Wood floor help

Desirun2January 30, 2014

I'm looking for input on a wood floor dilemma. Before moving into our new home we decided to add wood floors in areas of the house that had carpet and sand and stain the existing wood floors to match the new. We chose to stain our red oak floors using Minwax Special Walnut with a poly finish. When our contractor showed us the stain sample I hated it- it was too dark and grainy. Then he showed us the stain without popping the floor with water and it looked perfect- a warm soft brown with a touch of red under tones. We decided to go ahead with the stain and method. What I was totally unaware of was that the stain would look vastly different on our old hardwoods versus the new floors. The stain sample was placed on our old floors. As a result all of the areas with our old refinished wood are exactly the look I wanted, However, the new wood floors look awful- they are a stripy grainy light yellow and brown with a very dark/black looking grain that reminds me of bad 70's wood. Because the old and new wood runs together I don't think I can refinish the areas, nor can my family live through they cost time and stress of this. Are there any other repair options? Should my contractor have tested on the old and new wood for a match and approval- or warned me of potential mismatch? Needless to say I'm devastated that I don't have the look I hoped for and that the floors are not all soft and subtle, but rather distracting and zebra like in appearance. When I asked our contractor about the difference he said the old floors must have been southern red oak with more red, and the new was probably northern red oak with less warmth/red. At the time I accepted the results feeling like I was over reacting about the new floors and just needed to settle into the home and floors. After 2 months I still hate the new floors and love the old wood but don't know that I can do anything about it at this point. I'd appreciate any thoughts.

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Should he have shown you on both the new and old? Yes. At least thats standard practice for me.

No matter what new wood looks different than old wood. As far as his claim of northern vs southern. Without a pic its impossible to say and even with a pic i suspect hes bs'ing you. On that issue.

Is the new wood feathered into exsisting? Or are they seperated? There are ways to blend new with exsisting but no matter what new wood always look a tad different. Theres techiniques to help tone down that difference
New wood is more dense than aged wood. Thats probably why you are noticing a bigger color difference.

The problem is that they've been finished for 2 months. And to properly fix requires a complete resand.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 12:40AM
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Thanks Greg. Your response somewhat puts my mind at ease. I kept beating myself up that I should have known to ask these questions. I can't tell you how much research I did before we placed floors and missed the boat on this one.

I have two other questions, at least 5-6 wood boards on the old floors are loose and bow when you walk on them. Since we didn't live in the house before the wood floor work, we were unaware of the issue. Should our contractor have checked and repaired loose boards as part of the refinishing process? We also found a 1 inch by 2 inch area that looks like a bandaid on my daughters floor. It's actually a soft putty like substance used to fill this huge hole in the wood. Is this ever acceptable?

We have not paid our last installment on the wood floors and I'm trying to decide what is fair to ask to be repaired before payment.

Last-the old wood is feathered into the new in one area-between the kitchen and family room. In the other areas it is not because the there was an existing wood threshold.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 10:24AM
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The loose boards issues is something that depends on the company. I know if its just one board ill fix it no questions. But some companies may have a different policy.

The "bandaid" thats probably wood filler. Which is standard. If you want that patched thats something that should have been discussed. Replacing a board or a small area is not part of the refinishing process.

Have you had contact with the company in the 2 months since they have been done? Two things: they did a job and they need to be paid or at the very least you need to have a discussion with them about the issues.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 5:49PM
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