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proofer 03-17-2008 06:19 PM

Want to try to refinish hardwood floors and parquet floors
I've never refinished hardwood floors before, but would like to do it soon. I pulled up carpet to find these floors: I believe they're wood as they're original to this house built in 1965. The floor has fading (from an area rug), paint splotches all over, minor scratches, and hundreds of nail and staple holes. I was told that I should rent an orbital sander and an edge sander first (hopefully there's instructions with it). Then, I guess I'll need to pick a stain color (I want to change the color to a medium oak), and I guess the number of coats depends on the brand I choose (I've been told that Minwax is good). And I guess I finish up with polyurethane (and I guess the number of coats I should use will be on the back of the product).

I also have parquet floors in the entryway that are in rough shape (bad coloring/staining/water marks, etc.). So since I will have an orbital sander that day, I'll try sanding this parquet flooring to see what happens. Not sure if it will clean up. If it doesn't turn out, I can always put in tile, but I think it's worth a try first.

Any tips/suggestions/cautions from you who have already tried this before? I sure would appreciate hearing from you.

proofer 03-21-2008 04:45 PM

Well, sure wish I could have received some advice before starting this, but since I didn't, I went ahead and attempted this on my own. So far, this has been a nightmare, and this was only day 1. I'll relay my experience as I go along on this project because I want to help other people also trying this for the first time. I rented an orbital sander and an edger for 24 hours ($60 total for those 2 sanders). I figured that sanding 2 rooms (a living room and a dining room would take about 3 hours, but being new at it, might take a little longer longer). Well, you'll see that you'll go through LOTS of money on sandpaper. We bought 3 different grits (you start with about a 40 grit, then a finer grit, and then a very fine grit). Well, 5 hours later and after lots of problems with the equipment, we quit. And not being happy with the equipment, we'll have to go to the other big box store and rent an orbital sander and a edger all over again. I think we were out a little over $150 today between the 2 sanders and all the sandpaper that we used. What were the problems? No catch bag for the edger (so we now have tons of dust throughout the house)---they said that they didn't have a catch bag for it. Every time the edger came in contact with the baseboard, the sandpaper would rip off. With the edger, we got about 2 minutes' worth of sanding for each piece of 40 grit sandpaper. With the orbital sander, we got about 4 minutes' worth to each piece of sandpaper. We went through LOTS of sandpaper. But after 5 hours, we're probably only about 25% finished with the 40 grit paper---the first stage. We never even had a chance to move on to the next stage with the finer sandpaper. We were told that since our wood was in good shape and just needed the finish taken off, that we should get the orbital sander versus the drum sander. What a nightmare! We were hoping that the sanding would be done today, and that starting Monday, that each night we would be able to put a coat of stain and later in the week, each night a coat of polyurethane. But now we're set back a week because we won't be able to sand until we have a full day set aside (which is next Saturday). I realize that we're saving a lot of money by attempting this ourselves, but we sure have received lots of aggravation thus far---during day 1. Stay tuned when I write back late next weekend! Oh, this web site was good reading:

space_coyote 03-21-2008 05:08 PM

Good luck!

Just wondering if you got any quotes on the work from a professional?

(note: I'm not, nor do I pretend to be a flooring pro)

proofer 03-21-2008 05:31 PM

No, we didn't get a quote because we knew that having floors refinished was expensive. But when we were there to pick up the sanders last night, they said that we were saving about $700 by doing it ourselves. By the way, there were no instructional sheets with these sanders. They talked to us for about 3 minutes about the sanders.

mike costello 03-21-2008 06:16 PM

how big of an area?

proofer 03-21-2008 06:18 PM

It's about 20 by 25.

mike costello 03-21-2008 06:18 PM

One days work is a whole lot of aggrevation??

Dont get into the trades for a livin then

proofer 03-21-2008 06:27 PM

Fixing up this house has definitely been a learning experience for us. It sure feels good to learn these new things WHEN things go your way. After reading some web sites on floor refinishing, we felt comfortable enough to tackle this particular project on our own. BIG MISTAKE! We're not looking forward to sanding again a week from tomorrow. But hopefully, we'll get some tips on using the different sanders at that other box store. I just can't believe all the sandpaper we went through! Wish us luck!

proofer 03-29-2008 07:44 PM

OK, newbies. Time for a follow-up. I finished sanding the floors today. It took me approximately 10 hours to sand 2 rooms that have hardwood floors and an entryway hallway with parquet flooring. You have to be pretty strong to hold on to these sanders (one orbital and one edger), because they want to jump around and go in a different direction than you're wanting to go. This orbital floor sander that I used took 4 sandpaper discs at a time. I had minor scratches, paint splotches, polyurethane, and the color to remove. With the orbital, I used 5 grits, going from the coarsest to fine: 36, 40, 60, 80, and 100. The polyurethane that didn't come off with the orbital (in the crevices) were removed with the edger. The edger took 80 grit. Since each of these sanders had bags, I didn't have too much problem with dust this time. I did vacuum between each grit of sandpaper. Tomorrow I was hoping to stain, but in doing the floors, I see that I have some tiny holes to fill in the parquet, some loose pieces in the parquet to glue down, and some baseboards to sand. Keep posted to see how the staining goes next week.

Allison1888 04-12-2008 07:47 PM

refinish wood floors
Boy, you sure learned the hard way. I've always left this one to the pros. The guy I use charges about $600 for that size room and it sounds like it's worth it. Another option I just read about is to paint the wood. Now, being a purist, I don't recommend that for GOOD wood floors, but if yours are in not so good shape and you want a cool look, check this out.

proofer 04-19-2008 08:08 PM

These floors are now done. What a project!

The living room/dining room: We sanded, applied a stain, and 2 coats of polyurethane (we used the Minwax super fast drying poly and it said that it only needed 2 coats of poly since we just applied a new stain).

Here's how the living room/dining room looks now:

The parquet flooring: We sanded. We didn't use a stain, but we did apply 3 coats of polyurethane. The parquet floors took quite a while longer to dry (2 days) than did the living room/dining room area (a matter of hours).

Here's how the parquet floor in the entryway looks now:

We're happy with the finished look. If any of you newbies need any advice from a novice, please ask soon while it's still fresh in our mind, because we'll soon be on to other different projects. We had lots of problems, asked lots of question at H.D., spent many hours, but overall, we are happy that we tried this on our own.

Knucklez 04-20-2008 05:59 PM

4 Attachment(s)
hey proofer.. your experience matches exactly my own! i found with the edger it was easy to get swirl marks in the floor with 60 or 80 grit paper. so one has to take out these marks with 100 grit and then 120 or 150 grit. our quote for 2nd floor pine plank refurbish was $3500. obviously this is cost prohibitive.

i documented my floor refurbishment here

ps. your floors look great, very nice grain exposure.

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