As someone who enjoys working on home projects, you might be considering taking on the job of refinishing your hardwood floors yourself. However, before you take on a project of this size, you need to ask yourself some questions to ensure you are ready to begin. Use the following questions to help you prepare to refinish your floors.

What Kind of Finish Do I Want?

To refinish your floors, you are going to require a polyurethane finish. However, you need to choose between water-based version and an oil-based version. Water-based finishes usually don't last as long as oil-based finishes but are generally more environmentally friendly. Water-based polyurethane also dries more quickly because water evaporates fairly quickly in the air.

Oil-based finishes typically have that glossy sheen that many people like. If you're using the oil-based polyurethane, you'll be looking at a job that is generally done in three to five days. However, due to the fumes of this kind of finish, you may want to let your home air out for a few days.

What Kind of Saw Will I Use?

The two types of saws you're likely to use are drum sanders and orbital sanders. Drum sanders are typically stronger and move faster, but if you're a novice, an orbital would be better for you as they are easier to handle. Don't assume you can handle a drum sander if you're not used to this type of equipment, because they can do damage to your hardwood surfaces if you make the wrong moves. If you aren't sure, stick with a simple orbital sander.

Do I Have the Right Protective Equipment?

You may already be aware that you'll need goggles and a mask for this project, but you might not realize that you can't get by with a regular air mask. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends rN95 espirator masks for this purpose because your flooring may contain chemicals that are not safe to inhale in large quantities. This type of mask will stop you from inhaling these substances.

You will also need a good pair of ear plugs so that you don't damage your ears due to the loud sounds of your sanders.

How Can I Protect Everything Else in The Room?

When you want to refinish your floors, that may be where your focus is, but be aware that other items in the room will need to be protected from dust. Plastic sheets can be bought at major home improvement stores and they are adequate for ensuring that dust doesn't settle into your furniture and other belongings.

After asking yourself these questions and learning more about what goes into refinishing your hardwood floors, you may decide that you'd like professional help. Consult a flooring service—like Idaho Hardwood Flooring and other locations—that specializes in hardwood so that you can be sure the job will be done properly and look beautiful.