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Old 09-04-2011, 11:03 AM   #1
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My poor hardwood floors!


I had a handyman start on my hardwood floors. I think he messed up the floor because all he did was paint the floors with polyurethane and that's all. Now I have white spots all over the floor and it looks worse then before. What do I do?

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Old 09-04-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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My poor hardwood floors!


You will have to sand the coat of poly off and with 80 grit sand paper and then sand with 100 grit to get the floor to take a new coat of poly. He sould have screened (sanded) the floor before adding poly. It has to have a rough base to addhere to. You don't have to go to 100 grit, I just alwas do.

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Old 09-04-2011, 11:57 AM   #3
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My poor hardwood floors!


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Originally Posted by woodman58
You will have to sand the coat of poly off and with 80 grit sand paper and then sand with 100 grit to get the floor to take a new coat of poly. He sould have screened (sanded) the floor before adding poly. It has to have a rough base to addhere to. You don't have to go to 100 grit, I just alwas do.
So basically he made more work for himself. He only started half of my living room. Should he continue or what
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
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My poor hardwood floors!


Apparently he knows as much about doing this as you do. No offence to you. He is supose to be someone that knows something about what they are doing. He apperently does not. If I were you I would do it myself or hire a proffesional.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:06 PM   #5
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My poor hardwood floors!


I know that you are supposed to sand the floor before you poly the floor. What do I need and get?
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:19 PM   #6
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My poor hardwood floors!


Go to a rental place and get a 18" ocillating sander with 80 grit screens and take the top finish off. Make sure and get down to the old finish. This will scratch the old finish enough to addhere a new finish now.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:54 PM   #7
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My poor hardwood floors!


Pull back on the reins of the horses before you go out and start sanding things off and we decide you just need to screen the surface before poly over the top. I don't remember you telling us what shape the floors were in to start with? Should they have been sanded for a more complete refinishing or was screening and a clear coat worth a shot?

The orbital sander recommended will do the trick but will take a fair amount of work and lots of sandpaper, especially since you have to carve the new failed layer off. They are nice because if you pull the baseboards, they will get all the edges. A drum sander will cut the time in half and paper maybe as much. It will carve through your floor in about two seconds if you do not pay attention. I think with the orbitals availed, DIYers should not be touching drum sanders. Others will argue the point.

All that said? And I know this is a DIY site? And all the folk that did floors for me stayed insanely busy and even I who fed them work regularly had to wait in line for a workdate at times?

They knew exactly what they were doing with any project I tossed at them, what was on the floors already and came out much cheaper than me renting equipment, buying paper, buying coatings, etc. They had all the major equipment and specialty items not availed for rent. They could color match pretty amazingly.

Just saying you might want to get an estimate or two from a real floor guy or gal?

Last edited by user1007; 09-04-2011 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:41 PM   #8
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My poor hardwood floors!


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Originally Posted by sdsester
Pull back on the reins of the horses before you go out and start sanding things off and we decide you just need to screen the surface before poly over the top. I don't remember you telling us what shape the floors were in to start with? Should they have been sanded for a more complete refinishing or was screening and a clear coat worth a shot?

The orbital sander recommended will do the trick but will take a fair amount of work and lots of sandpaper, especially since you have to carve the new failed layer off. They are nice because if you pull the baseboards, they will get all the edges. A drum sander will cut the time in half and paper maybe as much. It will carve through your floor in about two seconds if you do not pay attention. I think with the orbitals availed, DIYers should not be touching drum sanders. Others will argue the point.

All that said? And I know this is a DIY site? And all the folk that did floors for me stayed insanely busy and even I who fed them work regularly had to wait in line for a workdate at times?

They knew exactly what they were doing with any project I tossed at them, what was on the floors already and came out much cheaper than me renting equipment, buying paper, buying coatings, etc. They had all the major equipment and specialty items not availed for rent. They could color match pretty amazingly.

Just saying you might want to get an estimate or two from a real floor guy or gal?
Yes, he started have of my living room floor lesson to be learned .
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:49 PM   #9
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My poor hardwood floors!


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Originally Posted by woodman58
Apparently he knows as much about doing this as you do. No offence to you. He is supose to be someone that knows something about what they are doing. He apperently does not. If I were you I would do it myself or hire a proffesional.
If I hired a pro approx how much would that cost me? I thought he knew what he was doing because he said he did his own
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:56 AM   #10
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My poor hardwood floors!


