Restoring damaged hardwood floor

We have a one year old red oak hardwood floor damaged (several stripes about 1" wide that is considerably darker then the floor itself) in small area by sofa legs. The damaged area is very small but it is very noticeable and is in the middle of the family room. How can I restore the hardwood floor?
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If the surface of the wood is dented to any extent, nothing is going to help except sanding the whole floor. If just the finish is scratched, you can try to just sand out the affected area and refinish. The repair will never be invisible but you might like it better than what you have. If the floor is stained, it going to be VERY hard to make a good-looking fix.

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I believe the hardwood is not damaged only the finishing layer is scratched. Is there any non toxic refinish? I know when my hardwood floor was finished with water base finish I couldn't stay at house for three days until the finish dried.

is
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Sounds like you had oil based finish as water based dries very rapodly. Some make 3 applications in one day with WB. Wood finishing gurus consider ALL finishes to be non-toxic once cured. I was raised with oil based and the newer water based stuff is making me switch to water.
On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 08:59:57 -0400, "Alexander Galkin"

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You couldn't stay in the house for 3 days because the contractor wanted the finish well cured, not because it was toxic.
Tom J
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Actually, contractor didn't care. But I really couldn't stay inside the house due to very sharp smell the water based finish produced. I don't know how harmful it is but for me it causes a lot of headache if I inhale this smell. Of cause now the damaged area is maybe total of 25 square inches so smell may not be so sharp. Also now I have two 10 month old kids in house so I want to be absolutely sure any repairing wouldn't harm them first.

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Whay kind of damage do you have? Is it from scratches or a spilled liquid?
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If it is surface scratches, you can blue tape around the offending boards, lightly sand them and recoat, usually need 2-3 light coats with water-base. Pull up the tape immediately with each coat, the finish will roll over, into the neighboring boards. Retape with each coat, and coat lightly. You need to determine the sheen. If unsure, use gloss and lightly abrade to match sheen. If it is dented wood, you can carefully do the same with a scraper. It may be noticeable in some light, but with the floor only 1 year old, the color should come out well. Little more complicated if its stained. Is it?
Mark Hamlin The Oak Floors of Marco Los Gatos, CA

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If the underlying finish is oilbased, I don't think using waterbase over it is a particularly good idea. The stuff *may* have real problems bonding to an oilbase finish, or not. It is somewhat unpredictable.
You can tell if it is waterbased by putting a little water in an inconspicuous spot and seeing if it waterspots after a few hours.
You can put oilbase urethane over waterbase but maybe not the reverse.

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All the major water manufacturers say you can recoat with their product over oil. In fact, it's adhesion properties are better than oil(so they say). Unpredictable is what oil cleaners has the floor seen....for a long term patch, of greater importance is the ambering. Water won't as much, while oil will yellow till its red. So yes you're right, it's better to use what you have, same technique.
M Hamlin

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