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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Default Help with hardwood floors

    I'm helping my niece renovate an older house. For the last 10 - 15 years, the hardwood floors have been covered with carpet. Because of her allergies, she wanted to remove the carpet, which we did.

    The hardwood floors underneath are beautiful, and we did not find any damage, other than a few scuff marks, and holes where the carpet tack strips were nailed.

    Also, the carpet padding left some residue on the hardwood, i.e., the pattern in the carpet padding is imprinted on some of hardwood flooring. I'm not sure what this imprint is, but it may just be dirt or where the padding stuck to the hardwood. This pattern looks similar to the same pattern in screen wire.

    Because of the expense involved, my niece can not afford to have the floors sanded and refinished, so, I'm asking for recommendations as to what to do to bring the floors back to a decent finish. The floor has a satin finish. My niece does not care for the high gloss finish and is o.k. with a satin finish.

    Suggestions or recommendations?

    Thanks, Bob

  2. #2
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with hardwood floors

    Mornin Bob,
    If your totally against refinishing the floors, you could try an oil based cleaning aid such as Murphys' oil soap or something similar etc... I would try it on a small area first and go from there.

    Also maybe you might want to consider refinishing the floor yourself. I rented the equipment from HD and within a couple of days I was done. Its not rocket science and was fairly pleased with the results. I had a lot of water marks on the old maple floor from when the kids were small taking off there snow suits and wet cloths and also from when we spilled water filling the Christmas tree base also.

    I will try and paste a finish picture of the floors in one of our front rooms.

    BTW This is a satin finish.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    scotty

    ,,,course,,it is gas,and gas is,,well,gas,,so,,but it kills the @#$$ oughta them yellow jackets,,,thingy

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...onth-scott_vt/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help with hardwood floors

    i refinished some hardwood floors a couple years ago, where the carpet had been glued to the floor: i ended up using acetone to remove the glue: it would gum up the sanding pads in about 6ft: i tried a lot of other things first, but the acetone was the only thing that would desolve the glue.
    heehaw

  4. #4
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with hardwood floors

    You have to be careful with cleaners because some will have a negative reaction with the finish, and you just about never know what that finish is because different ones were used.

    Experiment in location that you won't see if you damage it just like Scotty said. I'd also try the ones recomended and maybe ask the guy at the store you go to what they recomend. Not that they will know, but sometimes you get lucky.

    Have you considered redoing the floors yourself? It's not very dificult. The hardest part is the sanding, but instead of using a belt, floor sander, you can rent a vibrating floor sander. They take longer, but it's almost impossible to ruin a floor with the vibrating ones. The belt sanders are very easy to ruin a floor and take a bit of practice to get good with one. There is alsot the oscilating ones, but the one time I tried it, I had problems. It just didn't accomplish very much and kept throughing the sanding pads. I returned it and found out about the vibrating ones.

    Staining is similar to any staining, but the sealing takes some planning. Get the proper tool for this and plan out how you will apply it so you can get out of the room when your done. Seal off any opening with plastic and keep it nice and clean while sealing.

    You will need at least two coats of sealer with a day of drying in between each coat. I like three coats myself, but that's just me. After each coat, do a light sanding with a very fine paper. Wipe up the floor really good between each coat.

    It sounds like more work than it is, but it's not bad. The hardest part will be getting the floors clean after sanding. It's just a matter of being very thorough and getting up all the dust.

    If your restoring the house and she plans on staying there for awhile, you might consider sanding.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with hardwood floors

    if you do refinish the floors, remember that a gloss finish is harder than a satin finish: so if you put more than one coat of finish on, and want a satin finish, do that on the last coat.
    heehaw

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help with hardwood floors

    Hi rlk,

    I happen to be in the wood floor business and see what you describe often. How the carpet pad has affected the finish varies. You can try to clean what is there but often it just isn’t going to work. Be careful with acetone, it will harm older types of varnish. If you want to try it do a closet first to see how it affects the finish.

