Old softwood floor questions


Old 06-01-02, 01:29 PM
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Old softwood floor questions

We have recently purchased an old home (100 yrs. to be exact) and discovered softwood (pine boards) floors under most of the carpeting.

1) There is a decent amount of grit/dirt in between some of the boards. Any suggestions on floor filler?

2) Any checks I should do to test the quality of the floor? It seems to be in good shape despite its age. Very sturdy and level aside from a few chips.

3) Should I rent a large floor sander or should I be ok with a hand sander? It's not a very large room.

4) Any sealers/stains I should stear clear of for this type/age of floor?

5) Any other suggestions/tips for old softwood floors like this one?

Lots of questions, and thanks in advance!
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Old 06-01-02, 02:21 PM
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Refinishing old floors

It is recommended that you test to see what type of finish you have on your floor. Chances are with a floor that old, there was a wax finish. Pour a tablespoon of water on the floor in an inconspicuous place, such as behind a door. If the finish turns white, you have a wax finish. You can remove the stain with #0000 superfine steel wool and paste wax for wood floors.

It is not recommended that gaps between boards be filled, as expansion and contraction of the boards will cause of the filler to fail and crumble.

Floors with wax finishes tend to have to be refinished with a wax finish, as wax will interfere with stain absorption and adhesion of floor finish. Today polyurethane is the most popular floor finish.

If floors are in otherwise good condition, sanding is not required. With a wax finish, you can sometimes simply rewax to restore the finish.

For refinishing info, including the Technical Manual from the National Oak Flooring Manuf. Assoc.:

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