Author Topic: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?  (Read 3686 times)

webguy

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Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« on: March 27, 2017, 09:14:48 PM »
Hey guys,

We're moving to a new house that has hardwood floors (new territory for me) and it looks as though the floor was sun damaged/bleached, as there's one patch where the previous owner had a big wooden wardrobe sitting that's a different color than the rest (picture attached). (I'm assuming it's sun damage and not just that they restained the floors around the wardrobe, but it's weird that there aren't patches anywhere else). Anyway... we like the color of the floor in that patch and want to restore the rest of the floor to that color/finish.  Does anyone know whether that will require a full refinish of the floors, or could we restore it with a buff/screen and recoat?  The hardwood area is about 1400sqft, and a recoat is about $1-1.50/sqft vs $4-$5/sqft for a refinish, so quite a big difference.  The bulk of the floors are in decent shape (see some wear in the image attached) so didn't want to pay for a complete refinish if it isn't needed.

If anyone has any experience with this and could offer their advice I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks in advance!

MayDay

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 05:44:17 AM »
It is common, and if you refinish with the same color it will fade again. You'd have to aim darker and hope it faded to the color you want. In a decade, or however long it took for the previous floor to fade.

A recoat would be clear. You'd have to buff, stain, and recoat.

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 05:50:33 AM »
How long do you have before you move in?

I've had hardwoods refinished and replaced a room - You'll be out of the house for 7-10 days and its best to do it before you move in.   How old is the house, there's also a limit to the number of times they can be sanded down and refinished.  My current house was built in 1955 and the hardwoods are at their limit (too thin in places).

There's no easy solution, you could always try to spot sand/stain that area to match the recoating.   There's also the solution from the 70's, carpet over it.

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2017, 05:59:10 AM »
If its smooth and there is minimal floor damage, I'd sand it with Home Depot rental with about 100 grit (rental for about $50 for 4 hours), and then Stain it your desired color according to the instructions on the can.

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2017, 03:52:27 PM »
Hey guys,

We're moving to a new house that has hardwood floors (new territory for me) and it looks as though the floor was sun damaged/bleached, as there's one patch where the previous owner had a big wooden wardrobe sitting that's a different color than the rest (picture attached). (I'm assuming it's sun damage and not just that they restained the floors around the wardrobe, but it's weird that there aren't patches anywhere else). Anyway... we like the color of the floor in that patch and want to restore the rest of the floor to that color/finish.  Does anyone know whether that will require a full refinish of the floors, or could we restore it with a buff/screen and recoat?  The hardwood area is about 1400sqft, and a recoat is about $1-1.50/sqft vs $4-$5/sqft for a refinish, so quite a big difference.  The bulk of the floors are in decent shape (see some wear in the image attached) so didn't want to pay for a complete refinish if it isn't needed.

If anyone has any experience with this and could offer their advice I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks in advance!

Unless you are prepared to refinish the entire room, your best bet is to live with it. If you try to refinish small sections, you'll never get a good match on the color.

It looks to me like that is wear, not sun fading in front of the sliding door. The other photo does look like long term sun fading.

BDWW

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2017, 04:53:41 PM »
Yeah, the first photo is where finish has been worn through, the second is sun fade.

You'll probably want to refinish the whole thing, a light sanding will likely soften the transition to the sun fade if there's not a enough wood to fully sand down to fresh wood.

webguy

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 10:39:58 PM »
Thanks for your advice so far everyone.  So the color in the darker patch is the original color, right? If we fully sand and refinish the floors then it should restore the color/finish back to that I'm assuming?

How long do you have before you move in?

We get the keys at the end of April and there's a 2 week gap before we have to actually move in, so should be enough time.

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2017, 09:18:34 AM »

BDWW

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 11:15:23 AM »
Thanks for your advice so far everyone.  So the color in the darker patch is the original color, right? If we fully sand and refinish the floors then it should restore the color/finish back to that I'm assuming?

How long do you have before you move in?

We get the keys at the end of April and there's a 2 week gap before we have to actually move in, so should be enough time.

The worn through patch is the closest representation of what the wood actually looks like. The darkening is due to the finish/stain. Basically, if you go the full refinish route, you can choose how you want it to look.

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2017, 08:10:21 PM »
Thanks for your advice so far everyone.  So the color in the darker patch is the original color, right? If we fully sand and refinish the floors then it should restore the color/finish back to that I'm assuming?

Yes, the darker wood that was protected from the sun is the original color. But the only way to match that color exactly would be to know exactly what stain (color and brand) was used to originally finish the floor. So you won't be getting an exact match.

Additionally, at the edge of the picture it looks like you have a wood floor hall way. Unless you refinish all connected wood floors, you are probably going to end up with a noticeable transition.