Different areas of the country have different prices. Call your local retailer and ask what they charge. They may give you the name of the guy they use. If not, find a subcontractor to get a price. Before using a subcontractor make sure and check refferences. There are people that have the tools but, don't know how to use them.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:43 AM   #11
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I worked almost exclusively on restoration of antique houses. And I moved all over the country doing so, part time with another career usually. My own home in California was anything but antique to the point the steel and glass squeaked in earthquakes. I live in a restored turn of the Century building in Chicago now. People working on old houses, offices and living spaces are kind of a weird cult from my experience. Your hood should have a collection of us that you can tap easily. We hide under banners of historical restoration societies and so forth. We know the people that do nice hardwood floor refinishing. The bad news is we tended to keep them busy so there was wait time.

I don't know what you should expect to pay for competent floor refinishing in your area. You certainly do no have a floor person in hand now---fire him at least for this task. Start with your library to find the folks like me that do antique homes. Some of my projects were huge Victorians. One of my favorites was an historic railway worker house in Urbana, IL. Two small bedrooms. Galley kitchen. Tall ceilings, nice plaster walls and a hidden treasure of maple, cherry and oak flooring that sparkled back to life when put in the hands of a hardwood floor refinisher that knew what he was doing.

As mentioned, maybe you or your handyman can figure out a way to fix this, with lots of sandpaper and a safe DIY orbital rental machine. A drum sander would be faster and is not beyond the capabilities of a DIYer. I grew up with tools and rented one once. Just once.

I owned a prototyped Accura built off all advancements made in the racing world once. I do not know what top speed could be. I know I cut the time it takes to get from Chicago to Champaign-Urbana from 2.5 to 3 hours in half. I realized I was going to hurt somebody driving so fast and so crazy.

Drum sanders are the same way. The first 30 seconds from when you turn 60 grit paper on could carve a nasty gouge in your floor. 30 seconds more and you could chew right through it.

Call in a pro floor refinisher, at least for a consult. And pay the piper if you must. And buy the way, it sounds like your Handyman tried to poly over years of wax coating if white spots are bubbling up. A floor person would have at least stripped the layers of wax off first. No way the poly coat is going to stick to wax. Sorry. And too bad you started with the living room. Never again right? Good news is you can fix this. Yourself if you have the time and want to run an orbital sander the size of your mother in law.

Last edited by user1007; 09-05-2011 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:01 AM   #12
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My poor hardwood floors!


I do a lot of my own work, but I will not touch refinishing a floor. Too easy to destroy the floor, too hard to get it right. Around where I live, you can get a floor sanded and refinished by a professional for $3 - $5 per square foot, depending on how much sanding is needed, and how many coats of finish you want. You can of course try to do the work yourself, however based on personal experience you are not likely to be happy with the results for the first job, too steep a learning curve.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:36 AM   #13
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My poor hardwood floors!


Waaaaay back after I got out of the Navy I worked with a fellow who refinished floors, there is no way under the sun I would touch a drum sander on a floor. Like has already been said, it will eat the world up before you know it. Trying to keep the waves out of the floor is an art within itself. You have to develop a feel for the sander it is not something you just learn right away.

In all the restorations I did, I always hired one crew of flooring people, these two fellows were artist to say the least. We laid a lot of antique heart pine and the crew came in and hand scraped the joints to make the floors look old instead of new.

If you plan for your floors to have a shine to them you will be able to see every imperfection in them, so you want them right. A botched floor will kill a sell of any house. If the floor isn't right you will hate the floor from now on.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
A botched floor will kill a sell of any house. If the floor isn't right you will hate the floor from now on.
And a nicely restored hardwood floor will be noticed, even with rugs you put over it faster than brand new kitchens and bathrooms in a house showing. Ask any real estate agent even in this market? Mine that sold projects for me, loved being able to say.

"These hardwood floors that have been restored are original to the property!"

Or

"These maple floors in the kitchen were rescued from a farm house not so far from here. They were milled in 1865 and have never been sanded before being laid in your kitchen. The person who restored this house found them, pulled them up, and put them down again, tongue and groove intact. He ran every floor board through a planer. Then he nailed them in place.

He brought in a professional hardwood floor refinisher to seal stain and coat the floors. What do you think?"

Come on. Be honest. People who walked through by restorations might have realized they could not afford them. But especially with flooring, all walked on beautiful floors. Restored if I could make it work. Sometimes bamboo if I could not.

Crappy assed hardwood floor finishing done by DIYers or their handypersons looks like crappy assed hardwood floor finishing done by DIYers or their handypersons.

Proper restoration of hardwood floors, especially those antique, is not a DIY project.

As jiju hints, a good floor refinisher can see see ever flaw not only in the surface of the floor but it in the way it hangs on the floor joists beneath. Such a person knows to adjust the pressure on a sander with gravity in mind. Your restored floor, in the right hands, could end up more level than it is now.

Last edited by user1007; 09-05-2011 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:29 PM   #15
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My poor hardwood floors!


dang, yeah your going to have to have to sand that!

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