worthy of refinishing?

doornumber3March 13, 2011

This is the flooring found beneath a layer of carpet and old sheet linoleum in our bedroom. The house was built in the 1930's. I believe this is the subfloor, but it is tongue and groove. Is it worth refinishing? Is it pine? We do have some type of hardwoods in the living areas of the house, but those are currently also under carpeting. They are not the subfloor.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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glennsfc

It looks like pine or fir. I have refinished many a floor like you have there. Great thing about these floors...they've been covered up and protected by the products loosely laid over them. Some of them have never seen a floor sander.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 1:43PM
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doornumber3

It doesn't appear to have any type of finish on it. Unfortunately, the linoleum was glued to it, but (at least this little section) most of the adhesive comes off with the linoleum - it's that black mastic.

glennsfc - did you stain any of this type floor? I was wondering if it would take stain evenly, or if it would be best to just use a clear finish?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 6:51PM
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glennsfc

If the adhesive comes off with the linoleum, it is not a mastic, but rather organic linoleum paste. You can easily sand it off, as it is brittle.

I have stained such a thing. Most finishers will tell you that you have to use a wood treatment before applying stain to control absorption and get a less blotchy result. While that is true, I don't do that anymore. Bona DriFast stain goes on with hardly a splotch. On floors that want to splotch, I first apply DriFast natural and then a moment later apply the color I want; it works, but I've been doing this for quite some time, so I have developed techniques that get results.

A consistent sanding of the entire floor will give you a surface that will look consistent after staining. Be aware, however that the soft wood of these species will hold more stain than the hardwood, so very dark stains will give you a 'negative' result. What I mean here is that the softwood part becomes dark and the harder part becomes lighter. Not a bad look, but something you need to know going in.

I never stained these floors really dark; golden oak was the darkest I went for a customer. I would recommend a 50/50 mix of natural and golden oak...then two coats of a two part quality waterborne polyurethane. If you use an oilbase product, then you might not need a stain at all, as it will automatically color the wood. Research the benefits of each type of finish on the internet.

There are 'new types' of wood finishing products in the marketplace, although they are not really new. Waterlox and Rubio Monocoat and hardwax oil products, for example. I have not yet used any of those, although I might consider trying some. It's difficult to leave behind products that you are familiar with and know their characteristics.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 9:16PM
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katie8422

I'd take the chance and refinish them. I had one company tell me my floors were beyond help, but others understood that it can be done, especially if you love old houses and understand that little imperfections add character.

Before, covered in linoleum glue and filth: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZneP6NEfTnYtrQtkx5wp0Q?feat=directlink

Here is a link that might be useful: After- gorgeous, as far as I'm concerned!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 10:21AM
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doornumber3

Thanks for the replies!
katie, your floors are beautiful! May I ask what was done to them? This is all new to me so any information you can share is most appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 11:19AM
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lazy_gardens

It liikes like pine or fir. If you are lucky, it's Southern Yellow pine, which is an exceptionally tough wood.

Definitely worth refinishing.

Scrape off the black crud - scraping with a 5-in-1 painting tool's blade or a broad putty knife, at a 30-45 degree angle to the floor usually does it. Sand LIGHTLY.

Just a penetrating wood sealer - like waterlox, velvet oil, or similar products, might be all you need to do. Those can be re-applied as needed to the traffic areas.

I have stained old fir floors with a penetrating oil finish and had good luck. It developed a very pronounced grain on the first coat, which was attractive, and then evened out on the second coat. The stain was a medium reddish walnut, custom blend of MinWax colors.

Or you could apply a seal coat (diluted shellac) after sanding but before staining to minimize the stain grabbing of the softer part of the wood.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 11:40AM
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katie8422

Sanded and 3 coats of poly, but I think the pic was taken after only one coat. That's it! Seeing that floor cleaned up was one of the happiest moments of my adult life, haha!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 2:21PM
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sarahneider

I too am considering refinishing softwood sub floor. no crud or lino glue to get rid of but lots of splntery bits, wide cracks between the wood pieces and some voids. What kind of poly did you use? would you recommend it? You link to the finished floor isn't working on my computer, but just reading your post is very encouraging. thanks, Sarah

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 9:00AM
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