Hardwood Flooring in Chehalis, WA from Ron's Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Dos and Don'ts for Historic Properties

Are you fortunate enough to own a historic property with stunning hardwood floors that have stood the test of time? If so, you're the custodian of a piece of history, and with that honor comes the responsibility of preserving its beauty for future generations. At Ron's Hardwood Floors, we understand the deep significance and unique challenges associated with refinishing hardwood floors in historic properties. 

Historic hardwood floors are not just surfaces underfoot; they are portals to the past, bearing witness to the lives and stories of those who have walked upon them over the years. Whether your hardwood floors are original to the property or have been carefully restored, refinishing them is a labor of love—a delicate balancing act between honoring tradition and embracing modern restoration techniques.

Join us as we delve into the essential dos and don'ts of hardwood floor refinishing for historic properties, providing you with the knowledge and insights you need to embark on this journey with confidence. From understanding the importance of proper preparation to choosing the right finish and navigating the nuances of ventilation and drying times, we'll cover it all, empowering you to make informed decisions every step of the way.

Here are some essential dos and don'ts to keep in mind when refinishing hardwood floors in historic properties:


Research Historic Guidelines: Before beginning any refinishing project, research any guidelines or restrictions that apply to historic properties in your area. Adhering to these guidelines will help preserve the historical integrity of your floors.

Use Gentle Cleaning Methods: Start by gently cleaning the floors with a soft-bristled broom or vacuum with a brush attachment. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the wood or finish.

Test for Lead: If your home was built before 1978, it may contain lead-based paint. Before sanding or refinishing your floors, it's essential to test for lead and take appropriate precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of your family.

Repair Damage Carefully: Address any scratches, gouges, or other damage to the floors before refinishing. Use wood filler or putty that matches the color of the existing wood, and sand carefully to blend the repairs seamlessly with the rest of the floor.

Choose the Right Finish: Selecting the appropriate finish is crucial for historic hardwood floors. Consider options like oil-based polyurethane or water-based finishes that offer durability and protection without compromising the natural beauty of the wood.


Skip the Prep Work: Proper preparation is essential for a successful refinishing project. Skipping steps like sanding, cleaning, and repairing damage can result in an uneven finish or premature wear and tear.

Over-sand the Floors: While sanding is necessary to remove old finish and imperfections, over-sanding can damage the wood and create uneven surfaces. Use a light touch and gradually increase the grit of sandpaper to achieve the desired smoothness.

Neglect Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is crucial when refinishing hardwood floors, especially in older homes with potentially hazardous materials like lead-based paint. Ensure windows are open and use fans to promote air circulation and reduce exposure to fumes.

Rush the Drying Process: Allow ample time for each coat of finish to dry completely before applying the next. Rushing the drying process can result in a subpar finish or adhesion issues, requiring costly repairs or reapplication.

Forget Regular Maintenance: Once your hardwood floors have been refinished, it's essential to maintain them properly to preserve their beauty and longevity. Implement a regular cleaning routine and avoid excessive moisture or wear to keep your floors looking their best for years to come.

Refinishing hardwood floors in historic properties requires a delicate balance of preserving the past while preparing for the future. By following these dos and don'ts and entrusting your refinishing project to the experts at Ron's Hardwood Floors, you can ensure that your historic floors retain their timeless beauty for generations to come.

At Ron's Hardwood Floors, we understand the importance of preserving the unique character and charm of historic properties. With our expertise in hardwood floor refinishing and dedication to quality craftsmanship, we're proud to serve homeowners in Chehalis, WA, and surrounding areas like Centralia, Longview, Olympia, and Lacey, WA. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can help breathe new life into your historic hardwood floors.