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Old 01-11-2008, 11:09 AM   #1
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Old pre-finished oak floor


Our 14 yo home had pre-finished red oak hardwood laid in the main floor, and it's getting pretty worn. I'd like to refinish it, and I'm wondering if it's possibly/advisable to sand it down a full 1/8 or so to remove that little V-notch between each board, and give it a more finished and cleaner look. I hate how the little crevices catch dirt and grit.

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Old 01-13-2008, 05:53 PM   #2
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Old pre-finished oak floor


The term "pre finished floor" could be either an engineered product or solid strip floor, but the existence of the v notches leads me to believe that it is an engineered, laminated floor. There is not enough thickness to the finish veneer to remove 1/8" without going through and exposing the lower cross plies. Even though some manufacturers advertise a full 1/8" veneer, I haven't met a floor guy yet who could operate a drum sander with the precision of a machinist.

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Old 01-13-2008, 06:08 PM   #3
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Old pre-finished oak floor


I don't think you can tell the type of floor by a beveled edge. My 3/4" hardwood has beveled edges.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:20 PM   #4
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Old pre-finished oak floor


Sorry I didn't make it clear. This is 3/4" solid red oak hardwood flooring. Definitely not an engineered product. I called it pre-finished, because this stuff was presumably laid without any sanding or finishing after installation, and the bevels are there to disguise any unevenness in the surface . . . er, overemphasize any unevenness in the surface? Either way, it looks shabby, and it's time to refinish these floors anyways, so can we sand out the grooves? Or is that expecting too much thickness removal?

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Old 01-14-2008, 12:02 PM   #5
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Old pre-finished oak floor


I guess it depends on where the groove is located. You wouldn't want to sand down that low or else you will really have some cosmetic problems. If you have any floor vents or other holes cut in the floor, you could take a look at the cross section of the flooring to see where you would end up.

However, I do not believe that you would need to sand the floors to that extent to rid yourself of the dust catching crevices. A standard sanding will reduce the noticeability of the crevices (in width and depth) and the new (continuous) poly topcoat would likely fill up whats left and take care of the dust issues.

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Old 01-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #6
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Old pre-finished oak floor


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Originally Posted by dadswrx View Post
I guess it depends on where the groove is located. You wouldn't want to sand down that low or else you will really have some cosmetic problems.
What do you mean? What cosmetic issues will I have? The flooring is 3/4" thick solid red oak.

I can't imagine sanding this floor WITHOUT removing the groove completely, because unless you were able to perfectly sand every bit of the floor identically, the remaining v-notch would show that the sanding was uneven. For example, some boards will be just a bit higher than others. When sanded those will have more of the groove removed than others, so the lines between the boards will then be uneven.

I guess what I'm really asking is whether a floor sander can easily remove about 1/16-3/32" of material from the floor? Is that a lot more than is normally removed?
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:16 AM   #7
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Old pre-finished oak floor


My apologies for not being clear in my prior post. My initial point was that you would not want to sand down so low as to get to the "groove" of the "tongue and groove" joint. There should be ample room even at 1/8 inch depth, but a quick check of the flooring cross section will avoid any problems.

After rereading your description, I suppose that a 1/8 inch deep chamfer would be ~1/4 wide when the two chamfers are adjacent to one another. If that is the case, that would be tough to hide without sanding it out completely. The newer prefinished floors tend to have much smaller chamfers that would likely disappear after a standard sanding and poly treatment.

However, a quick visit/inspection from your local flooring contractor would likely answer all your questions.

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Old 01-15-2008, 06:42 AM   #8
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Old pre-finished oak floor


Thanks.

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