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Thread: Help with finishing maple floor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Warrensburg, Missouri right behind the University of Central Missouri.
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    17

    Question Help with finishing maple floor

    Evening All

    I have maple hardwood floors throughout my first floor which need to be refinished. They were installed and well taken care of until the last owner whom I purchased the house from a little over a year ago.

    Here are the problems:
    1. A large area of the bedroom floor was sanded but never stained or sealed and has several stains and paint spots on it.
    2. Someone must have tried to quiet squeaky floors and so there are several areas with rows of screws which were countersunk and filled with some type of filler. These areas were sanded to smooth out the filler and the areas were not refinished well.
    3. When ever the floor is damp it gets very sticky. Also when it id humid it becomes very sticky.
    4. There are random screws throughout to floor with heads visible and a couple neede3d to be sunk deeper.

    I did refinish the upstairs floors with excellent results so I do know how to do it properly. The question I have is does any one have any suggestions for a quick fix for the floors present condition? I will be doing some remodeling this winter which will involve removing a couple walls. As a result I will have to patch some areas of the floor. Once the remodeling is complete I will properly refinish the floors.

    Right now I need to do something temporarily.
    How about some realy strong cleaner then some type of quick finish?
    Some areas are varnish, poly, paint spotted or bare wood with stains.

    I am looking for ideas that can be completed in one day. I can always leave it the way it is until I remodel, but I hate feeling like I am going to sticke to the floor when I walk on it with bare feel. This especially applies when I step on it after taking a shower. Also I have a 2-1/2 & 4 year old and two new puppies which are not yet house broken, so I want to avoid any more staining in areas the floor is not finished.

    Any suggestions?

    Andy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Constantine, MI
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    7,887
    Wow Andrew, this is a tall order. It sounds like the last owner not only did not take care of the floor, but in his misguided attempts to make repairs has actually done a good deal of damage. You have your work cut out for you!

    Any finish you apply now will have to be removed when you do the full refinish job in the future. It will soak in in the areas that have already been sanded, and it may not stick at all in those areas that have a poor finish (sticky), only serving to make the problem worse. Trying to clean and cover the stained areas, deal with screws, and solve the sticky floor problem in a day is going to be quite a task.

    How large an area are we talking about? How many square feet? Is it a large open area, or are there narrow hallways, dormers, etc.? how long before you tackle the entire refinishing job? Which might include digging out all that filler, resetting the screws (if they're really necessary) and plugging those holes with matching wood.

    The reason I ask all these questions is because I think your easiest one-day solution might be to have inexpensive, "contractor grade" carpeting installed to protect what's left of the floor until you can do the job right. If your target "do-it-right-date" is two years or so in the future, then the carpet might be your best solution. If we're talking about a simple installation in a not too large area.

    The carpet will buy you time and, at least, stop the deterioration of the floor until you can spend the appropriate amount of time on it. My only caution, those sticky areas. Some sanding might be in order before the carpeting goes down, or you might have trouble getting it back up!

    My 2 cents.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Warrensburg, Missouri right behind the University of Central Missouri.
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    17

    Red face

    Rennie

    Basically there are three rooms: 24’ x 16’ living room, 16’ x 16’ dining room and 28’ x 16’ master bedroom. The living room and dining room are set up in an L-shape and there is a 4’ wide x 10’ long hallway leading to the bedroom. Most of the screws are in the hallway with some in the dinning room.

    When I said one day I was thinking of moving furniture from the dining room into the living room. I would work on the dinning room than the next day I would move all the furniture into the dining room than work on the living room. For the bedroom I will do one half at a time. So it will actually be about a 4 to 5 day project and not a one day job. So I actually should have said a day to finish an area.

    I will be starting the remodeling in 6 to 8 months. I do not plan on dealing with the screws until the remodeling. I just want to clean and seal the floor using something easy to remove. Also with the sticky floor it might take much more sanding belts & disks.