    Because you say the finish is good overall this is what I would do and it isn’t that expensive. Rent a buffing machine and use a sanding screen on it. A sanding screen is like the metal screen pads you buy for sanding sheet rock joint compound. They come in a disk to fit a buffer and also come in varies grits. A 100 or 150grit screen is what you want and we often use a used one so it is less aggressive. A new one rubbed on some smooth concrete to take some of the bite off will do the same thing. When you buff the floor you are only trying to rough up the finish and remove surface imperfections like the marks left by the carpet pad. Don’t be too aggressive or you will cut through the finish into the stain. Hand sand the corners or any area the buffer can’t get to with 120 grit sand paper. You could hand sand the whole floor but it is labor intensive. Vacuum and damp mop the floor with a very well wrung out mop.

    The floor is now ready to recoat with polyurethane. I would recommend oil base polyurethane of which many are made just for wood floors. If a wood floor poly is not easily available in your area, MinWax from Home Depot will work. Stir the poly twice as much as you think is needed. What makes it a satin finish is silica in the poly which needs to be mixed in very well. DO NOT SHAKE or you will end up with bubbles on the floor finish. The poly can be applied with a large brush but the preferred method is with a lamb’s wool applicator on a pole. The key to applying the poly is to put a thin coat on with just enough to leave a wet edge. With the poly in a 5 gal. bucket, you dip the lamb’s wool, remove the excess on the edge of the bucket and make a continuous pass on the floor. Long even strokes with a little overlap are what you want. This is a case where more is not better.

    Give the poly 24 hours to dry before walking on it and 11/2 weeks to cure before putting any area rugs on it. I’ll bet you can do the whole thing for under $200 and you will have a floor that will look like new.

    It’s nice of you to help out the niece, let me know if I can offer any advice.

    MarkV

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Help with hardwood floors

    a floor that will look like new, and in my experience, last a lot longer than carpet or most other floor coverings. i had forgot about using a buffer, thats what i used between coats, works really well. the last floor i refinished, a couple years ago, i rented a sander that is square, and vibrates: for the final sanding, instead of the drum sander: some folks are a little leery of the drum sander.
    heehaw

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help with hardwood floors

    Quote Originally Posted by heehaw
    a floor that will look like new, and in my experience, last a lot longer than carpet or most other floor coverings. i had forgot about using a buffer, thats what i used between coats, works really well. the last floor i refinished, a couple years ago, i rented a sander that is square, and vibrates: for the final sanding, instead of the drum sander: some folks are a little leery of the drum sander.
    heehaw
    Yup, a buffer is often used between coats to knock down the raised grain of the wood and any junk that got into the poly. You do need to use extra caution on a floor that is stained and only has the first coat of poly on it. That first coat should be very thin and it is easy to buff through to the stain.

    A drum sander does take a touch mainly at the end of a run to not leave a depression from letting the sander stand to long on one place. The drum sanders we use are bigger, heavier and more powerful (220v) than those found at rental stores. They require even more of a touch but will cut old finishes or irregular flooring much better. One of the problems with the rental sanders are the drums. A floor sanding drum needs to be perfectly round so as not to leave ripple type of marks on the finish floor. We send ours in to be reworked about once a year at $900 per drum. Rental machine just donít get that kind of attention. Iíve also known contractors to rent them and use them on concrete which just ruins the drum.

    MarkV

  9. #9
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with hardwood floors

    When I did this, I cleaned with mineral spirits (windows open on a windy day with fans) then waxed the floors.

    I wouldn't recommend acetone except for tiny spots that might have something nasty on them.

    Wax makes a good durable finish that's cheap and easy to apply.

    Cliff

  10. #10
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with hardwood floors

    Afternoon Bob,
    I forgot to mention that I used an orbital sander. It had four round pads to do the sanding, much less aggressive than a drum sander ! Like I said, I rented it from HD. They had all the sanding pads and other equipment that I needed to do the job.
    scotty

    ,,,course,,it is gas,and gas is,,well,gas,,so,,but it kills the @#$$ oughta them yellow jackets,,,thingy

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...onth-scott_vt/

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