenter should also be able to offer insight on how you can improve the look of your floor without having to resort to sanding. Depending on the size of your flooring and the amount of labour needed to restore it, you may want to hire a handyman to perform the restoration work.
The first thing to do is give your wood floor a good clean. If left for a long time, dirt and grime can build up on a wood floor until it seems to be in much worse shape than it actually is. Depending on the state of your wood floor, you may wish to hire a professional cleaner to help with this stage.
Start off by removing any furniture or floor coverings from the room. The next step is to vacuum the wood floor slowly and methodically, starting at a corner and working toward the exit.
Once you have done this, wipe the floor down using either warm water or a specialist wood floor cleaner. Be sure to use a mop or rag to clean evenly rather than saturating the wood, as this may end up causing moisture damage.
For any minor scratches or imperfections in the wood, dry applying a bit of elbow grease. If they are only in the finish layer rather than the wood itself, this should remove them.
Ensure that the floor is completely dry before moving on.
If the imperfections in your wood floor are still obvious after giving it a good clean, then the next stage will be to refinish it.
Before you get started, try to find out if your flooring was originally finished with an oil or lacquer based finish. To give you a clue, oil finishes tend to be darker or more orange in colour. They also tend to stain and wear away more easily. Lacquer finish on the other hand is lighter, shinier and usually has a more hard wearing surface.
Refinishing a wooden floor is another job which can be quite labour intensive, and so you may want to have a handyman do the work on your behalf.
If, after refinishing the wood, you find that the imperfections are still obvious, one final method to try is rubbing a broken pecan or walnut into them. Alternatively, you could use an appropriately coloured stain marker or brand of shoe polish.