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Old 07-14-2011, 02:09 PM
 
12 posts, read 67,369 times
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Default Refinishing 100 yr old white pine floor

Hello! We recently purchased our first home, a 100+ year old cozy little town house with great wide plank pine floors. A local restored wood place from which we ordered a few replacement planks told us it is white pine. The living room floor is in pretty rough shape compared to the rest of the house and we want to have it refinished. I've had two floor guys come take a look and they've both suggested polyurethane, seems like that's the standard. I'd love to hear suggestions as to how to go about refinishing the floor and what products to use. I don't want anyone to damage these beautiful old floors! We also want them to look as close to the rest of the house as possible after they're refinished. Here is a picture of the living room floor now, this is the section we're going to repair with the restored wood planks.



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Old 07-14-2011, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Southwest Nebraska
1,291 posts, read 2,344,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yarldey View Post
Hello! We recently purchased our first home, a 100+ year old cozy little town house with great wide plank pine floors. A local restored wood place from which we ordered a few replacement planks told us it is white pine. The living room floor is in pretty rough shape compared to the rest of the house and we want to have it refinished. I've had two floor guys come take a look and they've both suggested polyurethane, seems like that's the standard. I'd love to hear suggestions as to how to go about refinishing the floor and what products to use. I don't want anyone to damage these beautiful old floors! We also want them to look as close to the rest of the house as possible after they're refinished. Here is a picture of the living room floor now, this is the section we're going to repair with the restored wood planks.


We also have a 110 yr old house with same kind of floors but not as wide of gaps. We were told to use wood putty in cracks and imperfections and then sand with floor sander. Then use a polyuerthane (sp) to help seal wood, then sand with steel wool. Then hand wipe stain on until desired shade.

We have never done this before but are willing to try it. If does not work we will have to put laminate wood over it but that will be expensive.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:50 PM
 
12 posts, read 67,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigg Mann View Post
We also have a 110 yr old house with same kind of floors but not as wide of gaps. We were told to use wood putty in cracks and imperfections and then sand with floor sander. Then use a polyuerthane (sp) to help seal wood, then sand with steel wool. Then hand wipe stain on until desired shade.

We have never done this before but are willing to try it. If does not work we will have to put laminate wood over it but that will be expensive.
I would never put laminate over these floors, that's crazy. What is the problem with your floor? A lot of the imperfections on these old floors are what make them unique and "rustic." I'm only going to repair the really bad crack and the patch towards the left of the pic and I want to refinish them because the finish isn't good in the living room. The rest of the house looks great though, with the exception of a patch on every room which I eventually want to repair, and one room upstairs that had laminate and the floors underneath are painted white.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
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My old house had yellow pine floors. All I did was clean them real well, lightly sand over a few rough spots, and polish them with Scott's Liquid Gold (a two-day job, unless you want to slip and kill yourself!). Those floors didn't have nearly the gaps yours do, though.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Judging from the picture above, the living room floor is going to have to be totally sanded down to get it right. The best way to do it is with a drum sander, and it's a hot, dusty, teeth-rattling job. Once it's sanded down to bare wood, any large cracks will need to be filled with a good quality wood putty or, if your flooring guy is really good, a mixture of clean white pine sawdust and glue. Not many people do that trick anymore, though.

Once the putty is dried, the floor will have to be lightly sanded again, using a fine grit paper on the drum or using an orbital type sander. Then it will have to be swept and vacuumed numerous times to get all of the sawdust off. Once that's done, you're looking at staining, and probably 3, possibly 4, coats of oil-based polyeurethane to put a finish back on the floor. In some cases I reccomend water-based poly, but on floors that old I think the water-based would soak in and give you a splotchy finish.

Plan on not using your living room for the better part of a week, as oil-based poly takes 16-24 hours to dry, and the next coat can't go on until the first coat is dry and lightly sanded.

I don't know how good of shape the rest of your floors are in, but you may be able to get away with surface sanding and putting a coat or two of poly on them. Not the way i usually prefer to do it, but doing a complete refinish of the all the floors in the house can get pretty expensive.

Since you've had people out to do estimates, I'm guessing you're going to have someone else do the work. I've said it before, but this time I'm more serious than ever. Check their references. You don't want someone who doesn't really know what they are doing to come in and screw up 100 year old floors.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:25 PM
 
Location: earth?
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I have the same type of floors - not as old, but they look the same. I would NEVER put polyurethene on the floors. I would personally just lightly sand them, if anything (maybe even not that) and oil them. I like a rustic look so imperfections are fine with me.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
I have the same type of floors - not as old, but they look the same. I would NEVER put polyurethene on the floors. I would personally just lightly sand them, if anything (maybe even not that) and oil them. I like a rustic look so imperfections are fine with me.
Oiling is fine if you don't have very high traffic or if you don't mind reapplying the oil on a regular basis, but poly is much better from a durability standpoint.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JimRom View Post
You don't want someone who doesn't really know what they are doing to come in and screw up 100 year old floors.
That's exactly what I want to avoid. This is very frustrating, I've had two guys come over and they've both basically quoted me the same price, $600 for about 230 sq. ft. Both said they'd use oil based poly. I mentioned Waterlox to one guy and he didn't really know what I was talking about and said that its for decks. I've also asked both of them how different the newly refinished floor would look next to the office floor which is on the same level and neither really gave me a straight answer, also asked if they could tell what finish is on there now and got nothing. Shouldn't these guys kind of be able to tell if the floors have been coated with poly or Waterlox/tung oil by examining the floor?

Below are some pictures of the floor in the office, its slightly darker and has just the right amount of shine. The pictures are crappy phone pictures and the lighting was different than the above picture of the living room floor. I have to take better pictures with my SLR. Anyway, If I could get the living room to look like this I'd be happy. By the way, if I lightly sand the floor could I then coat them with Waterlox or Poly? I've heard that once Waterlox is applied you won't be able to use poly if you wanted to because Waterlox seals the wood. That is one of my concerns also and the reason why I ask if they can tell what is on there now.



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Old 07-14-2011, 09:57 PM
 
12 posts, read 67,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
I have the same type of floors - not as old, but they look the same. I would NEVER put polyurethene on the floors. I would personally just lightly sand them, if anything (maybe even not that) and oil them. I like a rustic look so imperfections are fine with me.
I'm fine with rustic also, but the living room floor is beyond rustic. It just doesn't look good, it needs some life. So you oil your floors with Waterlox?
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:02 PM
 
Location: earth?
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I personally don't oil my floors. I just wash them.
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