How do I Restore a Teak & Holly Floor?

Written by sal marco
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How do I Restore a Teak & Holly Floor?
Restore teak and holly hardwood to save money on replacement costs. (cockpit image by southmind from

"Teak and holly" wood flooring, used in homes and on boat decking, is a durable hardwood floor option. It usually consists of alternating strips of teak and light maple or birch. This flooring is strong enough to stand up to outdoor weather conditions, making it a good choice for boat decks. Over time and use, teak and holly floors require restoration and refinishing to return them to their original condition.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hammer
  • Adhesive
  • Hardwood floor soap
  • Belt sander
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Broom or vacuum
  • Tack cloth
  • Varnish
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Inspect the flooring for popped or loose nails and hammer them in place. If adhesive holds the boards in place, pry up the floorboard carefully, scrape out old glue, apply adhesive, set in place and allow to dry for four to six hours.

  2. 2

    Wash the floor with hardwood floor soap specifically made for teak and holly and rinse thoroughly with plain water.

  3. 3

    Load a belt sander with medium-grit sandpaper following the length of the floorboards. Do not sand across floorboards. Sand corners and those areas not reachable with the belt sander by hand.

  4. 4

    Sweep or vacuum sawdust from the floor. Use a tack cloth to pick up dust from edges and corners.

  5. 5

    Load a belt sander with fine-grit sandpaper and sand the floor again.

  6. 6

    Sweep or vacuum up the sawdust. Remove sawdust from corners and edges with a tack cloth.

  7. 7

    Apply a coat of varnish to the floorboards, following the line of the boards and allow the varnish to dry for 48 hours. Begin in a far corner so you do not paint yourself into the room or onto the deck.

  8. 8

    Load a belt sander with extra fine grit sandpaper and lightly sand the varnish to remove drip marks or brush marks.

  9. 9

    Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove sanding dust. Use a tack cloth in corners and along edges to pick up dust.

  10. 10

    Apply another coat of varnish following the floorboards; allow drying for 48 hours, then lightly sand, remove dust and repeat up to six times. Do not sand the final coat.

Tips and warnings

  • Work in a well ventilated room.
  • Wear a dust mask, safety goggles and gloves.

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