Two Questions, please

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Old 09-10-12, 06:07 PM
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Two Questions, please

Hello Community,

I have laid hardwood in my entire house. Now it popped up in my head how do I get the finish over it at once.

First question I have: Is it possible to finish one half of the floor now and when its dry the second half?

Second Question: What is the best finish for hardwood floors? I heard that polyurethane would be the best. If so what brand do you recommend?

Thank you
 
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Old 09-10-12, 08:59 PM
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What is the best finish for hardwood floors? I heard that polyurethane would be the best. If so what brand do you recommend?
For most woods and most conditions, polyurethane is probably the finish of choice. Just pick one you like. Matte finish is preferred by many people.

Is it possible to finish one half of the floor now and when its dry the second half?
A good polyurethane finish requires three coats - very thin, well-thinned, and full strength - with each coat being allowed to completely dry, and be scuffed with steel wool, before the next is applied. I might try doing one half and then the other half for each coat, but I wouldn't try to completely finish one half before even starting the other half. And I would stagger the line where the two halves meet on each successive coat.
 
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Old 09-11-12, 04:39 AM
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What will you be using to sand the floor initially? While I agree with 3 coats of poly, I'm not big on thinning them. If stain is used, I don't normally use any thinner - if no stain, I'll thin the first coat up to 10%. I like sandpaper more than steel wool...... but I also prefer mechanical sanding to hand sanding Whichever method you use - be sure to vacumn up all the dust or steel fibers!
 
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Old 09-11-12, 06:42 AM
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@Nashkat1

And I would stagger the line where the two halves meet on each successive coat.
What do you mean by stagger?
 
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Old 09-11-12, 06:45 AM
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@marksr

What will you be using to sand the floor initially?
I thought using a Drum Sander from Home Depot first, put a medium stain on and finish with polyurethane. You recommend using steelwool between the coats?
 
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Old 09-11-12, 08:01 AM
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What do you mean by stagger?
I'm wondering why you aren't willing or able to apply each coat to the entire floor. If you're able to clear the space for sanding, and for the scuffing between each coat, then why not also apply a complete coat in one go? That way the whole floor can be ready for scuffing the next day, and you can clean up the dust and apply the next coat.

But since you ask, if you're going to coat only part of the floor at a time, what I mean by staggering the join lines is to divide the 1st & 2nd "halves" of the first coat along the joint between two boards that are 2 or 3 feet off-center, make the join for two halves of the second coat in the center, and make the join for the third coat 2 or 3 feet on the other side of center from the first join. The point is to seal over each of the first two joins.

I thought using a Drum Sander from Home Depot first,
How much wood do you need to remove from your new floor? A drum sander is a really good tool for leveling and lowering an uneven surface.

Have you used a drum sander before? The best-made and best-maintained drum sanders (not the ones from HD) are tricky beasts to load and to control. Floating the drum to remove the inevitable chatter marks, for example, is an art only learned by experience. And using the edger that must be used to finish the room is even trickier and totally back-breaking. Bottom line, if I were going to sand a floor - which I wouldn't - I would use an orbital sander - also rentable - plus an assortment of pull scrapers to clean up the narrow edge, if needed.
 
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Old 09-11-12, 08:07 AM
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I'm wondering why you aren't willing or able to apply each coat to the entire floor
Because I have to move my furniture around. That's why I can do only half of the house floor first, because on the other half I have to place my furnitures. When the first have is done I am moving carefully the furniture over to this.


How much wood do you need to remove from your new floor?
Living room and hallway are already stained. (Bought the house with that) The rest of the house I laid unfinished hardwood, but would like to match the unfinished with this stain. Living room is a little bit uneven.


Here is a pic of the floor which was already in. You can see that it is a little bit uneven.

Link to a higher resolution pic:

http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/3741/floorot.jpg
 
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Old 09-11-12, 09:58 AM
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Living room and hallway are already stained. (Bought the house with that) The rest of the house I laid unfinished hardwood, but would like to match the unfinished with this stain. Living room is a little bit uneven.
I see the cupping in the living room. It looks like an under-nailed installation, or a lot of mopping on top of too little sealing, or some of each.

Yes, running a drum sander would be a good way to even that out and remove the stain at the same time. With the stripes that will be created when the higher edges are taken down, trying to preserve the stain is pointless. OTOH, that will give you a clean slate for stain choices. But, while no amateur should try to use a drum sander, IMO, that will be a lot of work with an orbital sander.

If you're unwilling to live with that unevenness, I would suggest that you hire a professional to sand, stain and seal your floor. You could store the furniture over the time it would take to do this. You could also try refinishing the older floor chemically, and see if that treatment also relaxed the boards and helped them lay flatter.

You could also store the furniture while you do the work. Here's the thing: As XSleeper said in another thread here, when applying poly,
Originally Posted by XSleeper
You have to maintain a wet edge and work quickly.
You might enjoy the discussion in that thread, if you haven't seen it already: Can I Buff and Polyurethane Wood Floors instead of Sanding?

To do what you're contemplating, and stagger the work, is tricky. Picking a seam, or joint, between two boards, and stopping there with a clean edge, is the only way I can think of to make it less obvious.
 
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Old 09-11-12, 10:21 AM
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Thank you very much. I think I will store the furniture somewhere during this time.
 
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Old 09-11-12, 10:49 AM
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I couldn't imagine laying unfinished hardwood and not sanding. Hardwood never lays perfectly even/flat and needs to be sanded to get a nice level floor for the finish. Prefinished hardwood has a beveled edge that helps to give the illusion that all the boards are even/level.

As noted above, drum sanders can be difficult to use and it's easy for a novice to make a mess
IMO it's better for a diyer to use a buffer with sanding pads. It takes a little longer but it's a lot more user friendly. You still need to use the edger for all the areas the buffer won't fit and a sharp scraper for the inside corners.

Before applying the finish you need to vacumn up ALL the sanding dust and make sure there aren't any sanding scratches in the wood. The darker the stain the less forgiving the sanding job is apt to be.
 
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Old 09-11-12, 12:42 PM
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IMO it's better for a diyer to use a buffer with sanding pads.
That would probably work, but you're still stuck with using an edger, which is a back killer and can also make a real mess out of the job. I think the tool of choice for DIY floor sanding is an orbital floor sander. (HD didn't seem to offer them, so I linked to the other site.)

NOTE: I don't know anything about U-Sand except that they offer to rent orbital floor sanders, with supplies and instructions, and their explanation of the advantages of using one of these struck me as on target.
 
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Old 09-12-12, 03:54 AM
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Interesting, I hadn't seen one of those before. With 4 sanding pads and them not overlapping in the middle I wonder how long it takes compared to the traditional buffer with a sanding disk? Definitely looks to be diy friendly.
 
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