What type of wood can I expect to find?
Older homes typically have planks for a sub floor. Usually they are made up of pine and are ¾” -1″ x 4″-8″. If they measure true, then you definitely have an older home. Modern measurements are less than true and are figuratively referred to as 1×4 or 2×4 etc. This is due to commercial drying or curing.
How do I begin?
If you have old carpet that you are removing, you will have to physically get down on your hands and knees and go along each board to ensure that you have removed all of the staples. Trust me; it’s a pain in the neck! You should remove or tape over the baseboards if you do not want to refinish them. Next you will have to strip away any old finish or build up from surface of the wood. I recommend a citrus stripping agent that you can find in most home improvement stores. It’s biodegradable and you don’t have to worry about noxious fumes. Otherwise make sure the surface is clean and dry before applying your new finish.
What type of finish should I use?
I would recommend an oil modified polyurethane with a brilliant gloss. It brings out a magnificent shine and makes your floors look exceptionally stunning when you first enter your home. It is durable and wear resistant. Invest in samples and apply to small areas of the floor to decide which you prefer to use in your home.
Do I have to sand the floor?
You only have to sand if there are uneven sections of the floor. Typically this is just caused by age. If your floor is so uneven that you will have to do a lot of sanding, then please consult a specialist before you begin. Otherwise, I recommend renting a pad floor sander with a medium grit. You have to go over the floor a second time with a fine grit to smooth out the grain before applying your finish. Remember to always go with the grain of the wood. Don’t forget to shopvac the sawdust and go over the floor with a damp mop and let dry. A floor fan will help speed drying time.
How do I apply the finish?
Use a lamb’s wool applicator. Simply poor a moderate amount of your finish in a painter’s pan and apply liberally. Again, make sure you go with the grain of the wood. You will have to make sure that you have adequate ventilation. The best time to complete this project is in the summer months so that you can open all of the windows. Follow the directions for drying time. The floor should not be tacky when touching lightly with the fingertips. Usually drying overnight will be plenty of time. I recommend applying a second coat for durability but it may not be necessary depending on the amount of foot traffic.