How To Restore Maple Hardwood Floors

If your maple hardwood floor looks faded or has some scratches, you don't need to install a new floor. Maple floors can be restored to look new again.

There are two ways to refinish hardwood floors: sanding and using liquid refinisher. A beginner should be able to do either technique. Here are tips to restore a maple hardwood floor.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need: 

  • work gloves
  • safety goggles
  • shop vac
  • masking tape
  • dry rags or applicator pads
  • scouring pads (optional)
  • shallow pan (optional)
  • hammer
  • needle-nose pliers
  • wood filler
  • putty knife
  • orbital sander
  • edge sander and 50-grit to 300-grit sandpaper
  • liquid refinisher (optional)
  • polyurethane sealer
  • maple stain

Wear hearing protection to protect the ears from sanding noise. Remove obstructions from the room, as well as wall hangings. Cover floor vents with a drop cloth or plastic. Apply masking tape to outlets.

Close the doors to other rooms so dust won't spread, and open a window for ventilation. Check the ends of planks for gaps, and fill them using the putty knife and wood filler. Let the filler dry.

Inspect the floor for loose nails, and hammer them back in place. If you find staples from where you removed old carpet, use needle-nose pliers to remove them. Sweep the floor, then vacuum.

Remove the Old Finish

Attach a coarse sandpaper (50-grit) the orbital sander. Sand the floor, following the grain of the wood. Keep the sander moving to prevent it from digging into the floor.

If the floor is bowed, work against the grain to smooth the floor. Sand the edges with the edge sander.

Go over the area again, changing to 100-grit sandpaper. Sweep up the sanding dust, and sand the floor again with 200-grit sandpaper, then 300-grit sandpaper.

Repeat on the floor edges, increasing sandpaper grits in the same manner. Sweep up sand dust.

If you choose to use a liquid refinisher, pour some in shallow pan. Spread it on the floor in one small area at a time with a scouring pad until bare wood shows.

Apply the Stain

Start apply the stain in one corner with an applicator or dry rag. If the area is large, get an assistant to help clean excess stain as you apply it.

Change rags or applicators when needed. After the floor dries, apply the sealer to protect the finish. It commonly takes two days for the sealer to dry.

Your maple floor should look like you just installed it. If you don't trust your skills, or you think the floor needs replacing, contact a flooring service like McSwain Carpets and Floors for professional assistance.