Sanding Pine floors


The small (4/X12') kitchen in 50 year old beach house has 3 1/4" wide solid pine stained flooring on 16" joists with no subfloor. It had layers of linoleum on it which I removed, and then discovered some water damaged boards (I know how it happened, and fixed water problem). I replaced the boards and now have to either sand and refinish the new and old boards OR install a new pine floor over it (or pull it out and put new floor altogether in).
Because house is far from civilization, it would be hard to rent a big orbital floor sander, I don't know how to use one anyway, and area is small.
So I was going to buy a belt sander (can use it for other projects) and do it that way. Or should I get a small orbital sander? Or should I simply replace entire floor.
Any advise on 1. What sander to buy 2. What grits to use 3. If I am better just replacing the whole floor. 4. how to refinish it (without renting a buffer) 5. Anything else someone who is trying to do this and doesn't know what he is doing should know is appreciated. Thanks.
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Belt sander will take forever. Small orbital will take forever and a day. Buy a set of knee pads because you will be spending a lot of time on the floor.

I only ever did one floor in a small room. I'd not even think about doing it with a typical home shop belt sander. Aside from renting, I don't know of any other way. In theory, a 4" will be faster than a 3" wide belt.
You'll need at least two, maybe three grits. I'd probably start with a 40 grit, then a 100, then a 220.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

day.
the
doing
know
belt.
a 40

Yeah, what Ed said. If you have to use a hand-held, maybe you could make some sort of pole that you can maneuver the sander while standing. You may not be able to lean into it to hog off the _really_ high spots, but standing for 8 hours beats kneeling for 6 hours every day of the week.
Also, for an application where you're realistically going to be running the sander for hours on end, better go with a higher-end model.
I sure don't envy you your task, but I think it would be terrible to replace the floor entirely. Good luck either way.
-Phil Crow
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Wow! Thank you all very much for your advise. The unanimous opinion seems to be: Don't do it. So I won't. Thank you for stopping me from making the mistake.
So, my two choices now are
1. Paint the floor. Since the house has a "cottage" feel to it, that could work. But whenever you paint, everyone says sand first. So, does painting get me out of sanding? Will paint really hold up? The house is only used 6 months of year, and usually on weekends, so it is not a super high volume traffic area. What kind of paints (Stains) do I use? I will do a decorative style (i.e, stencil, or borders, or a design). It won't all be one color. Any tips?
2. Plan C would be to leave the existing floor as a subfloor and put a new floor on top. Ideas about that? Was thinking of bamboo. Thanks.
And sincerely, thanks for all your tips about doing the floor. My next beer is to you. Grin. dj
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water

and

and

what

4x12 is about 50 sq ft. Excellent quality prefinished, engineered hardwood flooring, from a reputable supplier near me, runs about $6.50/sq ft.
Say $400 for materials, maybe a little more. Say done in time to light the grill, and enjoy the sunset. Unless you're on the East Coast, I guess. I only watch the sun go down over the Pacific.
Long ago, when the kids were really young, and cash was tight, and I thought I could do anything, I rented a drum floor sander, to refinish a pine floor in a bedroom. Some jobs, I learned, are just not worth doing yourself. I bought new carpet for the other bedrooms.
I know what my choice would be. I'd use the old, repaired pine as a subfloor.
Patriarch
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Patriarch wrote:

[snip]
Friends just refinished the yellow pine floors on their 1920s house and said they thought they had easily spent as much doing this job themselves as they would have if they had paid (they got estimates) to have the job done. They rented the big sander and bought all the recommended sandpaper for the big sander and changed it as directed. Cost a small fortune. To make it possible to stay in the house while they were working, they put heavy plastic over the doorways but still found the sanding dust went all over the house upstairs and down. They sent their cat to stay with me so they could leave windows open for fresh air. They had to use two kinds of bleach (oxalic and Clorox) to get up spots or areas that had darkened for one reason or another. They wore out a couple of pairs of gloves, wore face masks, wore knee pads. High traffic areas just couldn't be made to match the areas seldom traveled. I can't remember if they used a sealer, but they did use the recommended pre- conditioner. Three coats of oil-based urethane (Minwax) got delayed while waiting for low-moisture and no rain days. They applied the urethane with a synthetic mop instead of the recommended type. Only had to re-sand a couple of places where the urethane pooled and crackled. Floors look fantastic and nearly glow.
The big rental sander didn't get close enough to the edges of the room for they tried 1/6, 1/4, orbital and I can't remember what other sanders and still ended up doing the edges by hand.
They still decided to repeat the process for the upstairs rooms and the stairs themselves, but I think you'd need to make some terrific threats to get me to do that.
Since this is a beach house and you are down to clean wood, why not paint the floor a medium light gray? At least run a mop and turpentine over it and see what the grain would look like with urethane on it. Did you get all of the old stain out of the wood?
Josie
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The Grom King wrote:

water
and
put
big
and
what

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Somebody wrote:

and

A belt sander can produce some very ugly results in the hands of an untrained operator.
Same is true of a floor sander.
Since the area is only 4x12, might try something like a Bosch 6" ROS equipped with H&L and 40 grit H&L disks to get the floor leveled out, then switch to finer grits.
I use a lot of 40 grit H&L and buy them in lots of 100 pieces from Klingspor.
They do a good job and are competitively priced.
HTH
Lew
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On Tue, 10 May 2005 00:40:40 GMT, The Grom King

