This customer was absolutely amazing to work with! However, we can’t say the same about working with these existing floors. It’s extremely labor intensive when refinishing a hardwood floor that’s over 100 years old. For many of reasons to say the least! You’ve got uneven surfaces, layers of additional flooring, repairs, and no sub-flooring. Yes, thats correct, NO SUBFLOOR! The hardwood flooring is technically the subfloor. Full length pine hardwoods running from beam-to-beam.
The first part of this project was to move all the furniture to a street side pod. This was a 3 story house in downtown KCK. You can only imagine how careful we had to be carrying furniture items down three flights of stairs. Oh, and it was 100 degrees outside! Talk about burning calories!
As you can see in the pictures, there were many layers of other types of flooring throughout this home. The first two layers were various types of stick-down laminate tile. Underneath that was stapled down 1/4 inch plywood. Approximately 5,000 staples had to be had pulled one-by-one. Not exaggerating! We couldn’t scrape them off or it would damage the original pine hardwoods.
The repairs were a challenge here. We had to strategically pull boards out from beam-to-beam. It was important to do this correctly or those new boards would not have any support or at that matter even have anything to nail it down to. Due to it being darn impossible to find wood that identical to an original 100 year old floor, we decided to reuse some of the existing closet flooring.
We were able to tear out the existing hardwoods in the closet to use in the main living areas. The closets got oak flooring in exchange. This is a good way to reuse existing flooring for patch work throughout the house. The customer was happy to this.
Sand & Finish
Ok, now for the sanding! Let us tell you now, we started with 12 grit! Yes, that’s right, 12 grit! 12 grit is the lowest grit you can even purchase for sanding equipment. It’s basically a step up from a chisel or jack hammer. We had to sand down layers of paint and glue to get down to the original pine hardwoods. After the first pass of sanding, we jumped up to 24 grit.
During the third pass of sanding with 36 grit, you could really start to see the beauty in this old pine. Just like refinishing anything really, you start to see the magic. And, wonder why the heck it was all covered up to begin with. Trending designs decade after decade of changes to this old house, and now back to original floors! How exciting! This is why we love what we do.
This old floor required 5 passes of sanding before the buffing process. Then it was ready for stain. The customer decided to go with a dark color to help cover up some of the pet stains and water damaged areas. We did not have enough hardwood from the closets to cover up all of the stained areas of concern. It can also get pricey taking out over 100 boards at that matter. So, the solution was to camouflage those stains with a dark color varnish.
Hire a professional service team to refinish 100 year old flooring. Multiple layers of tear out before exposing original flooring. Consider taking out the closet flooring to use for patch work throughout the main levels of the house. To keep costs down, look at darker stain colors to camouflage damaged areas.
- Move furniture into a street-side pod
- Tear out
- Sand & finish
- General care