Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Wood Floor Refinishing

I haven't posted much since I took a vacation week and have been working 16+ hours per day trying to finish up the rehab of my Cheektowaga house. This week I have been tackling wood floor refinishing for the first time - another part of becoming a handyman.

I rented an orbital sander from Home Depot to do the job. Traditionalists use a drum sander but the HD guy talked me into the orbit and it worked really well. It has 4 - 6" rotating disks which use hook and loop paper. One of the surprising parts of refinishing the floor is that the most expensive part was the cost of the sandpaper. I had a desire to be skimpy with the paper and this cost me about 4 hours of wasted time. The HD guy had urged me to buy more 24 grit paper but I thought I knew better and didn't take his advice. As a result I ended up wasting 2 hours sanding and then had to go back to HD for some 24 grit and 36 grit to finish the job. I had lots of extra 80 and 120 grit to return.

I had a total of 4 rooms to sand 3 bedrooms which had varnish and the family room which had polyurethane and stain on it. The 3 BR's went fast and I thought I was going to write a post about how easy this job went, but alas, the stained family room took 6 hours to finish. I didn't have the correct grit paper as I noted above and the stain took a while to remove. I ended up doing a lot of hand sanding with a small orbital sander to remove dark spots.

The HD guy had recommended that I remove all the quarter-round molding since he thought the sander would get right to the edge and I wouldn't need to edge sand. However, we had painted it and I didn't want to redo it. I suppose a purist would remove the quarter-round and paint it off-line. In this case I'm glad I did not follow the advice of the HD guy. The sander did not get closer than 2" to the edge and I had to edge sand all the rooms anyway. But this wasn't difficult.

I was prepared for lots of dust, but the vacuum on the sander worked really well, as long as I emptied the bag after every 3 sanding pad changes. However, we ended up filling the house with sawdust after running the shop vac without the filter properly installed. So much for keeping dust down :(

All in all the floors came out really nice and the cost for the job was less than $350 for about 1000 sq ft of flooring. I didn't price this job professionally but have heard it cost upwards of $1.50 per sq ft so I think I saved a lot of money.

The vinyl floor installer also was here yesterday and installed a "floating" vinyl floor. The installer had recommended that type of floor as lower overall cost (higher material cost but lower installation). It seems to work really well in large rooms like the kitchen but for a small bathroom it doesn't sit well and seems like it is not installed at all (the floor is like hardwood laminate and no glue is used).

The house looks transformed in two days after looking like trash for 2 months. Still lots of punch list items to do but at least I feel like we are making good progress.

1 comment:

Teddy Lupin said...

Hey guys, that refinishing article was pretty informative. I came a across a pretty handy read when I was doing my wooden furniture at home. I thought the readers might want to have a look cos I found it an ACE read! The link for it is http://www.ebookego.com/ebwmini/wfur/

Have a great day,
Teddy.