View Full Version : Anyone with experience refinishing/installing hardwood floors?
10-21-2009, 12:40 PM
We're going to (hopefully) refinish the floors of our new place. How well does refinishing work? If you've had your floor refinished, do you like them? Or do you wish you had bought new floors. New is (obviously) significantly more expensive. The floors right now are well worn, but not horrible.
Anything I need to know? I'm meeting the floor guy this afternoon! Thanks for any helpful hints. And if you feel comfortable sharing how much you paid, I'd really be appreciative.
10-21-2009, 01:08 PM
My sister & her husband refinished their own floors (sanded, stained & varnished), but their house was older and had true hardwood floors.
We wanted to do that, but we have a new (10yo) house and the hardwood flooring is only 1/4" or so (and our dog had left grooves in the floor, which were almost that deep). We ended up paying a guy $1k ish to lightly sand the really bad areas and then restain the floor. Next time (and there will unfortunately have to be a next time) we will replace the flooring, because the guy didn't do a good job - there were drips, brush marks, hairs from the brush, etc. But I think that was just the guy we had....
10-21-2009, 01:19 PM
My brother has refinished the floors in two houses he has owned (well, had them refinished). I LOVE the look of original floors refinished. They turned out gorgous and have such a great feel. One house was built in 1962, the other in 1952. Both were original floors and both turned out incredible.
I would not even consider pulling out existing hardwood and replacing with new unless there was very serious damage to the existing floors. Like a big hole in the floor.
I wish I could share about cost, but I am clueless on that.
10-21-2009, 01:49 PM
its a very manageable job. dh has done our floors 2x. the bedrooms the first project and then the rest of hte house.
First you sand off all the cr@p then you take a solvent of some sort and 'wash' any residue off. then you start applying coats of finish. each coat takes 8-12h do dry before you can walk on it in your bare socks. then you lightly sand, wash, and more coats.
4 is the bare min we've done. generally, I think its recommended to wait a week after the last coat before you put heavy furniture on it to make sure its fully cured.
in terms of finish, I implore you to stay away from high gloss. *EVERY* piece of lint, dog hair etc shows up on a highgloss finish. they're georgous, but if you're in the least ocd about your floors, you'll see a piece of lint from the other side of the room.
we've managed to live in the house while redooing floors when some of the project ran late but its not much fun. you need to tape up any living areas and exhaust as much of the dust outside as possible. then there's the whole, "cant walk on the floors for 8-12h" issue. one day the weather was damp and it took longer to dry, we had to crawl out of the window to get in/out of the house. DH, Me, dd who was not quite 2 and then lift the dogs in/out for their potty breaks. fortunately, for dd & I it was a 1 way trip, we gathered our stuff and left for the day after sticking the dogs back in the room for the day while dh finished up.
10-21-2009, 01:52 PM
Its silly to put down new hardwood floors if the original ones can be refinished. I think that true hardwood floors can be refinished at least 2-3 times. They will be brand new when they are refinished.
That said, we've installed hardwood floors (I say we, but really DH did it all!) in 2 floors of our old house and just this past weekend he put down 3/4" select maple in our sunken living room.
Its hard work, just because you are bent over the entire time. You need an air nailer, and the other tools that it requires. Its not really HARD to do though. You just take your time and do it. Its just time consuming and hurts your back. I know this because my husband has been complaining about his back for 3 days now.
I dont think I would ever refinish floors myself though. It seems like a huge hassle. Sanding, staining, putting down varnish. Plus I think you want to be out of the house while all that is going on. At least a few days, depending on the size of your space.
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