hardwood floor repair?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by gdog, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. gdog

    gdog write diagnostic firmware for embedded industrial

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Pac NW
    Hey All,

    Anyone have experience doing repair on hardwood floors?

    I have one rental with oak floors. The last tenant apparently had furniture with sharp metal feet and also looks like he jumped up & down on it in one corner of the living room.

    So now there's about 20 square feet that has scratches and gouges in the floor up to 1/4" deep.

    Should I just sand it out and try to feather in the new finish as best I can? The finish that's on there now is at least a few decades old; i.e. is a bit yellow but otherwise natural (clear) finish.

    Any tips (other than refinish the entire floor) appreciated! Thanks.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Might be time for a pro. This is work which require a "touch". But trying to feather out the dings is not probably a good approach.

    One technique is to use a wet towel and a hot iron. The wet and steam can swell the wood a bit, which then is left to settle for a day or too, before final sanding.

    I am not a pro on that technique, so I would do some more googling to fill in the details.
  3. gdog

    gdog write diagnostic firmware for embedded industrial

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Pac NW
    Thanks Jimbo for the advice. I have actually used that technique when refinishing furniture; it works quite well on dents and/or dings, especially if they're not too old.

    But we're talking about fairly deep gouges here; picture someone taking something sharp and heavy (like the pointy end of an anvil) and dragging it across the wood floor for an inch or so, and then do this about 50X!

    I am just wondering how much of this guy's security deposit to keep for "enhancing" my floor. http://www.terrylove.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
    :D
  4. Howard Emerson

    Howard Emerson I teach guitar:You call that a job?

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Huntington Station, NY

    Dog,
    If the gouges are actually that deep then you have a major problem. They can not be sanded out, and the reason is that the maximum 'sandable' thickness on typical 29/32" oak flooring is about 1/8".

    After that you take the chance of exposing the tongue/groove which opens up a whole can of worms.

    To get it back to 'original' would require taking out a section of the floor, replacing it with new strips, sanding the whole floor and then refinishing the whole thing.

    A good floor man can sand the damaged section, blend in the stain and finish and then fill the holes so that they don't stand out so much, but neither option is cheap or easy.

    I'd say your tenant just forfeited a month's security at least.

    HE
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Floors normally will acquire some signs of age and usage. Sounds like in your case that has been accelerated! But you might just have to sand and finish, and accept the dings as patina.

    I have seen guys use a filler, but that does not always leave an attractive result.
  6. gdog

    gdog write diagnostic firmware for embedded industrial

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Pac NW
    Thanks Howard and Jimbo for your input!

    Maybe i exaggerated just a bit; the gouges were probably closer to an 1/8" deep. Still thanks for reminding me there's not that much sanding material there to work with. You would think i should know since I installed an oak floor in my own house a few years ago.

    I think I will just sand it out and patch it the best i can; hope it's not too obvious. It's not like the floor was in mint condition before anyway. There's gaps between some of the boards too.

    Anyway Jim I like your spin of accepting the new dings as patina; yeah, that's what I'll tell the next tenant... {:^)
  7. thezster

    thezster New Member

    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Lots of experience with true wood floors.... installed, refinished, repaired, literally taken up, cleaned up, relaid... (phew, what a job)...


    Sounds like you don't really want to spend the $3/sq.ft to have the entire floor refinished - (in a rental, wait till it gets really, really bad...) ... trying to blend in a patch job will look like, well, a patch job. No way the stain will match, the score lines, if as deep as you said, will still be visible, etc., etc., etc..... Clean the floor as best possible - run some polyurethane into the worst of the scratches (hides some amazingly well) - then, since your floors are exhibiting spaces between boards as well, as need to be taken up, cleaned up, relaid... Put down some nice, big, area rugs when showing the property. At $400 for a big rug - you'll save big bucks over redoing the floor until absolutely necessary...,
  8. walton02

    walton02 Guest

    Hi,

    Flooring is one of the main elements of a home. It contributes a lot to the beauty of your home. Different types of flooring can help you to achieve different looks for your home. Oak floors can help to add some special attractions to your home. If you are looking for a sophisticated look for your home, the oak floors are your best bet. They are durable and look stylish.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I agree, personally. What the public demands may be very different!

    I have solid oak Virginia Hardwood flooring thoughout the condo. Put is down in 1990. Still looks great, and we love it. But oak is not necessarily the "wood du jour" !!

    My daughter owns a 3800 sqft house which is in near-showcase condition. Built about late 80's. It is a house which 3 years ago was worth 1.4, and today will sell for maybe 800K. Mostly original, except all kitchen appliances are new top of the line. They would like to sell. They have some realtors in to look, and they take one look at the solid oak beautifully finished cabinets in the kitchen and dining room, and say " that is so eighties" you should paint the cabinets!
  10. dgold

    dgold Product R&D for a powertool manufacturer

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Carlsbad, CA
    I had a rental with a similar problem. Three young women who destroyed the floors with their high heels -- didn't know they could have saved themselves $1800 (their deposit) by spending a $100 or so at the cobbler.

    My flooring guy sanded it all out in a day for a little less than $3/sq-ft.

    My intention was to sell the unit. Had I planned to put a new tennant in, I would have filled in all the holes till it was time to sell. My attitude was, as a rental, the key was to keep the expenses low and have it look good-enough. When it came time to sell, I wanted it to be 100%.
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