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atxjoe 12-02-2011 11:23 AM

Blending New/Old Oak flooring
I salvaged about 800 sq ft. of 3/4" strip oak flooring before I gutted my house. I'm now at the point in my remodel where I'm ready to lay the flooring back down. I'll need to purchase about 300 sq ft. of new oak flooring to mix in with old for full coverage.

The old boards are finished in a hard, glossy, gym-like finish. The new boards will be unfinished. My plan is to mix the old and new boards together when I re-install them to get as even a distribution of old/new as possible. Then drum sand all of them to the same level until the old finish is removed. I'll follow all the standard directions like progressing through multiple grits 50/80/100, vacuuming, screening, etc. Then I'll stain/refinish everything.

Any problems with my plan? I know drum sanders can be dangerous but I'm pretty confident that I can figure it out if I take my time. There are lots of great videos on YouTube :thumbup:

It appears like the old boards were refinished once, just by looking at the unfinished ends that were under the base molding. They're old (60 years) but in great shape, I tossed the bad ones. One concern I have is that initially the new and old boards will be slightly different heights. I wasn't sure how that might affect the sanding.

Big Stud 12-02-2011 11:48 AM

What you are about to attempt isn't usually ever done. You may have a rough time getting the boards even and all the old finish off before you sand right down to the tongue. If it works you will have saved yourself a lot of money and spent a bit more time sanding. If it doesn't work you will have ruined a nice oak floor. the only time I have seen old and new flooring melded together, all the old stuff was on one side of the room and new on the other. You said you planned to "distribute them evenly". Be careful, and sand slowly. Good luck with this one my friend,

atxjoe 12-02-2011 11:52 AM

Ok, that's what I wanted to know. So it sounds like it may be better to install the old and new in different areas and minimize any feathering?

The old boards have less than a 32nd of an inch removed, I'd still call them 3/4" thick. I feel like I'll be able to get the finish off without having to go too deep.

I'll be staining them a very dark color, ebony, so I'm not as worried about blending color.

Big Stud 12-02-2011 07:51 PM

Sounds like it may work. Again I say Good luck,

hrjrkr 12-03-2011 07:30 AM

Lowe's rents a floor sander that has 3 orbital pads on it and you really can't screw up. I used it when I did my floor and it works great. I have used drum sander but this orbital sander is great. It takes a little longer but it does a great job.

RhodesHardwood 12-03-2011 11:57 PM

We do this all the time and it is just fine. You will probably need to sand with a 36 grit first then progress as you mentioned.

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