Oak flooring, polyurethane worn off, what now?


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Old 12-23-06, 09:56 PM
J
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Oak flooring, polyurethane worn off, what now?

We just moved into a new house, but the previous owner had neglected some maintenance items. High traffic spots on the floor have worn off the polyurethane, and the wood has turned gray. See the image link below.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o7/JimmyMood/IMG_0046.jpg

Will this kind of damage require the floor to be drum sanded and refinished? I may be interested in staining the wood a richer color anyways.

I consider my self a handy sort of guy, but I have not attempted sanding a floor down to the wood and I hear it is easy to mess up. What other options are available for repairing this damage? Thanks in advance

-Jim
 
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Old 12-23-06, 09:59 PM
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When floor finish, which seals and protects floor, is worn off, the wood is left exposed to water, soils, and oils, and wood becomes discolored and stained. Sanding and refinishing is required to restore the floor. Staining will camouflage any stains that can not be sanded out.

Go to the National Oak Flooring Manufacturer's website at www.nofma.org and click Publications to download for free the technical manual on finishing wood floors. This will take you through the sanding process and different grits involved as well as staining and finishing.
 
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Old 12-24-06, 05:48 AM
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The 2 biggest problems diyers have with refinishing a wood floor are improper use of the drum sander - you must make even passes with the sander to prevent dips in the wood [sanding off too much material in spots] and not sanding down to raw wood - it will stain unevenly.

Your floor would look best completetly refinished but if your not overly fussy, a light sanding and a fresh coat of poly will freshen up the wood.
 
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Old 12-24-06, 07:15 AM
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JM - It looks to me like the floor needs a refininsh. If you try to just repair the damaged area it won't match the rest of the floor.

You can DIY this, drum and edge sanders are available at rental centers, but be aware that drum sanders are very aggressive and the learning curve can be pretty expensive. If you don't know what you're doing you can end up with a wavy floor.

I did one of my floors a couple of months ago. I ended up paying a guy to sand it and I did the finishing. It worked out pretty good. I paid $300 for the sanding. I saved the rental cost.
 
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Old 12-24-06, 05:40 PM
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Thanks for the advice. The damage I pictures is really only in the doorways and stairs, but it is in almost every doorway.

I know the drum sander must be used with care, but I am confident I can use it without damaging the wood. I was told it would be useful to practice on a sheet of plywood before sanding the floor, I think I will try this first.

Marksr, you say don't sand down to the wood, but isn't that what the drum sander does? I know stain can show up uneven if the surface isn't properly sanded. I have refinished a few pieces of furniture by sanding down to the wood, sanding to 220 grit, and applying a pre-stain conditioner. The finish comes out very even, should this be the same case with oak flooring?

Thanks again

-Jim
 
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Old 12-24-06, 08:17 PM
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To clarify, "not sanding down to raw wood" will prevent even staining and adhesion problems. When sanding, it is important to sand evenly, going through the proper grits and sanding old surface finish off down to raw wood. Go to www.nofma.org for the technical manual for finishing wood floors.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 12-25-06 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 12-25-06, 06:10 AM
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Sometimes the untrained eye will think that all the finish has been sanded away, when it's not. As 12pole pointed out, this is will cause the wood to stain unevenly

As long as the floor is properly sanded it will stain fine. You shouldn't need to use a pre conditioner.
 
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Old 12-25-06, 08:39 PM
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Sounds good, after re-reading the sentence about not sanding to the raw wood in made sense.

Twelvepole, I looked over the document on nofma.org, very informative, thanks for the link.

I don't think I'll be tackling this project until the spring for ventilation reasons, but I will try to let you know how it turned out.
 
 

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