    To remove the screws I plan to use the set of Grabit screw and bolt extractors I purchased recently. They work great. I will than cut some plugs to fill the holes. Any squeaky spots can be fixed from the basement with screws up through the bottom.

    I was thinking about using a strong cleaner like trisodium phosphate to try to remove the sticky film from the surface than some paste wax or some other finish. If the cleaner does not work well enough I may use a floor buffer with a steel wool pad. I am just not sure of the best cleaner and sealer.

    Today was perfect example of why I want to seal the floor. I put the two-year-old infor a nap in the master bedroom. Well she watched my painting and working around the house so she decided to help. She put a wash cloth in the toilet bowl and painted part of the bedroom floor.

    Well that is what I have.

    Andy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    2,323
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Gingo View Post
    I will be starting the remodeling in 6 to 8 months. I do not plan on dealing with the screws until the remodeling. I just want to clean and seal the floor using something easy to remove.
    Hi Andrew ,
    I wish I was a guru on this stuff but alas, I'm not. The idea of cleaning the floor with a chemical like Trisodium PHosphate is a good idea. The search for the right chemical is the ticket. If you use wax, a good thought for a close to immediate finish, make sure you use wax that may be compatible with the permanent finish you will use down the road.


    To remove the screws I plan to use the set of Grabit screw and bolt extractors I purchased recently. They work great. I will than cut some plugs to fill the holes. Any squeaky spots can be fixed from the basement with screws up through the bottom. Having to fix other spots from the top leaves you that alternative too for the hard to get at squeaks. Might even try large dowel fillers throughout for decoration, maybe 1" plugs. Using a forestner first then sink the screw, then plug the hole and sand, just like you plan for the other spots.

    I was thinking about using a strong cleaner like trisodium phosphate to try to remove the sticky film from the surface than some paste wax or some other finish. If the cleaner does not work well enough I may use a floor buffer with a steel wool pad. I am just not sure of the best cleaner and sealer. Don't know either but if you have to use a sander with the sticky stuff, maybe a screen on the buffer could be washed rather than a paper that clogs.

    Today was perfect example of why I want to seal the floor. I put the two-year-old infor a nap in the master bedroom. Well she watched my painting and working around the house so she decided to help. She put a wash cloth in the toilet bowl and painted part of the bedroom floor.

    Well that is what I have.

    Andy
    You have a full life! Hope you are able to sit back and enjoy it some time.
    Shaz
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    HI Warren, I don't recall seeing you here previously. We are practically neighbors. Howdy.
    My solution is really a cop-out. But, I'm not a fan of hardwood floors at all. They can be, as you are discovering, a challenge to maintain. I see your two cuties in the picture. My son, and his family, who live not far from you, have a large house with a lot of bare wood floors. And THREE small children. The noise is (to old fogey me) is incredible. Everything makes noise and echos. Carpeted floors prevent the noise and absorbs what might come from other sources. So, I say, just carpet the whole works and enjoy both pretty floors and sanity.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Warrensburg, Missouri right behind the University of Central Missouri.
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    17
    Good Morning All

    I Have not visited the site for little while due to computer problems so you hve not seen response any replies sooner.

    Frank carpet could work but my littlest has allergies and slight asthma and the doc recommended we get rid of carpet. Plus my wife picked this house because of the floors. And I do agree it is noisy I had difficulty studying with the children and puppies running round. But I will not be going to school for a while since I just completed my master in accounting in May.

    Shaz the large plugs great idea. I was going to cut plugs a little larger than the holes left after removing the screws. Would you locate the plugs randomly or place them in some sort of pattern. As for as removing the wax I will first use a wax stripper before I sanded the floors.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Andy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    Hi Andrew ,
    This large plug idea comes from a floor I have seen somewhere?
    They used the plugs uniformly as if they were the means by which the floor was secured. In your case that sounds like a rather large job.

    It might be an idea to use precisely where you need them and then intermittently as design and balance dictates. They definitely add another concern to the design factor as they do make a statement.
    Hopefully a statement that is pleasing.
    Good luck!
    Shaz
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