hardwood floor refinishing

well after a lifetime of carpet my wife wants the floors refinished. all 1950s hardwood in pretty decent shape. spent most of its life covered with carpet, no doubt that helped.
well with a 2 story 3 bedroom home, I am wondering how to go about this........
we have 3 active smaller dogs with 2 doggie doors. bath on second floor, home full of furniture and stuff.
wife says do one room at a time, which ignores hallway will put entire floor out of service anyway.
hiring a contractor to do one or two rooms at a time, or renting sander for many days will be costly.
my idea was add door from basement to back yard, something i always wanted anyway.
then we and dogs live in basement why upstairs is refinished and let dry.
how long does poly floors need to sit unused
any good ideas will be appreciated
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If your going two coats, you'll need three or four days before you can put down rugs and furniture. First day sand, prep, and first coat. Second day second coat. Third day dry to light walking. Fourth or fifth day for fully dry.
It might be a good project to send the Mrs away for a couple of days. It's a mess and the smell is substantial.
Are you looking to do it yourself or bring in a crew?
Bernie

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Havent decided if its a DIY project/
home depot wants a 100 bucks a day for the sander rental, the oscillating type.
doing one or two rooms at a time could be very costly.
our dogs have never been in a kennel, puddle our oldest wouldnt eat or drink in the disney kennel as a day guest, sassy our rescue dog freaks going to groomer. kennel is bad idea. and no family around who likes dogs and has fenced yard.
I favor the install door to backyard, me and dogs could live in basement while work goes on. We have fenced yard,
my wife has asthma, she will likely need a vacation , poly stink would liprobably cause her breathing troubles.
my problem is dust from dogs, access to key areas in home, like bathroom and kitchen.
camping out in basement fixes all this.
my wife thinks door to backyard is overkill.........
wonder what pros charge for floor refinishing?
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.
Boy, are they proud of their sander. :-)
Unless they are deep scratches, I don't see why you couldn't use paint or varnish stripper.
Good luck.
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home depot wants a 100 bucks a day for the sander rental, the oscillating type.
doing one or two rooms at a time could be very costly.
********************************************************
I'd talk to a pro at that rental rate. My guess is that you can break it down into two steps and have each portion out of the way in three days. Move the furniture to one half of the house. do those rooms and let the floor cure for a week, then do the other half. Pros run into these things all the time and probably have some idea on how to get around it all. Hardest part is moving all the furniture. They may even know a rent-a-teenager to help with that portion.
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Read both of your posts.
Do at least one floor at a time (economy of scale).
Three days from sanding to sock walking. A week to restore furniture with padding. 30 days for normal traffic. Up to a year to handle normal scuffs and scrapes. This isn't what the floor people will tell you but it is the way it really is.
Best bet is to take a small trip and let them do their thing. Dust and smells are a problem for most people. Oil based poly is worst for smells.
OTOH, you may find that a nice coat of mop and glow looks real good on what you uncover. :)
Colbyt
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You're getting some sketchy information, and from the sound of some of it I'd think the responders haven't refinished a floor in years or decades. I'm particularly surprised that the totalfloor guy is so far off base - then again, maybe not.
The oscillating sander that Home Depot rents is a U-Sand orbital, it is not a buffer. http://www.u-sand.com It is not as aggressive as a drum sander, but a DIYer will have a hard time screwing up a floor with the U-Sand. The sandpaper is more expensive, but it's cheaper than chewing up a wood and putting waves into a nice floor. You can sand right up to the wall and have a minimal amount of hand scraping to do, with no edge sander rental required. It is a good machine and almost entirely dustless. Do not ever underestimate the importance of dust collection when sanding a floor. The dust will ruin your finish and you'll be cleaning dust off of your stuff for weeks.
There is no reason to use an oil finish unless you are matching one, and even then there are tricks. Water-based finishes will put you back into your rooms days earlier. http://www.hallshardwood.com/refinish.htm There's a typo on that page - they mean Trek _or_ Traffic as their two preferred finishes. I've used both, I like the Trek. Here's the manufacturer's info: http://www.lastnlast.com/CDtrekplus.html Some places say they'll only sell the stuff to professionals as it dries very quickly, so you definitely have to stay on top of it, but you can buy it if you check around. The stuff is not cheap. It is worth it. http://www.abbotpaint.com/itemDetails.cfm/2182914/TREK%20Plus%20Commercial%20Wood%20Floor%20Finish%20GALLON
There's no problem at all in putting down two or three coats in a day. Do not put down just two coats of finish. At the very least you should put down three. Some people use a sealer as a first coat to save a bit on the expense, but I prefer to just stick with the two- part catalyzed polyurethane. This is what the Trek instructions say about curing: "CURING: The curing process takes approximately 7 days (75% cured after 1 day, 90% after 3 days). Do not replace rugs until the floor has fully cured. The floor may be walked on after 24 hours, but the floor is susceptible to scuffing or marring, prior to completion of the curing time. Do not clean with water or detergent during the first week."
I do not know what your skill and energy level is, so I'm not sure if doing such a large job makes sense for you. Clearing a house of furniture is the biggest part of the job. Keeping a wet edge is very important as any stoppage or drips will show through all subsequent coats. Breaking it down into manageable bites is a must - separate floors at a time at the very least. If you have door saddles between rooms or other places where you can take a break it will make it a lot easier to do.
The only way to determine if it makes sense for you to tackle this is to get some contractor prices for the whole job, and figure your costs if you DIY. If the difference isn't thousands, I don't think I'd DIY.
R
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THANKS FOR ALL THE USEFUL INFO!
some floors are darkened in areas from urine stains, I have been told these can be bleached to lighten them.
but I was also told urine stains should be coated with oil base poly, to seal in any odor.
previously i did some floor refinishing at my moms home, she and hubby were incontenient.
sanded all floors and used oil poly on them and bin primer sealer.
the syink smelly house never had a urine odor again.
I was old that water based poly could soften and odors reoccur:(
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