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I have noticed lately that my floors are very dull and lack shine. they are also badly scratched from dog nails. In order to make my floors more shiny, I am considering staining. I figured this would make them look shiny again. How long does a good stain usually hold for? Is staining really worth it? I don't have a lot of money and was wondering if there was something that would be more efficient in the long run.
 

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Stain colors the wood, it has nothing to do with the finish(shine), and does nothing when applied over the existing finish. If you have scratches, you probably should have the floors sanded, then refinish, with or without stain. If you plan this as a DIY project, do not use a drum sander if you have never used one before. You can ruin the floors in a heartbeat. Home and rental stores have more user friendly disc sanders for redoing floors.

You may be able to perk up the old floors with a good cleaning, with stuff made for cleaning wood floors, not soap/water. Then a light coat of wax.
 

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How old are your floors? Were they prefinished when they were put in, or were they originally sanded & finished when they were put in? If they were not prefinished floors, you can screen & recoat them.

By screening & recoating, you'll go to the local rental yard & rent a vibrating sander or buffer with a 120-150 grit sand screen. All you're doing is abrading the existing finish so the next coat can get a bite. After screening, vaccum the floor & use a rag dampened with paint thinner to tack up any remaining dust. I like to tack twice before varnishing. A couple coats of oil based polyurethane after the screening will bring your floors back to life. This is a relatively inexpensive, long term fix to your problem. If you don't have factory prefinished floors.

One other thing, before you get real involved in what I described, you will want to check for wax. Many old floors were maintained with wax. If your floor was maintained this way, screening won't work. To test for wax, paint a small section of the floor with varnish & allow to stand for about 5 minutes. If there is wax, the varnish will seperate, if there's not, it will remain in a pool. You can use mineral spirits to wipe back up the varnish you painted on the floor.
 

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Andrea,

In reading this and the other thread ( http://www.diychatroom.com/f5/how-do-i-keep-my-hardwood-floors-looking-new-49096/ ), I would say you should not have hardwood in your house. Same goes for carpeting and light colored vinyl flooring. All will fade and/or yellow.

Ceramic would be your best bet in every respect. Durability, clean ability, sanitary considerations and long term costs too.

You have large windows, and you have a dog (or two?) that is probably not pocket size. That equals no hardwood or other delicate flooring.

You will need to have your hardwood screened and re coated. This is normal maintenance for hardwood, although most people are able to get 8-10 years before the dull areas are noticeable.

Jaz
 

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Interesting stuff here... I am actually in the process of getting this done to my own house. What's really cool is that I feel much better about the company I am going to be using to get this done. What they have told me about their process sounds similar to what I am reading above. Which Iguess leads me to my next questuion which is or has anyone heard of Oakland Wood Floors? Their website is hear... I was referred by a friend http://oaklandwoodfloors.com/ Let me know if anyone has and what they thought of them
 

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Welcome!

Hardwood floors can be tricky to deal with. We all want our floors to shine with unique luster, but the reality of it is that in order to so, you must hire experts. Sure, this can occasionally come with a costly price, but if you find the right company, then you can expect to save a bunch while truly embracing the look of your flooring.

Where are you located? I know of some local companies that could be of assistance..
 

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If you have dogs that have scratched your floors, they will likely continue to scratch them after all your hard work refinishing. I would put a durable Lamenant floor down. This is a floating floor put right over the existing.
 

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Staining Floors

Andrea,

I had a similar experience a few years ago in my old house. My dog kept tearing up our floors and it didn't look as great as I would have liked. I ended up refinishing, and felt proud that I could do it myself! Now that I have kids AND a dog, I chose tile for some parts of the current house. It's a personal choice, but it’s much easier for me to keep up with and it looks great!
 
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