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London is famous for its iconic buildings: red bricks, tall Victorian ceilings and most importantly, ornate hardwood floors. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with floors so timeless and beautiful, you’ll want to keep them that way! Perhaps you have them but they’re looking so old and dreary that they’re disguised by rugs and furniture, lacking the TLC they deserve in order to give them that woody sparkle that has stood the test of time so well.

Here at GJP Floor Sanding, we’ve compiled our top 10 must know secrets to getting perfectly refinished hardwood floors. Our refinishing tips can give your home the breath of life it needs. You’ll never hide your floors with carpet again!

Rent, Don’t Buy!

There’s no point splurging the cash on a sander or duster if you only plan on refinishing your floors just the once. Do your research and find out which London-based hardware stores allow you to rent equipment from them. This is an ideal, cost-saving option, but don’t forget your safety mask and glasses! These are cheap and you can always use these again for many DIY projects, so it’s worth buying out.

Finishing Choices

There are three standard types of finishes that you can use to brighten your floors.

Polyurethane: with the choice of having oil or water based, polyurethane is what gives floors that plastic-looking finish. This is a fantastic choice for areas with high moisture, though scratches and chips are difficult to repair. Additionally, it can stain/ darken the wood, although it is possible to find some of the newer Polyurethane finishes that don’t affect the wood.

Varnish: for a glossy/ matte finish. Varnish darkens the wood as well but at a slower rate than Polyurethane. Repairs are easy with varnish finishes and the higher the gloss, the more durable the finish.

Penetrating Sealer: Depending on the make of finish, penetrating sealers can also darken the wood over time but this finish undoubtably wins us over with their outstanding protective qualities. It is the most natural looking finish and brings out the natural grain of the wood. Durable, easily repairable and an excellent protective layer for your hardwood floors.

Sheepskin Applicators bring results

For the smoothest finish, we at GJP recommend a sheepskin applicator to apply your chosen finish evenly. Normal brushes can leave you with rather un-stylish streaks and pools!

Plan your two day timeline:

For the best results, you’ll need to leave yourself more time than a quick afternoon to carry out your floor refinishing project. We recommend planning to seal your floors the same day you’ve sanded. This will give your wood instant protection and prevent moisture from being absorbed. Furthermore, try to complete the process in a day, as you’ll need to leave 24 hours between applying your last coat of finish, and putting all of your furniture back into the room. This is because it takes a day for the floorboards to dry completely.