Wood Floor Refinishing Advice Needed

Old 11-25-16, 06:36 AM
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Wood Floor Refinishing Advice Needed

A few years ago we removed all carpets in our house and just left the wood floors. Carpets were in rough shape, wood floors were in just as rough a shape. A few nail holes, a couple screws, some cracked boards. All finish is gone in high traffic areas. May sound worse than it really is...but maybe not.

Could not afford to get the floor refinished, but there was no way we could keep the carpets either. Used an area rug in the main area, but got rid of it as we just prefer the bare wood. Still cannot afford to get the floors redone, but I would like to make them better than they are now.

My questions are:

1) The wood on the main floor is the same flooring for the living room (14x24), the hallway and the master bedroom (10x12). Each room has a lot of stuff in it and I have no where to put it all. If I do the floor in sections (say living room, hallway, bedroom) at different times, will there be a very noticeable difference?

2) There is no finish in large areas (most of the floor actually), but there is in seldom seen spots along the walls (under furniture). Do I need to sand the whole floor, just the spots with finish, or not at all?

3) Is there a simpler solution to just improve the look/quality of the floor so it is not just bare wood without refinishing them?

If it helps, I can post photos of the floor.
Thanks for any help?
Old 11-25-16, 10:25 AM
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1). Yes, assuming you are as picky as most people would be, you will be able to see the line where your finish ends and begins... especially if your boards run lineally from one room into the next. If boards are perpendicular or you have a transition between rooms, you can over sand the area, but then mask off along a board edge that is a few feet back... and only stain and finish up to the tape. Then later when you do the other side, what you have to sand won't be overlapping onto the newly finished floor.

2). Yes the entire floor will need to be sanded down to new bare wood. Usually a drum sander is used first, followed by a large random orbit finish sander. Edges are done with an edge sander. It should have a consistently clean even appearance after you sand and before you stain.

3). Light hand sanding followed by a color matched stain (on the bare wood) and several coats of polyurethane would be the half-a$$ed way to do it without completely sanding the floors down. The color stain you pick will either match perfectly or it will match horribly and make you wish you had picked a better color. I understand people have budgets and time constraints, so this would be a last resort. But on the bright side, if you do decide to have the floors sanded one day, it will all get sanded off eventually.

Sanding floor can be a diy project but you can also royally screw them up if you don't know what you are doing. So paying a company to sand your floors for you is usually money well spent.
Old 11-25-16, 12:48 PM
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IF you diy the sanding, generally it's best to use a buffer or square pad sander and not a drum sander. A drum sander does a quicker job but it's easy for a novice to sand dips into the floor. To stain the floors you really need to sand down to raw clean wood. Sometimes you can freshen up a floor by doing a light sanding and applying a fresh coat of poly - a lot depends on the current condition of the floor's finish.

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