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2017, 08:47:07 PM »
Throw rugs are cheap. :)

aperture

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2017, 10:28:16 PM »
Everyone is suggesting that the floor was stained and then had a finish put on.  I suspect that what you are looking at is 3/4 inch tongue + groove (T&G) red oak flooring that has had an oil-based polyurethane finish.  This finish yellows and darkens as it goes on and further yellows and darkens with age.  In the first photo, you have a section of floor where the finish has worn away with repeated traffic - probably not just feet, but moist feet.  In the second the cabinet covered a section of the floor that is not quite as yellow and dark as the rest probably due to less sunlight or oxidation or something. 

I think you could cheaply try using a palm sander and feather in a patch for the first section by sanding to new wood in the worn section and over 6 - 12 inches out sand the through the finish to lightly sand the rest.  After throughly dusting, paint on some oil-based poly and see if you get a live able solution.  If it does not work, you will have spent <$50 for the poly and the sand paper.  If it partially works, you will have protected that section of the floor and it will look a little off. 

As mentioned above, if the floor is thin, (look for nail heads starting to show through or sections of tongue breaking off), then you will need a bigger repair.  It still can be a DIY job, but slightly more involved. 

If you decide to redo the floors, I would suggest you NOT use oil-based poly, but instead investigate a water based finish.  It is a completely different look, but it lasts and lasts at least 3 x longer then oil based- especially in a wet area like this door way. 

Best wishes, Ap (I did 2000 sq ft of T&G red oak myself and finished with Traffic by Bona).

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2017, 12:39:19 PM »
Everyone is suggesting that the floor was stained and then had a finish put on.  I suspect that what you are looking at is 3/4 inch tongue + groove (T&G) red oak flooring that has had an oil-based polyurethane finish.  This finish yellows and darkens as it goes on and further yellows and darkens with age.  In the first photo, you have a section of floor where the finish has worn away with repeated traffic - probably not just feet, but moist feet.  In the second the cabinet covered a section of the floor that is not quite as yellow and dark as the rest probably due to less sunlight or oxidation or something. 

I think you could cheaply try using a palm sander and feather in a patch for the first section by sanding to new wood in the worn section and over 6 - 12 inches out sand the through the finish to lightly sand the rest.  After throughly dusting, paint on some oil-based poly and see if you get a live able solution.  If it does not work, you will have spent <$50 for the poly and the sand paper.  If it partially works, you will have protected that section of the floor and it will look a little off. 

As mentioned above, if the floor is thin, (look for nail heads starting to show through or sections of tongue breaking off), then you will need a bigger repair.  It still can be a DIY job, but slightly more involved. 

If you decide to redo the floors, I would suggest you NOT use oil-based poly, but instead investigate a water based finish.  It is a completely different look, but it lasts and lasts at least 3 x longer then oil based- especially in a wet area like this door way. 

Best wishes, Ap (I did 2000 sq ft of T&G red oak myself and finished with Traffic by Bona).

Exactly false.
Oil based polyurethane has always been more durable (scratch, heat and moisture resistant) than water-based. Newer water based polyurethanes are getting close though. 
You're right about the look though. They will look distinctly different. Oil will generally penetrate further, and highlight the grain of the wood. Water based doesn't, and presents a more muted look (some say dull or plasticky).


http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/q-a-water-based-vs-oil-based-polyurethane

webguy

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2017, 11:23:15 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I contacted a few hardwood floor companies. Here's the conversation I had with one guy about the floor:

Me:  In the picture attached I'm assuming that the darker patch is the original color of the floor, so if the floors are completely sanded and refinished then would the color be restored to the same as that patch?

Him:  That rectangle looks like a section of the floor that was refinished at some point with a different finish. The rest of the floor looks pretty yellow which can be avoided depending on which sealer/finish you want to go with. I'll put some color options on the floor on day one or two.

Me:  We'd definitely like to avoid the yellowish color of the wood and probably have it be either a natural oak color, or similar in tone to that darker patch. Is that yellow color just caused by fading/sun damage and something that can be sanded out if we chose to just go for a natural un-stained finish, or is that yellowy color the natural color of the wood and something we'd have to stain to avoid?

Him:  I'd assume both sections are natural finish. The yellowing is just what certain types of polyurethanes do over time. There's plenty of options that do not do that though.

It seems like different people I've spoken to - and people on this thread - have different opinions about it, but I think we've concluded that we're going to have the entire floor refinished before we move in so that we can get it all looking awesome and not have to move everything out in a few years to do it then.  He quoted us about $4900 for 1400sqft. We don't like the yellowy color but from what I understand, we can avoid that in future by choosing specific types of finish.

