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Jun 26, 2012, 02:03 AMCeCe Totten
I have a question about refinishing hardwood floors. The floors in my house were not taken care of very well, and I don't think they were installed right. The boards all moved around and there are fairly large gaps between many of them where water seeps through. The hardwood is only on the main floor which is the formal living room and the kitchen and dining room. Being the main floor and the access for both the front and back of the house, combined with the 5-year old boy and the zoo of pets we have (3 cats all about 2 years, and 2 dogs – 1 8-year old black lab/shepherd mix and a full bread choc. Lab puppy that is 12 weeks old now) these floors have seen better days.
My fiancé, Trevor, wants to keep the wood and refinish it because they are true wood floors instead of laminate. While it is much more expensive than laminate, I think we would purchase real wood floors that are installed correctly and are much nicer. I also have a fear of there being some serious water damage in the subfloor because of all the water that seeps through the cracks and has nowhere to escape. By taking the wood out it’s possible that we could be opening ourselves into a larger problem with mold or a subfloor that needs replacing, but if we are going to make changes, I want them done right and I don’t want to cut corners or leave this floor just because we don’t want to replace the subfloor.
Does anyone who has more experience with this have some ideas for us? We would like to do it ourselves if we can and the floors will be darker one way or another (replaced or refinished and stained). We are beginners though, and like I said, I want it done right. Any ideas where we should start before getting in over our heads?
Jun 26, 2012, 07:52 PMdoodles64
CeCe, I'd suggest that you go to a very reputable, established flooring showroom in your city - one who has its OWN installers - and tell them the problem. They can most likely come out and take a look, then you can make an informed decision as to what you're up against and if you want to replace them, what you will replace them with, and if it's something you can do yourself. I'd suggest that if you are going to be putting this product in the kitchen you go with hardwood rather than laminate. Or, perhaps you can put laminate in the living areas and a pretty tile in the kitchen/wet areas. There are many ways of going about it and different options - much of it will be determined by what you CAN do, what you SHOULD do and what you WANT to do. But, start with a good flooring company (no, not the big box store - an independent company who is reputable, a member of BBB and hopefully the Chamber of Commerce).
Jun 27, 2012, 06:17 AMBob Fleming
I think Doodles is aiming you in the right direction. A question I have is what is under your hardwood flooring; that is, is there access from below?
Installing hardwood floors is not for the inexperienced, and it starts with letting the new material acclimate to the rooms some before installing. Not doing that may be the cause of the problems you note.
That said, our daughter installed hemlock flooring in her last place here in town and it came out beautifully. But she had help and guidance from an independent flooring pro, plus the loan of the his pro tools. Since hers was prefinished, there was no need to sand after installing.
You can see where I am and we have hardwood flooring in our LR, kitchen, and front hallway, installed by pros. Frankly, it could have been a better job. Our climate is tough on hardwood flooring, in the first year or two. After that, one would expect it to be stable. We also have a couple medium-sized dogs; while they are hard on wood floors, the climate is more so.
Be aware that hardwood usually goes under the base molding and sometimes under kitchen cabinets. Plus you will have to move furniture and appliances around when you remove the old and install the new.
I repeat; installing hardwood flooring is not easy and requires some experience to get it right. I recommend you hire it done.
Jul 03, 2012, 01:50 PM16paws
We had hardwood installed 15 years ago in a large family room and adjoining smaller room. We had professionals install it. The underlayment has to be right and it is nice to have it finished on site. It took 2 weeks to have it done but it has survived children, large dogs (3 German shepherds and a mastiff) and cats. I agree with Doodles, get some opinions from reputable installers, not the big box store or someone who advertises that they undersell everyone. See what they advise and what your options are for your home. They can tell you about what's available, type of wood, finishes, sealers, etc.
At the time that we installed ours it cost the same as very expensive carpeting. The carpeting would have been long gone by now, we are very happy with ours which may need to be refinished soon but of course we will call in professional help.