Wooden floors are a beautiful feature for any home, whether it's polished hardwood in the dining room or an expansive deck in the backyard. However, these locations are also high-traffic areas and floors can get damaged easily.
The usual culprits are often food and drink spills, high heels, rugby boots and pets' claws. Even leaving potted plants or deck furniture in place for too long will cause uneven discolouration or rot. With decks there is also the harsh affect of water and sun that will deteriorate the surface.
Before you break out the sander and some polyurethane - how often should floors be refinished? Interior hardwood floors will last for years, sometimes decades before needing a sand and coat, so essentially this comes down to when you feel the floor needs a makeover and another protective coat. Usually this is around the 10 to 12 year mark.
For decks and other wooden outdoor features, sanding and restaining will depend on exposure to elements, as well as the type of sealant you use. Clear coats without pigments tend to need to be replaced every year or two, while coloured stains protect the wood for longer.
Remember when working on wooden floors that are there are many processes. After sanding you will need a vacuum cleaner to get rid of excess dust - if you start staining or oiling now you'll end up with a messy finish?.
Your protective coating will also need to be completely dry between coats, and may require additional fine-sanding as well. Make sure you plan around this so you are able to access the necessary parts of the house without stepping through the work area.
Also remember to work your way out of the job area - in other words, don't varnish your way into the corner and then walk through your fine work to get out. A floor edger sander will also come in handy for getting a smooth and even job all the way round your dining room or deck.