Part 2: My Experiences and Tips with Century Home Flooring…
My very first home purchase was a 1920’s bungalow in Toronto, Ontario. The original oak hardwood floors were still intact but somewhat scuffed up. This was my first experience hiring a floor sanding contractor, as well as my first experience buying a home. What a beautiful job they did, the floors gleamed. After completion, including several layers of sealer/varathane and several days of “drying time”….our home was ready to be occupied. This is the way to do it……
Tip: do not move in until the floors are done.
One of the biggest aspects of floor refinishing is dealing with the mess. Taking steps to control dust is a must. Even though you have contracted a “dustless floor refinisher”, be ready for a thin layer of soot on everything. Do some prep to prevent damage to heating and cooling equipment and appliances. Cover up everything you can as a preventative measure. When all is done, start the vacuum, move in and enjoy!
1880’s Queen Anne Victorian Flooring
My first century home purchase came with 85% exposed original hardwood floors, and in magnificent shape. What a bonus!… however, heavy traffic areas such as the hallways, foyer and kitchen showed signs of wear and tear. Rather than have all of the floors refinished, I took a chance and tried a product called AquaShine Refinisher (by Saman). A very simple process; a light sanding then cleaning, then application. The floors looked great, and floor refinishing was not needed.
In the same home, the walk up attic floor and attic stairs were covered in a nasty orange out-door carpet treatment. Luckily, this protective cover conserved the original Hemlock wooden floors underneath. No stripping needed. Just a quick sanding, stain and lacquer, and the hemlock was restored. On a hot humid day a faint scent of hemlock lingered throughout the home.
1904 Century Home Flooring
This home came with some ‘newer’ oak hardwood flooring, and carpeting as well, which had to go. After lifting the carpet from one of the bedrooms, the original pine plank flooring was exposed…bonus! (well sort of…. chunks of linoleum were also included, along with a zillion nails and screws, which I painstakingly removed). Yes…this was my project!
Being a handy-woman, I was totally up for this project. Sander rented….I was good to go. Sanding was not easy, since the sander was determined to guide me….we struggled and I finally won. Once done, I was removing soot by the garbage bag full. When all was done, the floor had its final buffing. I stained and sealed it with Saman Fooring Products. It looked great!
My final thoughts on finishing a floor myself….”I did it….and NEVER NEVER will I attempt this again”. Not worth the time, labour, rental costs, sandpaper (that was the big cost), and finishing treatments.
My tip: hire someone!!!!, and if you don’t take my advise…wear a face mask with filters!
1800’s Row House Flooring
When I purchased a three storey 1800’s row house, two storeys were covered in wall to wall Berber carpeting. Knowing that original pine plank flooring was hidden underneath, I was excited to have the carpet removed and have the floors refinished and brought back to life.
The day of reveal came…. and such a disappointment. As the flooring contractors were lifting off the carpeting, I knew my plans of refinishing were not going to happen. The reveal showed decades of wear and tear, past renovations and neglect. The original flooring was unfortunately unsalvageable.
Plan B: New hardwood flooring installed throughout. I chose a medium-dark oak hardwood floor which was installed by Len Koebel Flooring in Kitchener. They did a fantastic job, it looked gorgeous and they completed the project on time. I would highly recommend them! http://www.lenkoebelflooring.com.