Refinishing Fir Floors

rnc620August 18, 2013

I have spent the entire afternoon trying to determine the best method for sealing / finishing the fir floors in our bedroom. I need some advice.

We pulled up the carpet today to find the floors in pretty good condition. Instead of relaying carpet or painting the floors I decided sanding and sealing would probably be our best bet. We plan to move soon and our house isn't in a great area (nicest house in the area and at this point more remodeling isn't going to be shown in return) so I am not overly concerned with resale value, but also don't want to put in more work then necessary.

We have decided that staining would be more work than we want to deal with, and from what I have read fir doesn't take stain well. So we are looking for advice on the best way to seal the floors after sanding. I have read about waterlox, linseed and tung oil, wax, and water vs oil poly. I am pregnant, and we have a 3 year old, so VOC is a concern. Also we have a 100lb dog so durability is a concern. However, water is not a concern since it is a bedroom and there is no plumbing upstairs.
What is the easiest, cheapest, quickest, and safest option... lol.. I know this is a contradictory question, but, overall, what would you use if in my shoes?
Thanks for any help!!

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lazy_gardens

Fir has a nasty habit of splintering when you sand it, so sand lightly.

Fastest and lowest VOC ... any of the low VOC clear finishes meant for floors. A satin sheen would tend to hide scuffs.

If you change your minds, you can always paint over it.

Waterlox reeks! Tung oil has a very strong "oil paint" odor to it. Linseed oil can take forever to dry.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:15PM
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gregmills_gw

Fir is soft so it sands easily. Drawback is while working on it any dropped tool or little pebbles caught in a shoe can damage the floor. But it sounds like you are not expecting perfect.

Fir for the most part stains okay. Older fir soaks in the stain well so darker colors tend to turn out well too. But the grains tend to take color differently. Meaning if you stain black the grains tend to get an orange look.

But staining oppose to natural is more prep work. And natural fir does look good too.

I would stick with a water bourne urethane. Low vocs and you can do two coats in a day thus lessening the time needed to be off the floor. Not to mention its summer time so as long as the weather cooperates you can crack open windows and air out any minor odor you may smell.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:46PM
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rnc620

Thanks guys! We have fir downstairs also so we are definitely familiar with the softness issue. We had the livingroom refinished professionally, but for the bedroom I think anything is better than the carpet that I spilled a gallon of white paint on, lol. The house is older and I've read in a few places that older homes generally have old growth fir in them which is tougher. Idk how true that rings or how old a house to be to qualify withing these standards.
I think we are going to go ahead and go with the water based poly. I looked online last night and from what I can tell I can get Rustoleum, Minwax, or Bona Mega at Lowes or Home Depot. I know I've seen the Bona recommended a few places. For a job like this where I'm not expecting perfection and not overly concerned with traffic issues do you think one of the cheaper brands would be ok? And is it necessary to use any kind of sealer or primer or anything like that before applying the poly?
Thanks!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 1:03AM
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lazy_gardens

And is it necessary to use any kind of sealer or primer or anything like that before applying the poly?

Read the cans! They will tell you what they need.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:27AM
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rnc620

Thanks guys! We have fir downstairs also so we are definitely familiar with the softness issue. We had the livingroom refinished professionally, but for the bedroom I think anything is better than the carpet that I spilled a gallon of white paint on, lol. The house is older and I've read in a few places that older homes generally have old growth fir in them which is tougher. Idk how true that rings or how old a house to be to qualify withing these standards.
I think we are going to go ahead and go with the water based poly. I looked online last night and from what I can tell I can get Rustoleum, Minwax, or Bona Mega at Lowes or Home Depot. I know I've seen the Bona recommended a few places. For a job like this where I'm not expecting perfection and not overly concerned with traffic issues do you think one of the cheaper brands would be ok? And is it necessary to use any kind of sealer or primer or anything like that before applying the poly?
Thanks!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 11:03AM
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gregmills_gw

If you use bona products. They will suggest to use BonaSeal. Do you have to? No but you should

I use bona products and if i was doing the floor i would but if your on a budget you dont need to. Your floor will be just fine if you dont. But as others have said. READ the label. And do exactly as it says. Dont take shortcuts.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 6:07PM
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