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  1. #21
    Member Drexel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Lived in Kansas all my life
    Mahindra 4110

    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    I recently installed and finished approx. 1200 sq' of wood flooring (Oak) in my newly constructed home. Having never installed/finished a wood floor before the orbital sander didn't sound like an amature's tool. I rented a square vibrating sander.
    I agree with CaIG. get more paper then you think you'll need. You can take it back if you don't use it. I let them talk me into taking only 3 sheets of 36 grit paper and regretted that decision. I should have gone back and got more 36 grit but decided to finish it with what paper I had. The finer grit paper worked fine, just took much, much longer. I first went around all the edges with a small orbital sander (also rented). I had not installed the base board yet so cabinets were the only thing I had to be carefull around.
    As far as finish, I used stain and polly. I applied the stain with lambs wool pad. My only suggestion on staining is to be consistent in your timing if your wiping it up. An area wiped after being on the floor for two minutes will look lighter then an area wiped after five minutes.
    One last thought which doesn't pretain here but might be nice to know if anyone else is getting ready to install a floor. I was going to rent a flooring nailer due to the expense of buying one, 500.00+ but found a Freeman floor nailer for around 200.00. It got good reviews and worked flawlesly for me and I got to keep the nailer for less then rental would have cost me. Like I said this was my first floor and I'm not like those guys you see on youtube. It took me approximately a week to install 1200 feet (including beer breaks). Installing the floor myself also gave me an excuse to buy one of those nice oscillating saws to cut the door jambs off. The floor turned out very nice. Hope this helps anyone else who's thinking of installing or finishing a floor for the first time.

  2. #22
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    new holland tc35

    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    Quote Originally Posted by ddb123 View Post
    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?
    sorry for delay.....i meant pre-finished "floating" laminate flooring, near impossible to tell from existing, finished floors. also usually thinner, just floats over existing base, but would need to clear bottom of any/all doors swinging. Many styles/types to choose from, and I believe samples can be had, then flooring shipped to doorstep!! Lumber Liquidators is the big name I always hear, but I've also heard you can get better deals if you shop around!

  3. #23
    Elite Member dstig1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    W Wisc
    Kubota L5240 HSTC, (Kubota L3130 HST - sold)

    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    There is another possible option - depends what you have locally. Here in St Paul MN there is a store called Pete's Floor Store. They both do floor install and finishing, but also rent equipment. The big thing is that they actually teach you. They have a small 10x10' room with wood floor on it and a drum sander and an edger in there. They tell you what to do, show you the moves, and let you practice as long as you like. You find it takes about 5 min to get the hang of it. The biggest issue with the drum sander is to never stop not even for a blink. Once you get the feel for what it takes to lower the drum to the floor smoothly while moving, you are in great shape. That is where making those first few passes on their practice floor is worth gold. If you are lucky, there may be places nearby that cater to the DIY set like these guys.

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

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  4. #24
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Northern Illinois
    JD 4110

    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    I've redone pine and oak floors with various sander techniques (including drum sanders on painted pine) and the best was hiring someone else to do it. It's fast, and it can be almost dustless. Still, it costs money so there it is although after rental and paper urathane etc. it might not be as expensive as you think.

    As to stain, dark woods will tend to lighten and light woods will tend to darken when exposed to sunlight and air. I'm rather fond of the no-stain look, myself.

    If you're living in the house, consider waterbased poly. It works.

    If you can, remove the shoe molding first. Life is much easier that way.

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  5. #25
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    S. Illinois
    None, yet

    Default Re: Refinishing hardwood floors

    Cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness.
    Wash everything good before finishing. Fans, windows screens, tops of molding/doors, closet shelves, everywhere dust can get to.
    And get the dogs out of the house.
    The only time I've redone a wood floor I learned these lessons.
    My friend and I were living in a house, that the third guy owned.
    We redid the wood floors in a couple of BR's when I moved in.
    The sanding wasn't bad, but when we got to the refinishing the owner just wanted it done quick.
    We had flat bid it in exchange for rent and wanted to take a little longer to do it right, but got rushed.
    The worst things we had were dog hair and dust in the finish. We figured that most of the dust came from the window screens where it had accumulated while sanding, we didn't think to clean those up.
    And the dog hair came from the 3 large hairy beasts that should have been left in the yard until the finishing was done.

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