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Old 04-17-2012, 07:06 AM   #1
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Hardwood floors - refinish before or after install?


We just pulled up about 300 square feet of oak 2 1/2 inch hardwood flooring that needs to be refinished. Should we refinish the boards before installing or after?

In the past we have refinished installed floors, but have never dealt with this scenario before.

Also any tips on removing the staples from the boards? Any suggestions appreciated.

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Old 04-17-2012, 07:19 AM   #2
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Hardwood floors - refinish before or after install?


Unless you need to take some off the top of all the boards with a planer, you should put the floor back down and refinish in place so you get an even floor surface. You could end up with a slightly uneven floor if you try to sand old boards first.

You can pull the nails or staples out the back side if you have the patience and I used to do it this way with floors I rescued for recycling. I found it much more efficient to just cut the staples/nails off flush with an angle grinder if you have any amount of flooring at all. You also run less risk of damaging the t&g. What you do not ever want to do is try and pound them back out.

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Old 04-17-2012, 07:36 AM   #3
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Hardwood floors - refinish before or after install?


Funny you mention trying to hammer out the staples. Tried that and they just bend :-(

Do you know if it would be possible to install hardwood in a room that is unheated in the winter? I was told the narrower the boards the better they respond to changes in moisture and the less likely they are to warp and bow. These boards are at least 15 years old.

I live in New Brunswick Canada, so it can get to -25 Celsius in the winter. It's also pretty moist here. Thanks for the helpful reply. Heather
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
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Hardwood floors - refinish before or after install?


Cold will not effect it as much as the moisture will.
Moisture will cause the boards to cup, twist and curl.
Before the floor can be installed, the flooring and rooms need to be warm and around 40% humity in the room for a few days. The wood can be tested for moisture with a moisture meter. I'm sure one of the flooring guys will pipe in with the propper moisture level needs to be in the flooring it's self.
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