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2017, 05:42:14 PM »
Everyone is suggesting that the floor was stained and then had a finish put on.  I suspect that what you are looking at is 3/4 inch tongue + groove (T&G) red oak flooring that has had an oil-based polyurethane finish.  This finish yellows and darkens as it goes on and further yellows and darkens with age.  In the first photo, you have a section of floor where the finish has worn away with repeated traffic - probably not just feet, but moist feet.  In the second the cabinet covered a section of the floor that is not quite as yellow and dark as the rest probably due to less sunlight or oxidation or something. 

I think you could cheaply try using a palm sander and feather in a patch for the first section by sanding to new wood in the worn section and over 6 - 12 inches out sand the through the finish to lightly sand the rest.  After throughly dusting, paint on some oil-based poly and see if you get a live able solution.  If it does not work, you will have spent <$50 for the poly and the sand paper.  If it partially works, you will have protected that section of the floor and it will look a little off. 

As mentioned above, if the floor is thin, (look for nail heads starting to show through or sections of tongue breaking off), then you will need a bigger repair.  It still can be a DIY job, but slightly more involved. 

If you decide to redo the floors, I would suggest you NOT use oil-based poly, but instead investigate a water based finish.  It is a completely different look, but it lasts and lasts at least 3 x longer then oil based- especially in a wet area like this door way. 

Best wishes, Ap (I did 2000 sq ft of T&G red oak myself and finished with Traffic by Bona).

Exactly false.
Oil based polyurethane has always been more durable (scratch, heat and moisture resistant) than water-based. Newer water based polyurethanes are getting close though. 
You're right about the look though. They will look distinctly different. Oil will generally penetrate further, and highlight the grain of the wood. Water based doesn't, and presents a more muted look (some say dull or plasticky).


http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/q-a-water-based-vs-oil-based-polyurethane

Bona Traffic is harder by far than any oil based floor finish. You are right about it having a “plasiticky” look.   

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2017, 06:02:44 PM »
If you want a more "natural" look...  you can avoid the poly entirely and go with something like Rubio Monocoat.  It is a flax seed oil derived finish.  When you put it on, there is a chemical reaction between it and the wood -- and that is your finish.

Totally non VOC.  You won't be driven out of the house for days while it dries.   And it is patchable**.  If you do get a bad spot, you can sand and refinish it.

I like it because you still have grain.  You can see and feel the grain of the wood.  It looks and feels more natural.  I also like the feel on bare feet... it's almost like someone has stretched a thin layer of nice soft leather over the top of your floor. 

But... if you like that shiny, glass coat poly look... this isn't for you.   
---

**Don't get me wrong... this is not 100% fool proof.  It's not as easy as it sounds to get it right.

BDWW

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2017, 12:02:37 PM »
Everyone is suggesting that the floor was stained and then had a finish put on.  I suspect that what you are looking at is 3/4 inch tongue + groove (T&G) red oak flooring that has had an oil-based polyurethane finish.  This finish yellows and darkens as it goes on and further yellows and darkens with age.  In the first photo, you have a section of floor where the finish has worn away with repeated traffic - probably not just feet, but moist feet.  In the second the cabinet covered a section of the floor that is not quite as yellow and dark as the rest probably due to less sunlight or oxidation or something. 

I think you could cheaply try using a palm sander and feather in a patch for the first section by sanding to new wood in the worn section and over 6 - 12 inches out sand the through the finish to lightly sand the rest.  After throughly dusting, paint on some oil-based poly and see if you get a live able solution.  If it does not work, you will have spent <$50 for the poly and the sand paper.  If it partially works, you will have protected that section of the floor and it will look a little off. 

As mentioned above, if the floor is thin, (look for nail heads starting to show through or sections of tongue breaking off), then you will need a bigger repair.  It still can be a DIY job, but slightly more involved. 

If you decide to redo the floors, I would suggest you NOT use oil-based poly, but instead investigate a water based finish.  It is a completely different look, but it lasts and lasts at least 3 x longer then oil based- especially in a wet area like this door way. 

Best wishes, Ap (I did 2000 sq ft of T&G red oak myself and finished with Traffic by Bona).

Exactly false.
Oil based polyurethane has always been more durable (scratch, heat and moisture resistant) than water-based. Newer water based polyurethanes are getting close though. 
You're right about the look though. They will look distinctly different. Oil will generally penetrate further, and highlight the grain of the wood. Water based doesn't, and presents a more muted look (some say dull or plasticky).


http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/q-a-water-based-vs-oil-based-polyurethane

Bona Traffic is harder by far than any oil based floor finish. You are right about it having a “plasiticky” look.

That's an epoxy coating, totally different product type.

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2017, 12:32:50 PM »
Everyone is suggesting that the floor was stained and then had a finish put on.  I suspect that what you are looking at is 3/4 inch tongue + groove (T&G) red oak flooring that has had an oil-based polyurethane finish.  This finish yellows and darkens as it goes on and further yellows and darkens with age.  In the first photo, you have a section of floor where the finish has worn away with repeated traffic - probably not just feet, but moist feet.  In the second the cabinet covered a section of the floor that is not quite as yellow and dark as the rest probably due to less sunlight or oxidation or something. 

