If your parquet flooring has seen better days, you may be thinking about refinishing your floors. But refinishing is a lengthy and labor intensive project, and many homeowners would rather explore their other options before jumping into refinishing. This article will help detail the different alternative methods to improve the appearance of your parquet floors without refinishing.
Strip the Wax
If your parquet floor is looking dull and lackluster, you may be considering refinishing. But, you may just have too much of a wax buildup on your floors. You can strip the wax and your floor will look beautiful again. To strip the wax, you need to have a floor that is coated in paste wax, not polyurethane. To remove the wax, after you clean the floor, start in the far corner with odorless mineral spirits. Work in small sections about 24 inches across and pour the mineral spirits and scrape the wax up with a steel wool pad. Have a clean rag handy to wipe up the wax as well. Go over the entire floor like this and spot check any stubborn pieces of wax. After you sweep up the floor, you can add a new layer of wax to the floor, or coat it with polyurethane if you prefer. If you repeat this process of removing the waxy buildup and re-coating at least every year, you will not have to refinish for many years. The benefits to the paste wax are that if your floor is damaged, you can just fix the damage and then refinish just that area. Polyurethane has to be removed from the entire floor, not just one area.
Spot Touch Up
If you have shoe scuffs and scrapes and other dings and issues on your floor, you can easily just fix these issues rather than refinishing the entire floor. A shoe scuff can be easily removed if you have a paste wax floor, by adding some extra paste wax and just buffing the scuff out. For polyurethane floors a shoe scuff can be removed by pouring liquid cleaner and then using a very fine steel wool pad. Then just apply a non-wax finish that your floor manufacturer recommends. For scratches, you can use a touch up stick made from wax on the scrape or scratch, and then remove the excess with a putty knife, followed by buffing. Home improvement stores also carry markers that have wood stain in them that are specially made to cover scratches on wood. Just choose the closest shade to your floor, go lighter if you can't find your shade.
Replace Damaged Portions
If your parquet floor has been damaged, you may just opt to replace the tiles that are damaged rather than refinish the entire floor. Situations like dropping a corrosive material, or water damage can ruin a few tiles, but in general the floor is still in good condition. If you can locate parquet that will match your current floor, then go ahead and remove the damaged tiles and replace with new ones. You will then need to stain and wax or coat the new section to match your existing floor.
Many people cringe when someone suggests painting a parquet floor, but it may be one of your only options. If the wood is very thin, and you don't think it can take another sanding and refinishing, you can paint it. The first thing you need to do is to is to fill in all of the holes in the wood. Paint can make the imperfections more noticeable. Use wood filler and fill in any holes, gashes or scrapes. Some people prefer to fill in the spaces between the boards as well to give a smooth uniform look. After using the wood filler, you apply two coats of primer (tinted if you choose a dark color) and then two coats of paint. Top it all off with three coats of polyurethane. One thing to note, if you choose a light color to paint your parquet, it will show dirt very easily and require constant cleaning.