Yellow Pine flooring, Re-Finishing Questions

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Old 12-11-12, 08:40 PM
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Yellow Pine flooring, Re-Finishing Questions

We have some existing yellow pine 2 1/2" flooring that needs to be re-finished. It has had some sort of finish applied at some time in the distant past. The bottom line here is that the floors will be sanded.

However, I have some conflicting views on the type of finish that should be applied.

One school of thought is that pure tung oil should be used. The reason here, I was told, is that polyurethane will peel off in time.


However, in doing a web search, I found information that specifically states that polyurethane can be used.


The flooring is approximately 60 years old. It is applied directly to the joists, no sub-flooring was used. This was common practice in some older home building.
 
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Old 12-12-12, 03:22 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Our paint experts will chime in here after breakfast, so hang in there. Wonder what would happen if you put down a polyurethane specifically formulated for use on basketball courts. Never seen one of them peel up, have you? I had it applied to a log home I built back in the 80's which had heart pine flooring. Talk about popping out, it was beautiful, and lasted for years without adverse effects.
 
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Old 12-12-12, 04:25 AM
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All poly [including basketball court finish] will peel if it's allowed to wear long enough. IMO that isn't a big issue as the floor should have been refinished before them. Basketball courts are normally maintained with wax and buffing which helps the finish to have a longer life. Rubbing oils won't peel but will wear off. I'm not real familiar with the rubbing oils but I don't think they last as long as multiple coats of poly.

Personally I wouldn't be hesitant to use an oil base poly or urethane finish. Years ago we used lacquer and the poly does a better job with less coats. I'm not overly fond of the water based polys although there is a big difference between the cheap readily available ones and the top quality waterbased polys.
 
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Old 12-12-12, 08:45 AM
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Oil based poly is my first choice. A light scuff sanding between coats helps prevent peeling (make sure to remove the sanding dust).
 
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Old 12-12-12, 10:09 AM
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I used Bona Traffic HD water based poly and it seems to do quite well, i did 6 coats with a light sanding of 240 between each coat. I went with water based since it lets the natural color of the wood through without any darkening/coloration. Perhaps it's overkill but this is 100+ year old doug fir flooring that hasn't been sanded since it was installed. Couldn't be happier.
 
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Old 12-12-12, 11:16 AM
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Probably should note that the waterbased polys don't change the color of the wood any. Basically the wood is the same color except for sheen. Oil base polys have a reaction with the wood that brings out the different colors naturally in the wood. If you put 2 identical boards side by side and apply water based poly to the one and oil poly to the other, the board with the oil poly will be darker and possibly have more variance in color than the one with the water based poly.
 
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