I think you could cheaply try using a palm sander and feather in a patch for the first section by sanding to new wood in the worn section and over 6 - 12 inches out sand the through the finish to lightly sand the rest.  After throughly dusting, paint on some oil-based poly and see if you get a live able solution.  If it does not work, you will have spent <$50 for the poly and the sand paper.  If it partially works, you will have protected that section of the floor and it will look a little off. 

As mentioned above, if the floor is thin, (look for nail heads starting to show through or sections of tongue breaking off), then you will need a bigger repair.  It still can be a DIY job, but slightly more involved. 

If you decide to redo the floors, I would suggest you NOT use oil-based poly, but instead investigate a water based finish.  It is a completely different look, but it lasts and lasts at least 3 x longer then oil based- especially in a wet area like this door way. 

Best wishes, Ap (I did 2000 sq ft of T&G red oak myself and finished with Traffic by Bona).

Exactly false.
Oil based polyurethane has always been more durable (scratch, heat and moisture resistant) than water-based. Newer water based polyurethanes are getting close though. 
You're right about the look though. They will look distinctly different. Oil will generally penetrate further, and highlight the grain of the wood. Water based doesn't, and presents a more muted look (some say dull or plasticky).


http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/q-a-water-based-vs-oil-based-polyurethane

Bona Traffic is harder by far than any oil based floor finish. You are right about it having a “plasiticky” look.

That's an epoxy coating, totally different product type.

Bona is a water based poly, so it is relevant to your earlier claim that oil based finishes are more durable than water based. Bona is two parts with a hardener like an epoxy. But nowhere is Bona called an epoxy.

Juslookin

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2017, 05:22:04 AM »
We had poly finish for years. It does yellow and show every scratch. I despised it.
About two years ago we had a massive water loss which ruined the floors. They buckled and lifted. Insurance paid to replace them. We installed a hand scraped, slightly distressed hickory with the Rubio monocoat finish. Love. Love. Love.

We have two dogs and in two years we have found only two noticeable scratches in the floor. You can quickly spot repair the scratches, which we did and it still looks brand new.

It's not a very common finish, but our research found it, and I will never ever go back to poly.

BDWW

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Re: Anyone know anything about hardwood floors?
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2017, 11:16:21 AM »
Everyone is suggesting that the floor was stained and then had a finish put on.  I suspect that what you are looking at is 3/4 inch tongue + groove (T&G) red oak flooring that has had an oil-based polyurethane finish.  This finish yellows and darkens as it goes on and further yellows and darkens with age.  In the first photo, you have a section of floor where the finish has worn away with repeated traffic - probably not just feet, but moist feet.  In the second the cabinet covered a section of the floor that is not quite as yellow and dark as the rest probably due to less sunlight or oxidation or something. 

I think you could cheaply try using a palm sander and feather in a patch for the first section by sanding to new wood in the worn section and over 6 - 12 inches out sand the through the finish to lightly sand the rest.  After throughly dusting, paint on some oil-based poly and see if you get a live able solution.  If it does not work, you will have spent <$50 for the poly and the sand paper.  If it partially works, you will have protected that section of the floor and it will look a little off. 

As mentioned above, if the floor is thin, (look for nail heads starting to show through or sections of tongue breaking off), then you will need a bigger repair.  It still can be a DIY job, but slightly more involved. 

If you decide to redo the floors, I would suggest you NOT use oil-based poly, but instead investigate a water based finish.  It is a completely different look, but it lasts and lasts at least 3 x longer then oil based- especially in a wet area like this door way. 

Best wishes, Ap (I did 2000 sq ft of T&G red oak myself and finished with Traffic by Bona).

Exactly false.
Oil based polyurethane has always been more durable (scratch, heat and moisture resistant) than water-based. Newer water based polyurethanes are getting close though. 
You're right about the look though. They will look distinctly different. Oil will generally penetrate further, and highlight the grain of the wood. Water based doesn't, and presents a more muted look (some say dull or plasticky).


http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/q-a-water-based-vs-oil-based-polyurethane

Bona Traffic is harder by far than any oil based floor finish. You are right about it having a “plasiticky” look.

That's an epoxy coating, totally different product type.

Bona is a water based poly, so it is relevant to your earlier claim that oil based finishes are more durable than water based. Bona is two parts with a hardener like an epoxy. But nowhere is Bona called an epoxy.

From Bona's website  "Significantly outperforms all urethane finishes", it's a two part catalyzed polymer that's not a urethane, all signs point to epoxy.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 11:42:12 AM by BDWW »