LESLIE: Julia in Rhode Island is on the line with a question about flooring. What can we do for you?
JULIA: In my home, I have hardwood floors and they’re beginning to show some wear, particularly in the walking-path area.
JULIA: I’m not quite ready to have the total floor area fully sanded yet but I’m calling to ask if you have any suggestions on how to go about to improve the appearance of that traffic area.
TOM: Well, I mean if you used a floor wax on it, you could buff it up a bit and that might give you a little more shine. But if the finish is wearing off, it’s wearing off.
TOM: And you may not have to sand them down completely. In fact, I recommend that unless there’s deep scratches or deterioration in those boards, what you really want to do is just have the surface lightly sanded to kind of clean it up. And then put another layer of urethane or two on top of that. There’s a machine called a U-Sand machine that professional floor refinishers can use that doesn’t take off very much material.
The problem with hardwood floors is that if you use the big, heavy belt sanders on it, it really takes a lot of life away from them because it takes a lot of material off. You don’t have to go down to the raw wood. You can just lightly sand the surface and then put new coats of urethane over that. And that will help spruce them up and also preserve their integrity for years to come.
JULIA: Thank you very much. I certainly enjoy listening to The Money Pit.