07:01PM | 02/08/99
I have recently moved into a 38 year old ranch home in serious need of remodeling. My grandmother lived here before me and allowed the house to become very delapidated (no change in even wallpaper for 25 years).

I started working on the house on the middle bedroom (of three) in which I plan on using as an office. I stripped everything out (windows, trim, carpeting) and found a hardwood oak floor in decent shape. What a perfect floor for a home office!!!

Here's my questions....

1) What is the correct procedure to go about stripping, restaining and protecting a hardwood floor (including tools needed, etc).

2) Some of the boards were cut short of the wall by several inches. The old trim and carpet covered this problem, but the new victorian trim I have selected will not adequetly cover these gaps. Is there anyway I can go to a lumber store and have them get me the materials needed to finish the floor to the wall?

Any responses would be appreciated. I already have wallpaper ready and furnature set to go in. I just need to finish the floors first....


06:05AM | 02/09/99
If you are refinishing you hardwood floor, it's a long process to do by yourself. You'll need sanders, scrapers, fill, stain, varnish, applicators, etc. You'll need to get in the edges to scrape off old varnish-if any. Then use a floor sander, with different grits of sandpaper. etc... Plus it gets dusty, too. Then you'll need to apply the varnish after you have completely removed the dust. Tack cloths attached to a floater( used for leveling cement floors-or if you can find one for refinishing wood floors) is used on the floor to remove any excess dust that the vacuum didn't pick up. Use the same tool for applying the stain(otherwise you're on your hands and knees),Then you'll need to buff the floor slightly to mellow out the stain a bit. Then the varnish comes next. And if you want to do it right 2 -3 coats with sanding in between each coat is plenty. You won't actually be sanding it but screening it with an orbital floor sander/polisher. Not to mention where that doesn't fit you'll have to do it by hand( edges, corners). My advice-hire a professional. With the cost and time of you doing it yourself-it isn't worth it. You'll get excellent results from a professional-and seeing that it is only one room-your costs will be less. For the gap in the floor-quarter round put against the floor and baseboard will close the gap and be a nice addition to your baseboard. I have finished hardwood floors myself-and believe me it is A LOT of work. Especially if you don't have a full weekend to do it without interruptions.

Craig Fulcher

07:46AM | 02/10/99
Prior advice is a good overview of what is involved. My wife and I refinished 2,000 sq feet of floors and it was quite a job. We were pleased with the results and the money we saved was tremendous. My advice would be to go to a home improvement center and buy a video on the process. If you think you can do it go for it. The video will let you know what you are getting yourself into.

Before you start, check other floors in the house for oak floors. Usually if there is one room with wood floors there are many. It is a lot better to do(or have done) all floors at once.

Craig Fulcher

07:48AM | 02/10/99
One other thing. The big mistake I made in redoing floors was using a filler product by Minwax. It looks like bondo on your floors because it is bondo. Nail holes are hardly noticeable and much more attractive.


06:55PM | 02/23/99
Whirly said that some of the boards are cut
short of the wall by several inches. Why
anyone would do that I can't guess, but to
remedy the situation, first check under all
the old carpet and crud, and see how much
there is missing. Check in all the closets
for nice floors. You may be able to
cannibalize the matching wood you need from
a closet floor, where the good stuff won't be

-- J.S.

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