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Old 08-30-2011, 01:42 PM   #1
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considerations for refinishing grooved wood floor?


What are the considerations in polyurethaning a grooved floor for the first time? the floor has gone about 20 years with wax and buff every couple of years (yes not often enough).

I wish to DIY this if at all possible. I can be tolerant of average results.I will have the help of a freind who recently did their home, but who had no grooves as my floors have.

I guess on of my larger concerns would be that there is already a fair amount of both wax buildup in the grooves and likely with varnish or shellac below that at a depth I do not intend to sand to. I am concerned about adherence of the urathane in the grooves.

I would be grateful with advice from people who have dealt with this type of wood floor.


Last edited by rasz; 08-30-2011 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:18 PM   #2
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considerations for refinishing grooved wood floor?


It is time to buy a pair of knee pads.

You will need to hand scrape the grooves ---you will find scrapers in assorted shapes at most woodworking stores and some paint stores--

The grooves need to be clean raw wood and a scraper is the fastest tool.-----Mike---

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Old 08-30-2011, 05:35 PM   #3
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considerations for refinishing grooved wood floor?


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It is time to buy a pair of knee pads.

You will need to hand scrape the grooves ---you will find scrapers in assorted shapes at most woodworking stores and some paint stores--

The grooves need to be clean raw wood and a scraper is the fastest tool.-----Mike---
Mike I guess the quesiton remaining is whether I want to sand some of the floor some first. I would guess that would make the ~1/4" deep gorves a fair amount more shallow and therefore less work? (it is is at least 1,200 square feet and the boards with this groove are about 2.5" wide wiht groves both on the sides and ends of boards).
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #4
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considerations for refinishing grooved wood floor?


Sand first--then scrape --just like you thought----It's not as bad as it sounds--scraping the groves clean goes quickly--then vacuum and finish.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:52 PM   #5
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considerations for refinishing grooved wood floor?


Mike, thanks for your groovy advice. I just counted 85 19' grooves or 1615' of groove in in one 16 x19 room, that doesn't included grooves at ends which probably make for another couple of hundred feet. I thought the worst part was I have to do one room at a time due to us living here! looks like the whole two bedroom place has nearly 8,000 linear feet of grooves.

Two more questions:
1) I have heard random orbital sanders are less likely to result in a n00b mishap than drum. Is there a some significant downside consideration to orbital? If it is purely a balance between less risk of gouging or other irreparable mistake, but more work, I would go with more work.

2) I am disinclined to stain this as I have no experience, but as you can see from photo attached showing the groves, if the color is mostly at the surface, and I sand off the surface, the groves would still give me dark lines that might look much more promient than I want if sanding removes color. What should be my strategy, materials be in that case? I am planning to use water urathane as I can only do one room at a time, and would have kids back in house within days, and don't want to expose them to too much of these fumes.

I assume this is decent builder grade wood with shellac and was, and it has not been refinished since it was installed about 25 years ago.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:51 PM   #6
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considerations for refinishing grooved wood floor?


I'm not a floor finisher---so take this with a grain of salt O.K.?

The scraping does go fast if you have a good back--a sharp scraper will clean that in two quick passes.

about three foot to a pull----

As to the sanders---The drum sanders and the edger take practice and can get away from you.
Those I have used.

The random orbits are slow--but predictable.

I tried one once and returned it as the job was to big for such a slow process--(and I had a some experience with the drum already)

In the old days the carpenters set the wood and a finisher showed up after we left--

Now the hardwood guys do both jobs---

A real hardwood finisher will chime in soon.I'll bet.----Mike---
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
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considerations for refinishing grooved wood floor?


Grooves? They looks like GAPS to me.
But the advise remains the same.

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Old 09-04-2011, 06:27 AM   #8
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considerations for refinishing grooved wood floor?


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Grooves? They looks like GAPS to me.
they are bezel/grooves for sure not gaps. there is a tiny gap at the top of the step up in the picture between my living room and dining rooms there, but that is not where the bezels meet but actually where the perimeter boards meet the main floor. I think that singel gap happened from the weight right on the edge when moving in a piano.
But all the rest throughout the home is a bezeled/grooved hardwood floor. the planks seem to be 2 5/16" wide.

my understanding is the bezels were more common at the time my floor was done, serving one or both of a) trapping dirt or grit that could scratch floor b) masking slight imperfections in subfloors since tiny height differences would not be telegraphed at surface to same degree

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Old 09-04-2011, 06:32 AM   #9
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considerations for refinishing grooved wood floor?


Rasz---You have me laughing----

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