Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: NJJoe On: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:16 am

We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel project. The kitchen came with some ugly linoleum floor which we pulled up. To our surprise, what looks like the original hardwood floor has been under the linoleum all these years. The boards are in fair condition and date back to the 1920s when the house was constructed. We were throwing around the idea of tile in the kitchen, but with this recently discovered free floor, we decided to refinish the floors instead.

The linoleum was glued to the hardwood with what looks like roofing tar paper, we scraped off as much as possible and then I rented a floor belt sander.

Check out these pics: https://plus.google.com/photos/11573673 ... 5606242161 One pic is of the floor in progress, the black tar paper and the original dark stained wood can be seen. In other pics is the floor sanded to 100 grit, ready for any stain and poly.

1. The floor has numerous small holes. We are using a stainable wood sealer that you rub into the holes and after 15 minutes of drying, sand away with some light grit. It does a great job. There was a row of staples in the floor that once we removed, made that section of the floor look like machine gun fire. However, there are larger gaps in the floor that are presumably there from the shrinking of the floorboards. I guess we could fill it up with the wood sealer, but what do people here recommend for filling up large gaps in the floor that run the entire length of a floorboard? (some of these gaps can be seen in the pics)

2. Deciding on a color. The floor looks white/light tan and bright. We do not want to stain the floor with a dark color since there is an abundance of heavyset dark stain oak trim, molding and wainscoting all over the house. We think the light floor offers a nice contrast to the dark wood present in the rest of the house. We can either poly the floor as is and we think the floor will acquire a golden hue to it. Or if we stain, we'd decide on a lighter color stain and then poly which should give it a light to medium color. Suggestions?

Also, what kind of wood does this look like? We thought it was oak, but being New Hampshire 1920s construction, we hear it might possibly be maple. Thanks!
NJJoe
 

Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:22 pm

could be maple looks like...
Holes can be filled with the sanding dust and poly in a thick paste...
The gaps will pop no matter what you put in there...
CapeCoaler
 
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Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:48 pm

NJJoe wrote:
1. The floor has numerous small holes. We are using a stainable wood sealer that you rub into the holes and after 15 minutes of drying, sand away with some light grit. It does a great job. There was a row of staples in the floor that once we removed, made that section of the floor look like machine gun fire.


For the smaller holes they make stainable wood putty that has color, just use something close. Once you sand, stain or whatever you're going to do you'll never see them. I had one spot in the middle of the floor about the size of a nickel that for whatever reason was black. I tried bleach and some other things but just couldn't get it to go away, I finally bit the bullet and used the dremel to dig it out. Filled it with matching wood putty and I even have to look for it to find it.




However, there are larger gaps in the floor that are presumably there from the shrinking of the floorboards. I guess we could fill it up with the wood sealer, but what do people here recommend for filling up large gaps in the floor that run the entire length of a floorboard? (some of these gaps can be seen in the pics)


You're not going to be able to do much with that. If the gaps are really big get matching wood and cut off a sliver with a table saw.

As far as the poly goes I had great success with this :

http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/int ... lyurethane

It's supposedly not as durable as the regular poly but 2 years later it still looks great and that's with two dogs in the house.

Thin coat, quick sand with 220 using a palm sander about 2 hours later... repeat two more times. You'll get a finish like a pro and there is very little odor.
Richard S.
 
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Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:42 pm

First, the floor looks great, some folks pay HUGE money for distressed wood floors. Capecoaler hit the nail on the head with his swedish puddy recipe. Second, if you have boards popping up because of the gaps I have fixed floor boards by driving a finish nail through the sub floor between the boards, locating it in the basement and drilling through the sub floor only larger than the screw thickness and securing the floor board with a screw and a nickel size washer allowing the floor board to move side to side but not up and down. This method is similar to securing a table top to a frame allowing for expansion and contraction. Third, with properly placed cabinets or carpet runners and furniture the gaps will only become character accents and they will look like they belong. Maple can be tricky staining, sometimes you need to condition the wood. The grain is so tight I wipe a couple sq. ft. with a wet rag this opens the top grain and using a water based stain aply the stain and let it sit while I wet a some more etc. Try some samples on wood that will be covered by cabinets. Now this process will raise the grain and feel a little prickly when dry so knock this down with some 000 steel wool and vacuum before the first coal of sealer. Best of luck, that looks like a beautiful house!
michaelanthony
 
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Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: dcrane On: Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:30 pm

1880's house, maple floors look secure and their are not gaps i would really worry about (as these guys say, if you try to put something in their it will pop in time). you could take some of the sanded dust from the floor and pack an area and polly over it, but thats about the best your going to do without ripping up sections of the floor and trying to match in wood that will show up in my opinion worst then the wonderful character these floors have now. This is not new construction and clearly you have some fine "real" beadboard (prolly Cedar!) and those doors are indeed original to the house (is this a two family by chance?) so unless your gutting the place enjoy the character of it (I suggest that you leave the floor natural clear polly so they will contrast with the aged/stained woodword... its gonna be beautiful!)
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: DieselBob On: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:41 pm

I agree with dcrane on this. Clear coat the floor and the contrasting color will be great. I wouldn't worry about the gaps because as others have said just about anything you use will come out/loose. As long as I can't loose my car keys in the gap what the heck. The imperfection of a old wood floor is what gives it the character that makes them special.
DieselBob
 

Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: NJJoe On: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:53 am

Ok so I took a closeup pic of the wood last night and based on this picture: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1157 ... 1666340594 I do believe I have some type of oak. Is a wiping stain or penetrating stain recommended for this?


