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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    Don't waste your time with an orbital. Take one day to use a drum sander and the following day pick up the edger. Vacuum then tack, stain, then 2-3 coats of poly. Make sure you use a commercial floor ploy. It applies nicely and has self levelers.

    Or you can go with a oil like Danish oil or ting oil. I used waterlox tung oil on our floors.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    -dsc03507-jpg-dsc03492-jpgMy wife and I have had the hard wood floors refinished in two of the homes we currently own. I hired it out to flooring professionals both times. The last house we had done just this spring, was a rebuild house. 60 year old white oak floors that had layers and layers of wax on them, pet stains, water damage and we also tore some walls down and put new walls up in different locations. The flooring people came out, popped out the water damaged flooring and put down new solid oak flooring. Same thing with the new construction area. They then came in with a large drum sander and a vacuum system. The vacuum system is not only key for keeping the dust down, it sucks up all the dust accumulated on the floor from the previous swipe and helps keep the sand paper clean. After 3 passes at different angles with the drum sander to make sure no strips were sticking up higher than the other strips, they had a screen sander that they used to smooth out the wood grain. Being that there had been pet stains all over the floor, which had absorbed into the wood for many years, we decided to stain the raw wood before sealing it. The floors came out wonderful. A 1450 sq.ft house we had completely redone for about $1500.00 dollars.
    Dave

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  3. #13
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    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    Just an additional thought.... I built my own home including the purchase of amish flooring i put down 24 years ago. If I was to do again, or if I decided to re-do exist flooring, I'd skip the sanding,poly.I'm relatively handy, but that's a non-event compared to the dust you will spread thru house each time you sand a room and it IS tough to fake a pro job when comes to flooring. If you can clear the door swing, I'd seriously consider putting down floating wood floors out there today and you will save dust,big time fumes and even possibly money over the re-do. Other wise, no clearance requires rip-up. I don't believe you want to drag out the job room by room. Your marriage might depend on it!! Plus their is soooo much to pick from out there on the market, and I bet now is good time to buy with other money diverted to holiday spending, the businesses might be hungry to dicker......

  4. #14
    Veteran Member yelbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalG
    I've done my maple floors twice. Once when I put them down and recently after the kids and the dogs have left (the dog came back )

    I strongly suggest using stripper to remove all previous finish before you bring in the sanding machine. The job goes so much more quickly, and you save on sand paper and the work of changing.

    Rent the machines "over the week end" that will keep you motivated to get the job done!

    Use the edger FIRST. Pulling baseboards is a definite advantage to a pleasing result, but a lot of work to do so. I wouldn't even think of not doing it.

    If you are not "inclined" to the work, skip the drum sander and go right to the vibratory pad sander . With the course grit sheets, the removal still goes along at a good pace.

    sand THOROUGHLY with each grit before changing to the next finer. Time well spent.! It sucks to work over a spot with 180 for an hour that could have been done in five minutes with 60 grit.

    IF you are going to STAIN, use a sealer first. It's the only way to prevent blotchy results. I like mat finishes they show the problem areas less.

    Get way more pads and sanding sheets than you think you will need. Double!. They are pricey, but you will need some of them. And the remaining ones are returned for credit with the machine. It's a NO Brainer.

    First coat goes down thinned. second coat is full and wet. use a lambs wool applicator on a 6 foot handle.

    (I've got a wide pine floor in a bedroom that I put down. Finished only in Butcher's Wax. Soft and beautiful, but NO SHOES!)
    The sealer is important if the wood is pine or maple, a softer wood. If the wood is oak, hickory, or some other hard wood the stain is absorbed much more consistently. If you don't seal maple floors for example, you may get blotches, money/time well spent. On oak it may be a waste of money/time but it won't hurt.

    The reason i would do the edges last is your only guessing at what the large sander will miss. If you do the edge second, than your only on your knees for the actual required time. I use the same logic with painting a house to. Roll first coat, then corners with a brush(2 coats if required) and than a last coat with the roller again.
    Everyone different though.
    Carefull what you aim for, Aim for nothing and you will achieve it with amazing accuracy.

  5. #15
    Gold Member ddb123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve bumpus
    Just an additional thought.... I built my own home including the purchase of amish flooring i put down 24 years ago. If I was to do again, or if I decided to re-do exist flooring, I'd skip the sanding,poly.I'm relatively handy, but that's a non-event compared to the dust you will spread thru house each time you sand a room and it IS tough to fake a pro job when comes to flooring. If you can clear the door swing, I'd seriously consider putting down floating wood floors out there today and you will save dust,big time fumes and even possibly money over the re-do. Other wise, no clearance requires rip-up. I don't believe you want to drag out the job room by room. Your marriage might depend on it!! Plus their is soooo much to pick from out there on the market, and I bet now is good time to buy with other money diverted to holiday spending, the businesses might be hungry to dicker......
    Some of this is going over my head. What are floating wood floors? What's the door swing? Wouldn't I have to stain and varnish new flooring anyway?
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  6. #16
    Elite Member newbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    When I was about 13 my parents and grandparents built a house with new hardwood floors. We used a drumsander and it worked fine, in my dad's hands.

