Staining hardwood floor

Never did anything like this. We have a hardwood floor in our foyer and it's a lighter color wood. We want to stain it a darker color to match our paint and stairway banisters. I don't know what kind of wood it is...but it's a 3 year old house and the wood seems soft...stepping on cat litter on the floor makes pits in the wood. My plan is to rent a u-sand machine (www.u-sand.com) to sand the floor down, then use some kind of stain to stain it and then polyurethane to seal it. Anyone have any advice for doing this? Type/brand of stain to use? Polyurethane? Number of coats of each? Or any gotcha's to watch out for?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If it is pine it needs a shellac pre stain like Bix or it wont take the color evenly, If pine consider a new floor, but it depends on the style of your home.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We did our oak floors. About 1000 sf. I wouldn't suggest using a drum sander if the wood is soft
You'll need some type of small sander for the edges.Wear a mask.
Minwax oil based stain. 2 - 3 coats. Follow directions carefully. I used rags to apply. Wear disposable gloves.
Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane as many coats as you can. At least 4. Follow directions to the letter. I applied with a quality paint brush. Allow plenty of time for drying. Go by the directions drying time and double it. Don't do on humid day.
Gotcha's: We used a drum sander for the initial sanding. I tried as hard as I could to avoid divots but they are almost impossible to eliminate with a drum sander but it is the most efficient way to get the old finish off.
You'll probably have a lot of trouble matching the color because of wood types. Different grains/wood types stain drastically different.
Make sure you get ten times as much sand paper than you think you'll need. Especially if you are using a reciprocating sander.
Get a good assortment of sand paper. Rough to fine. You can return your unopened packages.
Hard work but rewarding. I think your big challenge is going to be matching your colors. I'd try to get a wood sample and buy small containers of stain to experiment.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Other Mike wrote:

When the top coat wear through (it will) so will the stain. At which time you'll have light and dark. The soulution is to *NEVER* let the top coat wear through.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hire a pro-
You will have to look at your mistakes for years and years, and the finish that a pro pays $50 / gallon for will outlast the $20 / gallon stuff you can buy at the Borg.
Write a check!
JMHO - but I have done several floors by myself, and will never do it again.
JK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

finishing floors. It's hard work and requires some skills with wood working. I thought I was using a drum sander properly but I did end up with some divots that I had to sand out with a reciprocating sander. If I had left the divots, the job would of been less than professional looking. I've heard horror stories about people doing floors with divots all over them. I have a way of working a job until I get it right but I could of made a mess out of it. The floors came out nice. I sold the house right after and they were a selling point.
Since he's not using a drum sander, I don't think he'll have the divot problem. But he is trying to match a stain on a different type of wood. That's a challenge.
I'd do wood floors again. I wouldn't want to do it for a living. ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Matching stains is a bear, and won't in all likelihood work if this is a DIY. Pros are better at this, though even they won't be able to match exactly. Maybe you're better off going with a contrasting tint. Or, if you're into the time and expense, have accent pieces placed in the floor that are stained close to (but not exactly) the tint of the banisters.

There's the crux of your decision: "I don't know what kind of wood it is". If the house is only three years old, contact the builder and ASK before you even THINK of sanding. You could have a hardwood floor, or you could have an inexpensive laminate floor, and if you've never refinished a floor before you could sand right through the laminate and ruin the floor entirely.
Even then, because the wood is soft you still run a very high risk of leaving grooves and other random marks in the floor from where you didn't quite sand perfectly, even if you use a random-motion, reciprocating, whatever professional upright sander.
If you're going for the distressed look, or if you'll be putting down an area rug, then you might be fine. But if you're planning on showing off this floor and you're an obsessive perfectionist (like me), the polyurethane finish will only accentuate the flaws and it will drive you bonkers every time you walk in the house.
The DIY adventurer in me says you should go for it and do it yourself - think of the pride you'll have in showing off this floor you refinished on your own. The pragmatist in me recommends investing in the lack of headaches and peace of mind you'll find in hiring a professional to do the work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Didn't think about that. VGP

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It looks that the area you consider damaged is relatively small and in heavy traffic zone. I would suggest to replace the wood with some pre-finished, hard hardwood. You can get mahogany for below $5.00/sqfeet this days. Why bother with sanding.
http://www.verysimplefloorborder.com/VerySimpleFloorBorder/Plankization.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.