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Hardwood flooring is an asset to any property. If you’ve discovered hardwood under carpets, or just want to restore the ones you know about, here are 5 steps to review for new life to your wood flooring.

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You’ve just discovered original hardwood floors beneath carpet or tile during a home renovation. Though it might not look great at first glance, restore that beautiful hardwood instead of covering it up again to take your renovation to the next level.

1. Scrape off the Residue

If your hardwood floor had tile or carpet laid atop it, you’ll probably have to deal with removing some kind of adhesive residue after you’ve pulled up the carpeting or tile. A scraper and an adhesive remover will be your best bet for getting any glue off the floor, though some people prefer to simply soak the floor with water for a few minutes before scraping.

This process can be time-consuming, since sometimes adhesive will leave stains on the hardwood even after you’ve managed to get it off. If for any reason you’re worried about the results, consulting and hiring a professional at this early stage is officially number six on the list. Or, number one. You know what we mean.

2. Remove the Stains

You can sand or buff out stains on the surface of the wood as long as you’re careful. The worst case scenario in stain-removal is having to remove parts of the floor and replace those areas with matching wood. It depends on how bad the stains are and how much you dislike the look of them.

If they’re in places you can cover with an area rug or a piece of furniture, leaving them there might be a better option. Sometimes an old hardwood floor creates a unique distressed look to your interior design, so imperfections in the wood may work with your interior scheme.

3. Fill in the Holes

If you’ve pulled up carpeting, you may have to deal with nail holes. Old hardwood also might have gaps between boards. Choose between several different filler options, like wood putty or a latex filler.

Depending on whether the wood has already been finished, the size of the holes, and the color of the wood and the stain you’re going to use, you can find something at your local hardware store that won’t disrupt the look of your floors too much.

4. Sand the Floor

This step is only for those with serious DIY skill. Your floor might need to be sanded, in which case you’ll need a wood sander and some practice using it. Otherwise, hire a professional (mentioned earlier!) to sand the floor for you. The job is difficult and you might do more harm than good if your floors need serious attention, or if you don’t have experience using the proper equipment.

5. Stain and Finish

Once the floor is sanded, you’re ready to stain and finish it. If you like the original wood color, then all you need is a sealer to protect the wood and keep it smooth. If you’re looking for a new look, the next step is to choose your stain and apply it until you have the color you desire

A beautiful asset

Original hardwood flooring is a beautiful asset you don’t want to cover up. Even if the floor needs a little work to restore it to its old beauty, the end result is almost always worth the effort. Take advantage of the unexpected hardwood flooring and enjoy what it does for your interior design.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.