If you own a home that has hardwood flooring covered up by carpet, sooner or later you may decide to forego the covering and let the beauty of the hardwood show. Removing carpeting and refinishing hardwood is a tedious process, but the result will be well worth the effort. Here are some instructions that you can use to execute this process in your own home.

Materials You Will Need

  • Carpet staple remover or screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Sponge
  • Mild detergent
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Sanding machine
  • Edging sander
  • Sandpaper in course, medium and fine-grit
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Stain
  • Sheepskin cloth
  • Varnish

Removing Carpeting

To remove the carpet, you will need to start in the furthest corner from the door and work your way back to the entrance. Remove any molding from the walls. If you notice any floor staples, you will need to remove them using a staple remover or a flat head screwdriver. Cut a piece of the carpeting with a utility knife. Have a friend help you pull the carpeting off of the floor, rolling it up as you go. You may want to cut the carpeting into sections so that it can be rolled up and removed easier. You will need to do the same process with the carpet pad.

Cleaning And Sanding

You will now want to clean the floor if it has any debris that was left from the padding of the carpet. A lot of times, over the years, the padding will leave marks on the wood floor from moisture or excessive force being applied to the carpet. This will need to be washed off using a sponge and a mild detergent. Vacuum the entire floor when completed.

You will now want to sand the floor to smooth it and remove flaws. Rent a sanding machine from your local hardware store. You will also need to rent an edging sander. Using course-grit sandpaper, sand the entire floor surface using these two pieces of equipment. Repeat the process using medium-grit and then finally fine-grit sandpaper. You will want to use your vacuum cleaner often to clear the area of any sawdust.

Repairs And Finishing

If the flooring has any apparent cracks or holes that need to be filled, you can use a wood putty to repair these areas. Apply using a putty knife. When it has hardened, use medium-grit sandpaper to smooth the putty into the flooring. Finish by sanding with fine-grit sandpaper.

To stain, use a sheepskin cloth as it will not damage the surface of the wood when applying. Rub stain into the wood starting at the far corner of the room and working your way to the doorway. Allow to dry and put on another coating. After the stain has dried, use a coating of varnish to make your floor shiny and to seal in the coloring. Click here to learn more.