Hardwood headaches


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Old 10-15-11, 08:12 PM
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Hardwood headaches

Hello everybody - hope this question isn't too bad...

So I have a house that I purchased about 5 years ago - it has nice hardwoods downstairs that was on a slab, but they put down plywood and nailed the boards - I was told they used unfinished wood then stained them. So here is the issue - apparently they never sealed them - so fast forward 10 years and they are scratched so bad its crazy - some scratches are down to the white part of the wood - some of the boards have splinters - and there is a few areas where it appears the backer board must have cupped and there is a dimple in the floor. Now I have 3 more rooms that I wanted to hardwood since they never did them -here is my question - this is about 1000 Sq Ft of hardwoods- and would it be better to sand / restain / seal or have them pulled up and put down new ones since the wood seems to have issues in some places? or can they repair those damaged areas and resand everything - including the new areas that will have hardwoods? And can somebody give me an average of cost for sanding / refinishing? or pulling up the old and reinstalling with new? Also, what is the normal cost per Sq ft for installing hardwoods? I was going to start buying cases once a paycheck and have enough ready to go for the downstairs of the house - and eventually finish the upstairs, etc.. Thanks in advance... I really do appreciate taking the time to help me here.
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 10-16-11 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 10-16-11, 04:31 AM
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Welcome to the forums! You said "down to the white". Not sure what that is. are these hardwood floors or engineered click lock type hardwood floors? were they nailed down? I am not a big fan of plywood directly on concrete. There are no assurances you have a moisture free installation, and where you have buckling, I'd say that's a prime area for moisture. Is there any mold or musty smell associated with the room? Not seeing the flooring, it would be difficult to give advice as to which avenue you should go. You may want to post a few pictures so we can see what you see. It may help. Cost variances related to different areas of the country keep us tied down to not giving specific costs. In NYC, it may be 3 times as much as it is in Gwinnett county. The best thing to do is not buy the flooring piecemeal, but save money and buy it all at once with the same dye lot numbers. If you buy 3 cases this week and 3 next week, there is no assurance you will get the same dye lot number, and finished could be different, especially if you choose to go with prefinished (preferred).
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 10-16-11 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 10-16-11, 09:11 AM
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Chandler,

Thanks for the reply - and the welcome... You know, as for the moisture barrier -I have no clue... based on what i've seen, it appears they just put down plywood, nailed the hardwoods, stained them, and then put some coating on top (but a very light coat). As for going with pre-finished or engineered wood - well the wood they have here now was real hardwood that was basically unfished wood - (that is why I said the scratch went to the "white" of the wood - beyond the stain). So when I go to add the other rooms downstairs - the wood is going to have to be unfinsihed also - because otherwise I would have to pull up those existing hardwoods and then redo everything the same color and batch... That is why I was wondering about the sanding and refinishing... If I went that route (and I don't know what all that involves - other than I've been told we won't be living here for at least 3 days after the stain and poly go down) - but if I went that route - I could go ahead and put down the unfinished hardwoods in the other rooms, repair the wood that needs repairing and then once everything is down - they can sand the entire downstairs at once and restain with the color I want - that away everything would look even... The upstairs will also eventually get hardwoods also... but for now, we will just stick with carpet until we are ready for that... good thing upstairs is that its all carpet - no hardwoods - so I could find an engineered hardwood color there that looks very simular to the finish downstairs...

Oh and yeah the prices as far as NY vs Gwinnett - yeah I agree... I know there will be a major difference there... I guess the hardest part I find here in Atlanta is trying to find the "right" people - I don't want to go the cheapest route - but I don't want to pay the highest dollar either... I just want somebody that will come in, do a GREAT job - and not ask me to give them my left arm, right leg and 10 grand...

Thanks again for the reply...

BC
 
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Old 10-16-11, 04:07 PM
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Yeah, don't go the Morton Thiokol route. It could be a bad job. They were the low bidders on the O ring on the Challenger.
 
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Old 10-17-11, 06:25 AM
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If stained, then the boards were sealed. My normal procedure on something like this is stain followed by polyurethane.

The upside of hardwood like this is it can be refinished, which it sounds like yours needs. The downside is this is wood, not ceramic tile, so scratches can happen.
 
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Old 10-17-11, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mitch17
If stained, then the boards were sealed. My normal procedure on something like this is stain followed by polyurethane.

The upside of hardwood like this is it can be refinished, which it sounds like yours needs. The downside is this is wood, not ceramic tile, so scratches can happen.
Yeah it might have been sealed... I mean its 10 years old... but wow, I just expected more I guess -I mean there are two places where I was walking and all of a sudden some sharp object went right into my foot... After freaking out and hurting for a while - I found it was where the wood had some huge spinter sticking up and it broke off in my foot. Then there is an area near the couch where the finish has actually worn away almost... I mean it looks like somebody sanded it... but it has never been sanded - just where kids walk... I know there will be scratches... I heard there were some coating that you apply - I think it was called "traffic" or something like that - it was said to be better than poly and hold up against scratches and stuff much better? anyway, I will probably get them sanded and stuff, but I just don't know where to begin... price range? I heard I had to be out of the house for 3 days? just not sure...
 
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Old 10-17-11, 10:25 AM
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The 2 basic types of poly are waterbased and oil base. Water base dries quickly and has little odor but the protective film isn't as hard as the oil base. Waterbase goes on milky clear and does little to change the look of the wood other than give it a sheen. Oil base poly has a stronger odor and takes longer to dry but it will wear better/longer. There are certain brands that give more protection than the average poly. This is true of both water based and oil base polys. Normally you'll have to go to a hardwood outlet to find the better coatings.

3 coats of poly [after stain] is the norm. The poly should be lightly sanded and the dust removed before the next coat is applied. It is a 3 day process with oil base poly. Using water based will shorten the time to 2 days. Cool or damp conditions can lengthen the drying time.
 
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Old 10-17-11, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
The 2 basic types of poly are waterbased and oil base. Water base dries quickly and has little odor but the protective film isn't as hard as the oil base. Waterbase goes on milky clear and does little to change the look of the wood other than give it a sheen. Oil base poly has a stronger odor and takes longer to dry but it will wear better/longer. There are certain brands that give more protection than the average poly. This is true of both water based and oil base polys. Normally you'll have to go to a hardwood outlet to find the better coatings.

3 coats of poly [after stain] is the norm. The poly should be lightly sanded and the dust removed before the next coat is applied. It is a 3 day process with oil base poly. Using water based will shorten the time to 2 days. Cool or damp conditions can lengthen the drying time.
Wow that is good to know... Thanks for the update... With Kids I would probably want to go with the oil based anyway... I kept thinking about just taking these up and putting down engineered wood or prefinished wood - but man, the more I look downstairs and think of how much that would cost me vs. sanding and refinishing - I just get a headache thinking about this... I'm trying to get some phone numbers together today and call around and get a few quotes I guess... the think is I still want to put wood down in the other rooms - which I need to do before I sand or poly the floors... seems after all these years, there would have been a better invention for doing this... sanding, staining, poly, more sanding, more poly, more sanding, more poly, more sanding - seems like a lot of work...
 
 

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