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whether to refinish or cover a degraded wood floor

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Posted by: from Mount Albert
9/21/2011 at 4:03:30 PM

I have a reclaimed hemlock floor (23' by 23') in my kitchen that started to degrade almost immediately and now it's been 5 years and it is pretty bad.

It is as though the polyurethane didn't adhere to parts of the wood and in places there are big parts where there are chunks gone.

We do have 2 dogs that definitely don't help the situation but you can see that some boards have degraded and another board right beside it is fine.

So I'm looking to find out whether or not I should even go to the expense of refinishing this floor or basically cover it with area rugs like I have been doing for now.

Help?

Thanks

Laura

whether to refinish or cover a degraded wood floor
REPLIES (2)
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Date/Time9/21/2011 at 8:51:42 PM

Fixing scratched hardwood floors is essential for any homeowner lucky enough to have wood floors. Scratches on hardwood floors mar their beauty, but fixing scratches is easy. You can make your floor look as good as new.

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1

Assess the damage.

Light scratches require a different repair approach from deep scratches.

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2

For light scratches, lightly rub fine steel wool over the scratch.

Be sure to rub the steel wool along the grain of the wood or you'll have more scratches to repair.

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3

For deeper scratches, use lightweight sandpaper on the scratch.

Be sure to sand along the grain of the wood.

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4

Rub mineral spirits over the sanded area.

Rub mineral spirits over the area to smooth it out and to pick up the fine dust from the sanding.

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5

Fill the scratch with premixed wood filler.

Use a plastic putty knife to fill the scratch with wood filler that matches the color of the floor. Let the filler dry thoroughly.

Be sure to use a plastic putty knife to apply the filler (you don't want to create any new scratches).

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6

Sand the filler and wipe up all the dust.

Once the filler has dried, use lightweight sandpaper (use 180 grit). Be sure to only sand the excess filler.

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7

Seal the sanded area.

Refinish the board with varnish, polyurethane, or a similar product to match the rest of your floor.

Warning: Don't use a foam roller or brush to apply the polyurethane you'll end up with air bubbles in the finish. Go with a lambswool applicator or natural bristle brush, instead.

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Date/Time9/21/2011 at 11:24:26 PM

I have a client who had trees falled on their property a few years ago. I am building a post and beam structure for my client. For several years I have been getting wood milled by a guy, who, all agree does near-perfect work and knows his stuff. I had a load sent to him; fir for my beams, and cedar for my trim... there was one hemlock in the load that he said he would/could not do anything with. His explanation was; that hemlock "almost begins to rot before it dries!" He also told me that as far as the other hemlocks on the property go, might as well cut them up for fire wood! Hemlock is not a good wood to use for anything! (I sure there are people who would disagree... but that's what I was told.)

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