Refinish hardwood floor or buy laminate.

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  #1  
Old 12-06-15, 03:55 PM
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Refinish hardwood floor or buy laminate.

I am trying to figure out which route is best for my situation. In my ranch home 75% of my floor is a hardwood that had carpet over it for quite some time. I pulled the carpet last year and due to previous owners having many pets and foot traffic with wet feet, it left the hardwood looking pretty bad. Black and discolored sections all over it. However, that is only the case in the living room and hallway. It is structurally sound except for two small parts, that are bowing down, very slightly and it is a little creak in a couple of spots, very very slight creak.

So my question is should I sand down the hardwood and restain it or put laminate over it?

I know hardwood floors are desired and it would seem like a sin to put something more cheap over them and I would think it would be cheaper to refurbish the existing hardwood. I would want to restain a darker wood color.

If the recommended route is to refurbish the existing hardwood, what all is involved. Are there any sanding machines I can rent?

Here are some pics to help show the floor.






The rest of the house/rooms are perfectly fine.

 
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Old 12-06-15, 04:14 PM
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Refinish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stain it with a dark espresso if you have to.
 
  #3  
Old 12-06-15, 04:21 PM
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My house is about the same as yours, ranch with 75% Oak.

This is a gold mine and you won't believe how nice these floors will look refinished.
 
  #4  
Old 12-06-15, 04:28 PM
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My floor is oak?

How much exactly do I need to sand down? I'm guessing it is going to be a lot of work? What would you guys recommend to use to sand it? I know there has to be something better than a small orbital sander.
 
  #5  
Old 12-06-15, 04:45 PM
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There are several types of large floor sanding machines you can rent. The pros generally use a large walk behind belt sander for the large areas and smaller sanders for the edges where the belt sander can't reach. These machines do a wonderful job when handled by a pro, but can be a problem for inexperienced operators because they can remove wood quickly and unevenly if not handled correctly, leaving dips and gouges.

Another type of machine is essentially a large random orbit sander that uses large sheets of sandpaper (like 18x18 or so). These are slower, but easier for inexperienced operators. You still use a smaller sander for edges where the big sander won't reach.

I would not advise using a belt sander as a DIY project. The ROS is manageable.

Be aware that dust will get *everywhere*.

This is a job I've done myself, and had also had pros do it, and faced with the choice again, I would have the pros do at least the sanding part. They do it more quickly, and they have better vacuum equipment to manage the dust (but it still gets everywhere). And the cost will still probably be a lot less than putting in laminate.
 
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Old 12-06-15, 05:02 PM
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One more vote for refinishing. I also agree with Carbide that you are best having a pro do the sanding. You can rent belt, drum or orbital sanders but I have seen floors literally destroyed in seconds by the misuse of the drum sander. The orbital is more forgiving but it will take a lot longer to do an acceptable sanding job.
 
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Old 12-06-15, 05:20 PM
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The urine stains won't likely come out... just so you know.
 
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Old 12-06-15, 07:57 PM
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Thanks everyone. I will look up some professionals to do the sanding. The areas that may not sand out, can I get the same size slats and pull the old out and nail in the replacement. Does mins look like oak or what kind of wood does it look like?

Once it had been sanded, I know I will have to put one coat of stain, but then what kind of protective layer? A poly? How many coats?
 
  #9  
Old 12-07-15, 04:26 AM
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I agree with having a pro do the sanding!
Ask who ever you get to sand the floor about the stains. Some times wood bleach helps but often replacement is best. It isn't a big deal to replace boards but that needs to be done prior to sanding. The bottom pic looks like white oak to me - ask the pro when he comes out so he can verify.

It normally takes 3 coats of poly to get a nice finish. You'd sand lightly between coats [easy for you to do] remove the dust and apply the next coat of poly.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 05:22 AM
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I think it's best to have a pro sand also. The drum sander is a monster and must remain moving at all times. It's a little tricky to sand evenly and lift the drum at the end of a run. If it sits still for even a second, you can cause major damage to the floor, sander is very aggressive.

Just wanted to add that a paste wood filler is also applied to the floors to seal the pores of the Oak.
The filler also hides small holes and gaps.

If your floor turns out to be White Oak, which is likely, the new boards should blend in pretty well.

The floor already has quite a variation in wood tones, as does all Oak floors or any natural wood.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 07:58 AM
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Could you please elaborate on this:

Just wanted to add that a paste wood filler is also applied to the floors to seal the pores of the Oak.
The filler also hides small holes and gaps.


All of the hardwood is the same, just the third pic, it has much better lighting and in MUCH better shape.


I have dogs, so would three coats of poly suffice or should more be taken for durability factors? Also what kind of poly would be best? I remember reading a thread in here a while back that discussed oil and water based poly's. I live in NE Ohio, if weather matters.

I am taking everyone's advise and will have a professional do it.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 08:55 AM
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Oak is an open pore wood, it will soak up the poly and the grain will be open even after several or more coats. The pores must be sealed for a smooth surface.

No biggie, the pros can lay down a thin coat of sealer in no time.

For me, I like the look and feel of oil. Be prepared for some fumes for awhile after finishing. Some others here know much more about the finishes than I do.

Dogs? That's a whole other story. They can wreak havoc on a floor. Hold on for that also.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 09:25 AM
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From looking at websites of local businesses, which these websites are horrible! I'm not sure how they would even get a lick of business using them. I do web development on the side, so maybe I can negotiate some sort of service trade, anyways... it seems most of them use the Bona brand products. Some specify the Bona Traffic finish.

Anyone have experience with the Bona brands?
 
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Old 12-07-15, 11:52 AM
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I don't normally do floors but I've heard of Bona [probably have used it] but don't know a lot about the brand other than it has a good reputation.

Oil base polys and urethanes dry to a harder finish than water based polys although I did use one years ago that required a catylist and I believe it dried as hard as the oil base poly. I had some leftover [already mixed] and used it on an interior door in my shop and it's still in good shape 20+ yrs later. That said, nothing is going to hold up great when dogs are involved. A satin finish won't show the wear/scratches as much as the glossier finishes.

Besides how it wears, the biggest difference between water based and oil poly is the water based is pretty much a clear coat and doesn't change the look of the wood any other than sheen. Oil base deepens the colors naturally in the wood [or stain] and will amber with age. Many of us like that effect.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 12:36 PM
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My local "old time" hardware store carries the Bona brand. I've used a couple of their products made for laminate floors and have no regrets. I don't recall seeing Bona at the local big box mega-mart homecenters but to be honest I don't know if I've ever looked for them in those stores.
 
  #16  
Old 12-07-15, 12:47 PM
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Well, as someone suggested, I will be wanting to do an espresso colored stain or something a little lighter. Would the ambering effect make that color look odd? I could see a lighter stain looking good with an amber tone. Does anyone have any experience with that?
 
  #17  
Old 12-07-15, 03:21 PM
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Basically all the oil based poly does is darken the stain. With dark colors you really won't notice the amber effect.
 
  #18  
Old 12-07-15, 03:50 PM
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I just installed oak floors in my daughters house. We did all the work until it came to sanding. She hired a guy who sanded, stained and put an oil finish. He charged $1200 for 400 s/f. IMO money well spent.

New or newly refinished wood floors are usually the highlight of any room. As others have said, a sander can ruin the floor. Best to leave that part to the pros.
 
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