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Old 03-04-2009, 09:51 PM   #1
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Floor refinishing advise needed

A few things I'm scratching my head about this floor project are....

After sanding, will any stain between the boards still show?
Would a water based finish still adhere if there was some traces of the old?
Can I go without a stain and still have it look good?
Are there any descent water based finishes available for a diy'er?
I would like to use a water based finish, due to the quick drying time, but the water based stains available don't seem to have the look that I had in mind....just not a very natural, rich look.

I have heard that an oil based sealer first will give it a good look.
Is this true?
Can I put water over oil?

The floor is about 80 yrs old......black ash, with a dark stain & has been refinished before.
It's really showing its age & needs several boards replaced that have splintered, chipped and been banged up.....kinda like me.

many thanks!


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Old 03-05-2009, 04:04 PM   #2
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Let me pretend you're a potential customer standing in my store asking me about refinishing your floor.

I'd tell you -

1. There's a lot to refinishing a floor properly. I usually take my refinishing guy out on bids because even after many years selling flooring, there's an art to refinishing and I like the artist to look at them before I bid them.

Almost every time, I learn some new little trick from the guy and we've looked at a lot of jobs together.

2. If you're dealing with a floor that's 80 years old and has been refinished in the past, you may not be able to refinish it at all. Refinishing involves removing wood.

A floor that age is likely 3/4" and can only be refinished down to the heads of the nails in the floor which are going to be at the top of the tongue. They sit about 1/4" down from the original surface.

Clean out a gap between the planks somewhere and stick something thin in it to guage how much depth you have to work with.

If it was me, I'd have a couple pros come look at your floor and bid it. Ask them a lot of questions while they're out there. They will be the best judge of how to get the look you want, and if it's possible.


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Old 03-05-2009, 07:10 PM   #3
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Thanks Mudd!

I like the tip about measuring the floor.
After doing a few measurments around the room with a pocket knife and marker, surprisiing to me, the minmum I could find was just under a 1/4" of wood between the tongue and top.

I had spoke with 2 refinishers. Though I had never thought of asking all the detailed questions, they were pretty tight lipped about everything regardless.
A quick look at the floor, a look at a hole where a register was and then a huge price. It would be far more cheaper to replace it myself.
I can only assume I was speaking to the wrong people...or a lack of the right ones. They weren't too convincing anyways.

The boards are all 16' in lengh and would be nice to keep them. They also run through the whole house, right under the walls.

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