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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just purchased a rental house with hardwood floors that have a lot of scratches and some minor discolorations here and there. I really didn't want to pay a bunch of money to have them sanded and refinished because renters will just scratch them up again. I also did not want to carpet over them because renters are so hard on carpet too.

I was thinking about just cleaning and buffing them and then adding a coat of clear poly and strategically add area rugs and such. I figured the poly would add some shine and diminish the dull look and still be suitable for a rental especially once you add fruniture.

Anyone with rental or hardwood floor expertise have any advice or suggestions?
 

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Clean the floors --remove any wax--then rent a floor buffer with a light sanding screen---this will offer you a clean ,wax free surface that will take a coat or two of Poly---

I'm not a hardwood finisher---we have a few here the will correct me if I'm wrong---Mike----
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is buffing with a light sanding screen better better than buffing with steel wool or about the same result?
 

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Guys since it's a rental couldn't he just get a wax pencil the right color, or close, cover the scratches, light sand, and put a coat of floor finish on it.
 

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Wax pencil will cause the poly to bead up --wax is the enemy of recoating.---

Clean ---that is key----
 

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Rhodes link is a good one.

I'm not sure you can remove wax. If it is possible, please explain how.
I don't have a whole lot of experience removing just the wax. We normally sand it off. But I am pretty sure you could get it done by wet buffing with mineral spirits and some maroon buffing pads. Although, I can't say for sure. Bona prep is such a good bonding agent that a new coat of finish would probably stick to it either way, but I cant say for sure.
 

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Obviously if there is a way to do it, then it won't be necessary to remove the existing finish and this would be a real time saver.

In the meantime, NEVER WAX A FLOOR AND BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHICH CLEANERS ARE USED.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here are pics of the floor. I haven't cleaned them or anything yet. Think a light buffing, coat of poly and area rugs wll make them presentable?

BTW, I'm also planning to paint the paneling.
 

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From the looks of the first pic, this floor needs a complete sand and refinish. The scratches go accross the planks. You cannot hide them. If they were going with the grain they would be easier to hide.
 

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You might do well to get a price on sanding and finishing from a pro---I am always pleasantly surprised at the reasonable cost------
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have refinished a number of floors so I can do it for about $300 worth of materials. However it takes about 3 days hard labor.

My concern is renters screwing them up in 6 mos. Which is why I'm thinking, cleaning, light sand and one coat of poly which I can do with one day of labor and about $100 materials. They won't look great but probably good enough to rent it. I figure they are going to scratch them back up anyway.
 

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The floor clearly need to be refinished. Buffing and recoating them would probably make all of the discoloration and scratches stick out worse. If you just refinish them and use a tough finish they will probably hold up well to renters. Then as long as you buff and recoat the floors between each tenant you can probably avoid the need to sand them again. A good finish is about $120 per gallon, so the finish alone will cost at least $300, then once you factor in the rental of a drum sander, a buffer, an edge sander, sand paper for each machine, applicators, brushes, sealer, mineral spirits, buffer pads, carbide scraper, sanding screens, marroon pads for buffing between coats etc, you can probably just hire someone that owns this stuff for not a whole lot more. You really can't save a whole lot on doing your floors yourself, until you have about 1,000 square feet and thats if you can get the sanding done in a couple of days, because much longer with rental on 3 machines will probably come close to costing about the same amount. The good news is; once you get these floors looking really good you might be able to squeeze out a little more in monthly rent.
 

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What do you consider a good finish? I guess I thought the $30 gal polyurethane was about as good as it gets?
I was referring to Bona Traffic HD. I guess I should not have said a good finish is this much. Their are finishes that can be purchased for quite a bit less that are pretty good. This is just the best. If you don't wanna spend that much maybe consider Bona Woodline (approx $40 per gal) if interested in an oil polyurethane, or for waterbased finish Bona Mega (approx $60 per gallon), Basic Coatings Street Shoe (About $90 per gal), or Bona Traffic (About $100). These are all pretty good and the price of each of these reflects the quality. 2 component water finishes are the hardest; traffic, traffic hd, and street shoe.

Many times we will use an oil poly base coat with water finish coats. This gets a nice thick build on the floor to then allow the super hard finish to sit on top and protect the floor. Plus this makes the expensive stuff go a lot further. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was referring to Bona Traffic HD. I guess I should not have said a good finish is this much. Their are finishes that can be purchased for quite a bit less that are pretty good. This is just the best. If you don't wanna spend that much maybe consider Bona Woodline (approx $40 per gal) if interested in an oil polyurethane, or for waterbased finish Bona Mega (approx $60 per gallon), Basic Coatings Street Shoe (About $90 per gal), or Bona Traffic (About $100). These are all pretty good and the price of each of these reflects the quality. 2 component water finishes are the hardest; traffic, traffic hd, and street shoe.

Many times we will use an oil poly base coat with water finish coats. This gets a nice thick build on the floor to then allow the super hard finish to sit on top and protect the floor. Plus this makes the expensive stuff go a lot further. Hope this helps.

Thanks a bunch for your expertise!

I don't mind paying for the premium finishes if they are indeed better. I'm looking for the most durable finish possible. Just assumed a generic brand of poly would be just as good if it has the same exact ingredients...apparently this assumption does not hold true for polyurethanes?

Didn't realize you can put a water base poly over an oil base. So I can use a cheap oil poly base coat and then finish with 2 coats of premium water finishes...or should I use a premium oil base as well?

How long should I allow the oil poly base to dry? One or two days or a whole week?

Also will all of these coatings slightly yellow the floor and possibly eliminate the need for staining?
 

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Thanks a bunch for your expertise!

I don't mind paying for the premium finishes if they are indeed better. I'm looking for the most durable finish possible. Just assumed a generic brand of poly would be just as good if it has the same exact ingredients...apparently this assumption does not hold true for polyurethanes?

Didn't realize you can put a water base poly over an oil base. So I can use a cheap oil poly base coat and then finish with 2 coats of premium water finishes...or should I use a premium oil base as well?

How long should I allow the oil poly base to dry? One or two days or a whole week?

Also will all of these coatings slightly yellow the floor and possibly eliminate the need for staining?
No problem. Glad to help. I would use the Bona woodline as a base coat and then then 2-3 coats of the traffic. Once the oil gets on there the water finish spreads really far. 1 gallon will do typically do 2 more coatings on at least a 350 sq ft job. Or you can even do 2 coats of the oil poly and 2 of the water. I would wait at least 12 hours for the oil poly to dry, then buff it with a 220 screen. To buff between water coats I would use a maroon pad or a Norton Sand Dollar, as the mesh screens (even 220 grit) leave swirls in the finish). If you use this oil/water combo method, the oil finish does give the floor a slight ambered look. Stain is not completely necessary, unless you want to change the color of the floor or if you have some stains that won't sand out, that you want to try to hide. Most stains will usually sand out, with the exception of pet stains.

I believe Chicago Hardwood Flooring will ship these finishes to you, if you don't have access to them. They will also have t-bars and applicators if needed. Let me know if I can help with anything else.
 
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