    When I was about 34 I had another house and lot's of hardwood floors, with virtually no money and no continuous time (several kids). If I rented something I'd never get the job done in a weekend.

    The first room (upstairs) I did was about 10x12 with a Craftsman 4 x 24 in. Belt Sander and about 4 Scuba belt lead diving weights. I already had the sander (inherited) and a lot of belts. I duct-taped the weights on top of the sander, locked it on, and let it run out the length of the cord and then pulled it back. I could be interrupted anytime and didn't worry. Didn't make any deep gouges, no extra cost for a sander, came out fine, put about 4 or 5 layers of poly on top.

    The next two rooms were upstairs also, about 4 years later, but by then I had more "continuous time" (kids baby sitting younger kids) and a little more money. I was warned by several friends who had done their floors that drum sanders were great - after you learned to use them. But if it get's away from you for a second you might be replacing flooring. So I rented an orbital sander (at that time they were basically floor buffers with sandpaper) for the weekend. Went fine but I had already had lot's of experience with a floor buffer in college jobs. I still spent a lot of time with the Craftsman doing edges. Again 4 or 5 layers of poly on top. If you haven't run a floor buffer run one for a while to get the hang of it.

    By the time I got around to the first floor, about 30'x40' of hardwood, my wallet had grown enough so I hired it out, and it cost about $3/sq ft.

    In retrospect I should have hired a babysitter for the first job and rented the orbital floor sander.

    And remember WEATHER TIMING IS EVERYTHING. Do it when you've got good dry weather outside.

    If your short on $$ and can set aside time I'd recommend either a day's training on a drum sander or use an orbital.
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  7. #17
    Veteran Member yelbike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    What he's likely taking about is laminent flooring or engineered wood flooring. It clicks together, so it doesn't have to be nailed or glue to the sub floor, thats where the "floating" floor name comes from. The cost can be a cheap as 79 cents/sq ft and up from there. It's a cheap product and it does have its place. I don't think it what your looking for.
    Carefull what you aim for, Aim for nothing and you will achieve it with amazing accuracy.

  8. #18
    Gold Member ddb123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    Quote Originally Posted by yelbike View Post
    What he's likely taking about is laminent flooring or engineered wood flooring. It clicks together, so it doesn't have to be nailed or glue to the sub floor, thats where the "floating" floor name comes from. The cost can be a cheap as 79 cents/sq ft and up from there. It's a cheap product and it does have its place. I don't think it what your looking for.
    Ah. Yes, you are right, that is not what I'm looking for.

    (not that I don't appreciate the input, Steve)
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  9. #19
    Elite Member Ductape's Avatar
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    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    OK, our floors are wide Pine, but I'll add my two cents anyway.

    Wife and I bought a 1880s house..... real fixer-upper. I started with a small room and did all the sanding on my hands and knees with a belt sander, and an orbital sander. Seemed to take forever, but I liked the results. Just polyurethaned, no stain.

    Figuring I'll be doing all the floors in the house (I'm about halfway there today), I went to Home Depot and bought one of their orbital rental sanders. Like so many other here have said... you can do alot of damage with a drum sander if you aren't experienced. Anyway.... the orbital sander works well, just takes longer than a drum sander. I sand my edges with an orbital palm sander.

    It is definitely something that can be done by a do-it-your-selfer, though I'm sure a professional would get you more of a 'show quality' finish.






  10. #20
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    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    Ductape
    Those floors came out looking really good! You should be proud.
    When we rebuilt our latest house last year, during demolition, I found some old pine boards in the converted garage that was used as the subfloor and the floor. Due to the shoddy building practices of someone many years ago, we tore the old floor out and I almost threw it all away. One of my contractor friends stopped me and told me that might be good wood. When we had the flooring contractors come out, I asked them about re-using the old pine wood. The flooring contractor said by all means, use the wood. He estimated that the wood was somewhere around 150 to 160 years old and it was heart pine, which you just can't find anymore. If you can find it, it is expensive as all get out. This wood had been recycled several times. So, they put the old recycled heart pine down and came in and sanded it. Dang, did it ever turn out nice! No stain, just 3 coats of poly.-dsc03484-jpg-dsc03488-jpg-dsc03506-jpg
    Dave

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