Restoring hardwood floors demands a careful touch

Q A young couple removed the carpeting in their home so as to enjoy the parquette flooring beneath it. However, the wood is darkened, and there is a noticeable separation between the pieces. What can the two do-it-yourselfers do to brighten the flooring and fill the cracks?

Mrs. William Benson, San Francisco, Calif.

A The darkness of the flooring may stem from its original staining rather than age. The couple can carefully sand the flooring and then refinish it to suit their choice of color.

Sanding needs to be done with care so as not to overdo it. Here's an example: Don't leave the sanding machine whirring in one spot while the operator talks politics to a partisan. Borrow the sander from a local rental firm.

Assuming the cracks are hairline, the couple can insert plastic wood in a suitable color. Fill before the final sanding process, and thus before refinishing the floor.

For more information concerning hardwood sanding and finishing methods, as well as materials, get in touch with a manufacturer such as the Virginia Hardwood Company. This company has outlets throughout the US, including one at 116 Railroad Avenue, Monrovia, Calif. 91016. The phone number is: (213) 358-4594 .

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