06:39PM | 12/13/01
Member Since: 12/12/01
1 lifetime posts
I am stripping/sanding/re-staining a room of old (circa 1725) pine plank floors. Help!!! I rented a sander...the floors are warped and uneven and this only got the high spots. Right now I'm using a palm sander to finish the job. Needless to say it's too time-consuming! I've tried the floor sander, a samll hand-held belt sander (made grooves in the wood), paint/stain/varnish stripper and was moderately rewarded with removing the clear coat (not the stain,though).
Any suggestions??? Am I missing a miracle product or method of sanding???
Thanks in advance for any ideas. Please post here or you can email me at


09:47PM | 12/13/01
Member Since: 11/16/01
301 lifetime posts
Dear Atorsmom,
There are a number of options. One being, to call a service that refinishes floors. You need a very agressive sander that is usually not available at rental outlets. Have them come in and even out the floor and step finish it. Then you can stain and clearcoat to your hearts content. The machines that one can rent just simply not agressive enough. Believe me, I invested $ 3500.00 in a sander to bring down uneven heart pine floors after trying 7 or 8 rental places. It is worth your peace of mind to get it done right the first time.
Good Luck, Len

Jay J

03:24AM | 12/14/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi Suzanne,

I posted a follow-up on the old BBS. BTW, I hear what Iceman is saying but depending on the degree of unevenness, you could sand your plank(s) to a toothpick and essentially ruin your floor.

Uneven Floors ...

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!


12:39AM | 12/15/01
Member Since: 11/16/01
301 lifetime posts
Dear Atorsmom,
Jjay is essentially correct. The one fellow I used before I spent Ft. Knox on a sander used what he called a depth sounder before sanding. It was something like a stud finder but actually measured the thickness of the wood. If the floors were already sanded a number of times or the wood proved to be to thin, he would know not to go further. That is the reason I recommended that you call a professional. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for a serviceman. As a precaution, when unsure, I always get at least three estimates if I'm unsure of the contractor.
Good Luck, Len


02:52PM | 12/25/01
Member Since: 12/24/01
7 lifetime posts
I have a similar problem. I have VERY uneven floors. My husband wants to level it and put down red elm. The current flooring is thick pine plank in various widths from 6 to 8 inches. There is no way to remove the plank and without going into too much detail, not only is the floor uneven by about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in areas, it slants into the center of the house.

Is it realistic to put down hardwood floors, or do you think we should cover up the unevenness by means of carpet?

The reason I am concerned about this is because the house I live in is the oldest house in town. I isn't getting the recognition it deserves because it isn't remodelled according to the period it's from. My parents own the house and we rent the upstairs. We are remodelling the upstairs and hope to work our way down. I want to be able to have the house get the recognition it deserves by eventually getting it to look old again.


Jay J

02:31AM | 12/26/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi again Linby,

When remodeling a very old home, even a historic one, it's best to preserve as much of the original home that you can. At the same time, you don't want to compromise safety with 'looks'.

When it comes to a floor, usually, the original floor is 'removed' (vs. ripped up.) Then, new joists are installed/sistered to the existing floor system to level the floor. At the same time, walls and ceilings are given the 'appropriate' attention. Cost is of great importance here because the more you do to preserve the original home, the more it will cost.

You can cut corners as you like. However, you may hurt resale value AND recognition-value (as you put it) in the process. THere are PLENTY of books out there that you can buy that talk about how to remodel an old home whilst preserving its character. They're worth every penny. Just be sure that you buy a book (or books) that discuss your type of home and issues. It's money well spent.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: As an aside, the next time you have a 'question', start your own post. You may lose some folks on getting responses because your Post looks like a follow-up ...

PPS: God Bless America!



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