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What should I do with my floors

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Old 09-06-2006, 01:59 PM   #1
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Refinishing Hardwood

First...I am totally new to all this so thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am buying my first home at the end of the month and I am really excited. I'm 26 years old and I'd love to learn from people how have experience.

The house I'm buying has hardwood floors but they are in major need of being sanded and refinished.

I'd like to take it 1 room at a time. The smallest room is 8x11 and I'd like to start with this room. It is the 3rd bedroom which will actually be my office room.

Would it be possible to use a 5" Random Orbit Sander to sand down the floor and then stain and then polyurethane it? (staining is an option because I know I can leave it as the natural Sanded wood and just put the finishing coat over that)

I have read about renting a drum sander and and edger, but if i can use a Random Orbit Sander (which I have) that would save the renting and the using a peice of equipment that I have never used before.

Thanks in advance!


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Old 09-06-2006, 02:29 PM   #2
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i just bought our first home too, and with our huge laundry list of things to do before we move in, this was one thing we decided to contract out.. plus some things are better left to professionals, since a floor can make or break a room IMHO. ours are in horrendous shape too.. i think it would cause us more headache dealing with them ourselves. we're trying to not be overly ambitious haha which is hard when you buy your first house!

i think that if you dont have many tasks to do to move in, then go ahead and give it a whirl... it's best to do the floors before you move furniture in and paint.


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Old 09-06-2006, 02:54 PM   #3
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You can rent the floor sander for really pretty cheap, like $35 a day. You could sand a ton if you had it for the whole day. It's really easy to use as well.

Once you return it you can rent a larger sander than the one you own to do the edges.

This is one project you could do your self and save some $$$. That said, get a free estimate, can't hurt and then you can see how much you would save, and what else you could spend it on!

I would not attemp it with a homeowner quality 5" orbital sander, I think it would take a really long time.
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:07 PM   #4
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I think you will go insane trying to do it with a 5" sander! But I think you may have the right idea avoiding the drum sander - which is not very first-time user friendly at all! Most pros will tell you, the number one most common thing they see when they come in to "mop up" a blotched DIY attempt is that someone GOUGED their floor with a drum sander...not good at all.

The large, oscillating flat sanders work also and are much much more forgiving to first-timers.

The best advice I can give you is do tons of research. There are many variables when It comes to redoing floors.

Personal advice I will give you is this - Are there any rooms in the house with a wood floor that you are either

going to carpet
are considering carpeting or
are willing to carpet?

Such as a bedroom or something? IF so, start in there. WORST case scenario, if it doesn't go well, at least you can just carpet over it that floor and call in the pros for rooms like the living/dining area.
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:17 PM   #5
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i used to do hardwood floors, for a few months anyway. it doesnt take long to get good at it. i would strongly recomend not doing it yourself. the machines you rent are crap. we had to use rental machines from time to time when ours had to get serviced. like said, a floor can make or break a room. you do a crap job, you waste your time, money, and floor. the prices for getting your floors refinished will be cheaper than most other floor coverings. a profesional will do an outstanding job, as long as you dont pick the guy with an unbelievably low bid. you will save some money, but not a boatload. my friend actually started his own business, doing wood floors, his minumum charge for a job is 300, to cover gas, and his help. i install my own floors, but he gets the sanding job. i did this work for a few months and have enough brains to pay someone else to do it. there is nothing else other than a/c work, that i will have some one else do for me.
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:13 PM   #6
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First hardwood floors increase the value of your house. I would recomend getting a estimate. You have to sand then screen. I would recomend seriously leaving it to a professional. YOU will get much more bang for your buck. Especially when it comes to staining if they use oilbase.
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:50 AM   #7
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I called a place today and they said average is about 3.50 per Sq Ft.

My bedrooms are 19x11, 19x10, and 11x8 which equals 487 SqFt

Cost would be right about $1800

What do you think it would cost for me to rent all of the equipment, all of the brushes, stains, finishes, ect?

Under $500?
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:52 PM   #8
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I think almost everything (Almost) can be DIY, if enough study, investigation, thinking, practice is done... for your case, I would read a hell lot in internet, buy a book talk about sanding hard wood floor, study them well, then start the work, first use a not important area for experiment...then go all the way....

if this procedure followed, I think sometime DIY can out perform some contracting works...

Well, this is just my theory though, I never try it for this type of project... I tried something like plumbing(hooking up a complete bath), electrical(wiring a complete basement)... and they all works well.
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:14 PM   #9
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that seems kind of high. unless its a dustless system or close to it. where do you live? get other estimates. i will stress the fect that they will get it done in probably less than half the time and i highly doubt you will get the results doing it yourself that a pro will get. you will need a buffer for 3 days, an edger for at least a day and a drum, sander for at least a day. get the rental prices. good poly isnt too cheap, you will probably need 3 gallons. one gallon per coat. maybe a little more. you will need a lambswool applicator, a 10' stick, a good brush, 4 or 5". screens for the buffer, drums for the sander in a few different grits, which will get eaten up real quick if its pretty old finish. especially if it was waxed. they go for 12-15 bucks each. also discs for the edger in several grits. a scraper for the corners. do you have radiators? baseboard? if so you will also need a radiator edger. wood filler for and nail holes... good masks for the dust. a really good vaccum, tack cloth for before coats. you can save some cash, but this is one thing id drop the cash and be done with it.


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