Repairing/Matching Hardwood floors

NewToTheGame0207April 9, 2014

My fiance and I recently purchased our first home together (a cute little ranch) and decided to rip up the old, badly stained, carpets. The original hardwood floors were looking good until we got to the dining room. Unfortunately the previous owners cut a nice chunk out of the corner of the room (about 4' x 1' area). My research has only confused me more...some saying that it is impossible to repair old floors while others promise good results if we feather in old/new planks with some sanding, patience & elbow grease. The floor is full red oak hardwood, 2 1/4" wide, and 3/4" thick. We can see that the planks have slanted nails going through every few inches so I am not sure we can pull up the boards without damaging them. Our second dilemma is whether or not we will open the kitchen up to the dining room space. Would having two different types of floors be an issue? Would saving the current floor be feasible or worth it if we try opening up our space in the future?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!!

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You 100% can fix this. Feather in new wood if you dont have any extra and then sand and finish.

Ideally you should refinish everything or at least that room. But you could try and sand and finish the repair spot. Only problem is matching the color. A pro can get damn close but no one even pros can get it perfect. Hence why i suggest refinishing the entire room

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 4:33PM
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Thanks Greg!
We are planning on refinishing all of the hardwood, but like you said, the problem is the color. We have a piece of unfinished oak and a few stains we've narrowed it down to. As long as its close that would be great, because we will be using a rug in the room anyway.
Now we just have to remove the old planks carefully so we can reuse them with the new wood we have to purchase.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 5:49PM
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I have an old house with old white oak floors. When I pulled up carpeting in den, I discovered it wasn't wood plank but cheap plyboard or something. Kitchen had some sort of tile over linoleum. I had a contractor cut out existing floor in den and kitchen (I'm on a pier & beam, so I have a wood subfloor, which the contractor left intact). He installed new white oak, and did a good job matching up the lines in adjoining hall.

So I then have amber colored old white oak floors and then the new white oak unfinished floors. Several wood floor refinishers have assured me they can refinish the old floors and the new flooring and match them with the same stain. There may be SOME slight difference, but not much, if any. That's good enough for me. Expensive, but the old floors need to be refinished, anyway. They all said they do this on occasion. They just sand the old floors down to the raw wood.

As for a damaged area, contractors told me it's no problem to pull out what they consider a damaged area and feather in new white oak strips. I'm not having that done because I think the refinishing will deal with the discoloration, and I don't want to get into pulling up any more existing flooring.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:13PM
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Some slight difference is good enough for us too. Looks like we are going to try to feather in new wood and refinish the floors all at once (living and dining room share the same flooring). That is IF we can pull up the existing planks without damaging them. Worst case scenario, the whole section of hardwood needs to be changed where that damage is to the opposite wall.
Thank you very much for the input bpollen!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 11:46PM
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slowjane CA/ Sunset 21

We sanded down the floors in two houses - one kitchen didn't have wood underneath the vinyl so we had to put in new wood - which the contractor was able to match beautifully to the living room. The cottage DID have wood under the vinyl - but 100 years of glue and gunk too. They were able to sand it down and match the hallway and living room - we also went with a darker stain to camouflage some water damage in spots (most likely from potted plants directly on the wood floors bah!)

My big lesson, though, was on a spot where we expanded a doorway - I didn't think about the floor like a nooob. The contractor matched the new wood - but there is a seam around it. Maybe this is what feathering solves? A terrible moment but given all the things that went RIGHT, I just filed it in my "things learned on my first remodel" folder and kept moving....ha.

I'm with the others - totally fixable!!

Good luck with it! We used a dark walnut stain and glossy finish and love it.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 12:07AM
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I will keep the doorway in mind since we are considering a layout change with the adjoining rooms.

Thank you slowjane!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 11:20AM
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