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Old 07-01-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
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Old wood floors

I have a 1912 one story bungalow. It has three bedrooms, a tiny bathroom and a wonderful galley kitchen. It was neglected for years and was empty in foreclosure when I bought it. It has I think the original hardwood floors, however in all three bedrooms I had to pull up the rugs, the owners had let those dogs pee on them. My question is this, in the first bedroom where I started (it smelled the worst) I have sanded, it was already bare wood, it sanded pretty easy, I did it by hand with a small sander. The boards are about an inch in width and I really want to save them. I have heard that I should use a polyurethane sealer and stain it, then I hear not to use Polyurethane and leave it the natural color. how do I tell what kind of wood I have and what do I do know to seal it and restore it? This room also has the original wide wood base boards and window trim which also need redone. Any advice would be great! I am a first-timer DIY!


Last edited by BungalowBaby; 07-01-2011 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Misspelling
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:55 PM   #2
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Welcome Bungalow, to the best darn DIY'r site on the web.

Post a picture of the floor, that would assist in determining the species of wood, as a not Polyurethane is clear, and would keep the woods natural color, I wouldn't recommend a high gloss finish as this will reflect all imperfections.

Given your description I would venture a guess as being oak flooring.



When its all said and done there is usually more said than done
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:04 PM   #3
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white vinegar would get rid of the smell.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:11 PM   #4
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I will figure out how to post pictures, thanks! Also, I have tried white vinega, works for a little while, and better than anything else I have tried, but not a permanant solution. The floors needed redone anyway.

But I still am not sure if I should use polyeurathane or not. Someone suggested linseed oil or something? We have dogs (fully housetrained) but it is not a high traffic area.
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Old 07-02-2011, 05:43 AM   #5
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Polyurethane is you best and easiest choice. I have been finishing floors for 28 years. It holds up the best. Linseed or tounge oil is more for furniture. It is also harder to apply. I would agree with Jackofall1, it is probably oak. I haven't seen a 1" floor in years.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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when refinishing oak strip flooring with poly does it matter if the floors where sealed with wax?
or does the sanding elimanate the wax coating?
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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Post the pictures, I would NOT assume your floor is oak. I have seen 1 inch pine, cypress, maple, oak, and cherry. And if the urine soaked into the floor, my experience is that white vinegar is not adequate to remove the odor, especially cat urine. You may need enzyme treatment for that.

Polyurethane works well on most floor types, however open grained wood like oak may require filler after sanding but before use of polyurethane, depending on what type of finish you want. You are going to have to get rid of any wax, but the sanding will handle that. You may want to consider hiring a professional floor mechanic, they will do a better job than you can do the first time, and the cost may not be much more after you consider the cost to rent a sanding machine etc.


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identifying , old wood floor , refinishing , sealing , staining

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