Also here are two pics of the types of gaps that can be found in this floor. The worst gap in the entire floor is this: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1157 ... 4609663122

Typical gaps found in the floor looks like this: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1157 ... 3650120706

We don't know if we are going to seal the gaps or just leave them as is. Like I said, it is an old house and some wear and tear such as this adds character to the wood so we just may keep it.
NJJoe
 

Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: NJJoe On: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:56 am

dcrane wrote:1880's house, maple floors look secure and their are not gaps i would really worry about (as these guys say, if you try to put something in their it will pop in time). you could take some of the sanded dust from the floor and pack an area and polly over it, but thats about the best your going to do without ripping up sections of the floor and trying to match in wood that will show up in my opinion worst then the wonderful character these floors have now. This is not new construction and clearly you have some fine "real" beadboard (prolly Cedar!) and those doors are indeed original to the house (is this a two family by chance?) so unless your gutting the place enjoy the character of it (I suggest that you leave the floor natural clear polly so they will contrast with the aged/stained woodword... its gonna be beautiful!)



Thanks to all for the help so far. Yes all of the wood work is original and it is a 2 family house...good call.
NJJoe
 

Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:05 am

NJJoe wrote:
dcrane wrote:1880's house, maple floors look secure and their are not gaps i would really worry about (as these guys say, if you try to put something in their it will pop in time). you could take some of the sanded dust from the floor and pack an area and polly over it, but thats about the best your going to do without ripping up sections of the floor and trying to match in wood that will show up in my opinion worst then the wonderful character these floors have now. This is not new construction and clearly you have some fine "real" beadboard (prolly Cedar!) and those doors are indeed original to the house (is this a two family by chance?) so unless your gutting the place enjoy the character of it (I suggest that you leave the floor natural clear polly so they will contrast with the aged/stained woodword... its gonna be beautiful!)



Thanks to all for the help so far. Yes all of the wood work is original and it is a 2 family house...good call.


I agree, with those close ups it appears to be a mix of oak (some quarter sawn, some not)... Im not even sure they make quarter sawn oak for floors in any kind of production run because its more of a furniture grade nowadays (I had to special order mine and cost a crapload), Im sure I can find some left over peices your welcome to have free if you want them (they will match this stuff pretty well and your just going to have to take out those two peices that are the major offenders and replace them, no tounges, make sure you leave some gap to blend in nicely with the others and liquid nail and shoot em off)!
dcrane
 
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Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:21 am

Yep, found some in the stock piles that might work perfect for you (a hair over 3/4 thick and wide enough to handle anything in that floor), this one length pictured is prolly enough for you, im not sure how shipping works on stuff like this but if it makes any sense PM me (you can have the stock for free ;) )
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dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: NJJoe On: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:49 am

Thanks DCrane...Let me talk to my girlfriend first, the house is in her name after all. We are intent on leaving some of the gaps/damage as is so we can retain character. However, the biggest/worst gap as shown in my photos is right next to the stove and is visible and some of the underlying subfloor is visible, probably the result of some water damage or something like that from all the years of cooking. I live in southern NH but work in Mass, near Burlington so we may not need to ship anything. I'll let you know!
NJJoe
 

Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: dcrane On: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:58 am

NJJoe wrote:Thanks DCrane...Let me talk to my girlfriend first, the house is in her name after all. We are intent on leaving some of the gaps/damage as is so we can retain character. However, the biggest/worst gap as shown in my photos is right next to the stove and is visible and some of the underlying subfloor is visible, probably the result of some water damage or something like that from all the years of cooking. I live in southern NH but work in Mass, near Burlington so we may not need to ship anything. I'll let you know!


I can meet you in Brockton or Braintree no problem, also... if you dont have a planner then take exact thickness measurements and ill plane it to whatever thickness you need?

It was surely the heat that created the gaps in front of the stove (happens in front of coal stoves and fireplaces all the time ;) )
dcrane
 
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Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: Sting On: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:57 pm

Sting
 
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Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: NJJoe On: Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:34 pm

Ok the floor is done! 1 Mishap though. We put the first and second coat on. 15 minutes after the second coat was applied, I opened the kitchen door to show off the gleaming new floor to our neighbor. As I'm elaborating about what we did and how hard it was, the damn cat rushes inside and WALKS ACROSS the freshly polyed floor. Paw prints everywhere. The cat wouldn't come back to me and sat down in the middle of the floor curiously examining his paws. It had to be done, no amount of coaxing would get the cat to walk back to us so I flung off my shoes and walked barefoot across the floor and retrieved the cat. The floor now has paw prints and my barefoot prints in it. Rushing, I grabbed the lambswool applicator and tried to smooth out the spots but to no avail, it had already begun to set. Wearily we took the cat to the bathroom where he protested loudly to being washed with mineral spirits while we tried to loosen the hardening poly from between his paws and fur. We then had to wash him AGAIN multiple times with soap and water to get the spirits off.

Next morning, we took a depressing look at the once beautiful floor and the paw and footprints were permanently in there. Sanding seemed like our only option. Got out the random orbit sander with 220 grit and made a few light passes, to our surprise the footprints he footprints reduced! They didn't come out entirely but good enough and we hoped that the next coat of poly would fill in the reduced foot prints. We vacuumed it up followed by a tack cloth and then the last coat of poly. After letting it dry for approximately 20 hours, here is the floor as of this morning: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1157 ... 5406740898 and here too: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1157 ... 3433743090. Here is the floor as the first coat is going on: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1157 ... 6421441362 What do you guys think? Does it need a 4th coat? This is satin finish poly with no stain underneath.
Last edited by NJJoe on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
NJJoe
 

Re: Refinishing old wood floor: suggestions please

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:46 pm

Looks good. If ya got the poly--use it--hey Joe, ya got a nice butt in that first pix--PS---shoot the cat :whistle: :clap: toothy
freetown fred
 
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