oak hardwood floors

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  #1  
Old 01-13-09, 06:55 PM
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oak hardwood floors

I have found white oak flooring under the existing carpeting in my home. The floors look in great shape except for some small gaps between the planks, and the finish appears to have a slight imprint or shading from the carpet pad. There are also some small staple holes from the carpet pad as well as nail holes around the perimeter from the carpet tack strip. I was thinking of a light hand sanding and applying a topcoat of polyurathane to avoid the time and costs of using a drum sander. Is ther a way I can tell what type of coating is already on the floor so I can match, or will perhaps an oil base poly adhere to any type of previous finish as long as it was lightly sanded. I have found in some Home depot literature of how to check if the floor had wax by letting drips of water on it for 10 minutes. It does not have a wax finish but I am concerned with the age of the house it may be varnish or shellac or something. I'm guessing the floor finish to be last done around the 70's or before. Also, will poly fill the gaps between the planks without filler. And finally, if I have to what type of filler could I use without completely drum sanding all the way down to the bare wood?
 
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Old 01-14-09, 03:40 AM
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Poly will probably adhere fine - test it in a closet or some inconspicous area.

A light sanding and coating with poly won't give you a nice refinished floor but it will freshen it up. I'm not sure what would be a good filler for the cracks. are they every where or just a few select places?
 
  #3  
Old 01-14-09, 06:44 AM
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It is recommended that you do not try to fill gaps between boards. Boards expand and contract as temperature and humidity fluctuate. Filler in gaps gets popped out and looks unsightly. Seasonal gaps are common, tending to be greater during dry heating months. It is best to maintain temperature at around 70 and humidity 35-55% year round. Purchase hygrometer (sold where you find thermometers) and measure humidity in each room. If air is dry, humidify and monitor humidity level.
 
  #4  
Old 01-14-09, 10:22 PM
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Thank you guys for the reply and the advice. I posted something on here about 2 years ago about a roofing project (from hell) I did on this house, and never saw a response. (I now have the deepest respect for roofers!) I was told today by a co-worker that if the old finish is varnish or shellac, I could use denatured alcohol to wipe it down and it will look like new without any refinishing. Somebody else told me mineral spirits....????

Won't the gaps in the boards collect dirt and dust? They're not too bad and in varying locations. The largest gap is a little less than 1/16".
 
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Old 01-15-09, 03:27 AM
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Denatured alchol will disolve shellac. Mineral spirits [paint thinner] will remove wax and may clean the wood a little and might improve the looks but it won't add any sheen.
 
  #6  
Old 01-15-09, 04:10 AM
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Don't worry about the gaps. If you think dust and dirt are a problem in gaps, run the brush attachment on vacuum (no beater bars). Gaps in flooring are, unfortunately, something we sometimes have.

I don't know how old your house is, but back in the day installers were not so savvy about the importance of acclimation, moisture tests, etc. I am sitting here looking at 60+ year old wood floors with a gap between every board. I am sure when they were installed there was no HVAC and likely the windows were not yet installed. For their age and all the abuse from previous tenants, they look pretty good. In other words, they have a lot of character. Of course, they could be refinished and look fantastic, but the landlord probably won't refinish them in the next 60 years.
 
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Old 01-15-09, 07:15 PM
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Thanks again, one more question...any sugestions on a good polyurethane? I'm thinking of Minwax, but saw several brands at the store.
 
  #8  
Old 01-16-09, 03:36 AM
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Minwax is as good as any.... unless you go to a wood floor supplier.
 
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