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Old 04-06-2010, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
482 posts, read 788,683 times
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Default No Sanding Wood Floor Refinishing Advice

Has anybody here ever refinished their wood floor without sanding it first? How did it turn out? I've read a little on chemical stripping etc., but don't know if I could get away with doing it that way instead of the laborious process of sanding. The problem is is that I just pulled up carpet in a house I'm getting ready to rent. The wood floors are pretty good mostly, but there are a few spots where the varnish is rubbed off. There's also another room that's got some black areas where it looks like liquid of some sort went through the carpet. We're not sure exactly why it's only in that one room, but assume it probably from a pet that the previous owners had. Anyway, thanks for any advice in advance. The house is 1035 square feet. The wood floors cover all of the house except the kitchen.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:33 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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You'll get better replies in the appropriate room (not the Atlanta city room) - moving.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:50 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjuraud View Post
Has anybody here ever refinished their wood floor without sanding it first? How did it turn out? I've read a little on chemical stripping etc., but don't know if I could get away with doing it that way instead of the laborious process of sanding. The problem is is that I just pulled up carpet in a house I'm getting ready to rent. The wood floors are pretty good mostly, but there are a few spots where the varnish is rubbed off. There's also another room that's got some black areas where it looks like liquid of some sort went through the carpet. We're not sure exactly why it's only in that one room, but assume it probably from a pet that the previous owners had. Anyway, thanks for any advice in advance. The house is 1035 square feet. The wood floors cover all of the house except the kitchen.
First, I would not recommend chemical stripper instead of sanding. It's messy, kind of toxic, and you're going to end up finish-sanding the floors anyway.

If this is a house somebody else owns and you are going to rent (I think I caught that right), you shouldn't have to put a bunch of your time, effort and money into refinishing the floors. That's not your responsibility.

That said... I'd recommend rubbing Tung Oil onto/into the floors. It may not work to your satisfaction, so don't assume it'll look like it is newly sanded & refinished. On the other hand, it might turn out very nicely. Mostly, you're not out much to give it a whirl. It'll take several coats.


Good luck!
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 28,674,228 times
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Keep in mind not all hardwood floors are sandable. The old 3/4" thick of course can be sanded but you don't see much of that type of flooring anymore. You will only see this in old homes. Anything more modern is going to be engineered hardwood. This IS NOT sandable because it is basically a veneer surface over laminated plys. 2 passes with the belt sander will go right through the veneer rendering it useless.

You can not stain any wood without starting with raw unfinished wood. Stain penetrates and paint sits on the surface. So stain can not penetrate wood with a finish already on it. Some people are crazy enough to paint cabinets but I really don't recommend painting your floor.

Put a cheap rug back down and worry about what you're going to do some day when you sell the house.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
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If this is your house, as in you are the landlord, this is what I do for my rentals. I scrub the floors with ammonia to get ALL the dirt and grime off. Rinse with clear water and a mop until the water is clean. Let them dry completely, and then apply 2 coats of polyurathane, either gloss or satin. I prefer the gloss. The black spots usually cannot be sanded out, they go too deep. I call them character marks. The poly will hide any and all scuffs and marks left behind after scrubbing. It will also save the stain. Y0u can re-apply as needed to refresh the floors. I usually have to re-apply(refresh) every 5 years.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:59 AM
 
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There is a newer process where they basically buff the floors and add a new finish coat of poly. If the floors are in pretty good shape, that might be a lower cost option.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
482 posts, read 788,683 times
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Thanks for moving the post for me atlantagreg30127, I realized after posting that I probably posted it in the wrong section.

Thanks for the replies from everyone also. It's actually a house that I own. I'm looking to rent it out because I can't sell it right now (valued at about 50% of what I bought it for). The floors are the original floors from when the house was built in 1954. I'm pretty sure the previous owners never sanded them before. The people I bought the house from in 2002 had lived in the house for over 40 years and took really good care of the house. So most of the floor in the house is in really good shape except for a few spots where the varnish that has rubbed off. I was a little shocked after pulling the carpet up in the one room with the dark spots because the rest of the floor is in such good condition. I think I'll first try what ShaneSA suggested and scrub it clean with an ammonia mix and see what comes up. After that I'll have to assess what needs to be done again and maybe use the poly coat that golfgal suggested. My main reason for not wanting to sand right now aside from the cost and time is that I just spent every week-end and a few hours a couple of days a week for the last 4 months cleaning, patching & painting the whole house. I just need to get it in decent enough shape to rent it out. When I do try and sell in a few years I probably will just hire a crew that specializes in refinishing floors.

Two more questions about the wood flooring if anybody can help. Do any of you know the best way to remove the staples they put in the floor for the carpet pad? They're everywhere. I tried using needle nose pliers and they didn't budge at all. I was thinking of using a chisel, but don't want to damage the floor. The other question is about the holes that are in the wood now around the edges from the carpet tack boards. I probably won't repair them for now, but any thoughts on repairing those? Fill them with wood putty or cover them with quarter round maybe? Other suggestions?

Once again I'd really like to thank everyone that responded. You've been a big help!
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,884 posts, read 3,129,938 times
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Take a thin-bladed flathead screwdriver and pop the staples up a bit, then us a good set of pliers to pull them out. Cover the nail holes with /4 round.

This thread has some good advice.

Last edited by JimRom; 04-07-2010 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,578 posts, read 20,171,909 times
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Don't do gimmicks and half-assed repairs/replacements (you're only creating more problems down the road- believe me)!!
Do it right the first time!
There are plenty of refinishers in the metro ATL that will strip, restain, and finish with two coats of poly for $1.25sq/ft.
They can try bleaching the dark areas, or just replace. What are talking- 3-4 sq/ft.?
As far as any holes, all of those will be puttyed.
And don't use 1/4 round- unless you have 6 or 8" baseboard. If you have the usual 3-1/4" baseboard use shoe mold (trust me, there's a BIG difference). The only thing you have to decide- do you want stain grade shoe mold or paint. If you go with stain grade- make sure you have it there when the floor guys are there. They will stain, and finish it so it will match the floor.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
482 posts, read 788,683 times
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Thank K'ledgeBldr. I'm trying to avoid putting a lot more money into this house right now as I've already spent about $2500 on painting, replacement and repairs. I just don't have the money and time right now really to spend on having it professionally done. Basically the wife and I have two mortgages right now and she's in grad school. I'm paying $1000 each month that that house is empty. This is the reason I need to have the floor in a decent state quickly without having to put to much into. Believe me, I would love to do it the correct way from the beginning, but it's just not in the cards to do it right now. I'll definitely keep the shoe molding in mind though when I do refinish the floors. I've never heard of it. I'll end up painting the shoe molding to match the rest of the trim. I do have the smaller 3 -1/4" baseboards. The damaged room is roughly 10' x 10' and the stains cover most of the room. Thanks for the advice!
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