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Old 06-04-2012, 09:43 PM   #1
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General advice and reading material.

Hi, I am closing on a 1950 ranch in 2 weeks. It has hardwood (oak?) floors throughout majority of home. Some is covered by carpet and in one spot there is severe damage where a desk chair ate about 1/8 to 1/4" off the top of the boards.

My general assumption is that I will want/need to refinish the floors and replace a small section. I am fairly handy and I think I am up for the task. I can also call upon my father-in-law for help (he refinished the floors in his house). We don't plan on moving into the house for a few weeks while we fix problems paint etc.

I was hoping I someone here could point me to some good reading material.


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Old 06-06-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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A good book from the library on floor refinishing that goes into the different types of sanders would be a good start. The newer orbital floor sanders take longer and use more paper but they are easier to handle than the drum type. It is much harder to gouge a floor with one and you can do a lot of damage quickly with a drum sander.

You should also read up on how best to deal with the existing t&g pattern as you nail in the repair section. And read up on staining floors and matching new wood to old.

I want to be real honest with you. I have done hardwood floor refinishing on my projects when up against a deadline and people were busy. Usually I sub-contracted it out. The business is competitive and you may be able to hire someone with the expertise and all the equipment for the same or even less than doing this yourself. You can devote your time to other household repairs?

Good floor refinishers tend to stay busy though so if considering a contractor you should line somebody up quickly so floors are ready for you to move in.


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Old 06-06-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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Although you find lots of books on Amazon, the websites for flooring supply companies also have a lot of how-to information, usually without you having to provide a name or commit to anything.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:47 PM   #4
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We tore out the carpet an hour after closing. As we had hoped for we now have 800sqft of 2 1/4" oak floor. Not bad for a 1250sqft house. The finish might be original 1950. Looks like they had area rugs and runners prior to the 1970/80 shag carpet. Some sections are in decent condition, others the finish is all worn and some black staining.

My father-in-law replaced the damaged boards. Looks good, seams are tight, proper spacing and all. Even managed to find some "old" 2 1/4" so hopefully it will blend well after finishing.

We decided to paint and refinish baseboard/windows/trim before refinishing the floor.

My father-in-laws concern is that we have a small budget and that a "pros" wont take the time to bleach black stains before applying new finish. Perhaps that is why he did his own house?

Either way, I will keep your advice in mind as things progress. Depending how quickly the other projects go may determine whether we tackle the floor ourselves or not.

In the mean time, I'll be figuring out how to catch the two bullfrogs living in the neglected swimming pool.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:23 PM   #5
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Here is a good book that covers a lot about hardwood floors Other than that their is a hardwood floor magazine. It is free to order, just google it.
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