Hire a big drum floor sander, and a little disk floor sander for doing the edges. Get plenty of abrasives too, especially the coarse ones - the hire shop generally does good "sale or return" on them.
Check the boards before starting (and before paying hire charges) Replace rotten or damaged timber. Punch the nails below the surface.
Hire the right sander
Get some good kneepads and make sure the strap are comfortable. Dust mask, goggles, earmuffs and anti-vibration gloves too.
Hire the right sander
Get a new, clean pair of slippers (no synthetic soles) for all people involved (and the dog goes outside). No-one walks on the sanded but unfinished floor in anything else.
Hire the right sander
Finish it with an acid-catalysed formaldehyde resin, which is quicker and harder than any of the polys.
Hire the right sander
When you find the perfect sealer for between the boards, tell me too.
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the edges.

Here it would be the random-orbit type mentioned in the original post. Much more forgiving than the belt type, and goes into the edges to boot.
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On Tue, 10 May 2005 00:40:40 GMT, The Grom King

A belt sander is doing to have the tendancy to dig in and leave some nasty grooves if you don't get quite a lot of practice first. You're probably better off with a ROS. I'd just use the standard grit progression starting with 60 or 80 grit, and work up to 220 or so. Pine has got a lot of pitch in it, so get yourself a lot of sandpaper for when it inevitably clogs up on you. Once you've got it sanded, refinish it with whatever you like. Pine gets pretty splochy if you stain it dark, so you might want a sealer coat before staining if you're going that route. And don't back yourself into a corner when applying the finish!
But at the end of the day, it's going to be a lot of work sanding it with a hand sander, and it's still going to be pine- which means it's going to be too soft for a good floor (IMO) and easily damaged. I'd get some new flooring, myself, but if you really like what is there, it might be worth the effort for you. If it's nothing special, there are all sorts of flooring options to choose from. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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WOW, lots of input! Are the new boards proud of the old? If not, the job is much easier. If so, try to take the new down without hitting the old any more than necessary. If the new boards are thick, that could have been addressed by planing before laying. Beware of 36-40 grit. It can scar pine so deeply you'll lose a lot of floor getting it out. I like water poly because it goes on fast, is forgiving, and lasts better than I expected. You can get on at least two coats/day. With a good 4" I think this could be done in half a day. It's only the size of two decent tables. Who cares about the color. As with women, we are happiest loving what we have and not trying to get what we don't. The sand will prebably require refinish in a couple of seasons anyway, if you are having any fun. Wilson

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Wow! Thank you all very much for your advise. The unanimous opinion seems to be: Don't do it. So I won't. Thank you for stopping me from making the mistake.
So, my two choices now are
1. Paint the floor. Since the house has a "cottage" feel to it, that could work. But whenever you paint, everyone says sand first. So, does painting get me out of sanding? Will paint really hold up? The house is only used 6 months of year, and usually on weekends, so it is not a super high volume traffic area. What kind of paints (Stains) do I use? I will do a decorative style (i.e, stencil, or borders, or a design). It won't all be one color. Any tips?
2. Plan C would be to leave the existing floor as a subfloor and put a new floor on top. Ideas about that? Was thinking of bamboo. Thanks.
And sincerely, thanks for all your tips about doing the floor. My next beer is to you. Grin. dj
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I've heard from two different flooring contractors that bamboo tends to cup or warp after installation, no matter how you do it. We went with prefinished engineered mahogany, a reddish version. Looks quite nice and went down (750 SF plus 5 stairs) in one day. No paint or finish smelling up the house, either. Finish is garanteed for 25 years.
If you really want to paint, use one designed for floors. You can do a pattern by masking off different areas and using compimentary colors, or two shades of the same color. Have seen this on the design shows on TV, but some time ago, so the practice may well be dated already.
In any case, good luck and let us know how it comes out!
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Partly. You want to sand out rough spots and give the paint something to grab to. You cut the sanding down by probably 75% or so.

Thee are paints made just for floors. They hold up for a few years.

Not from me. I suck at decorating like that. Done right is very attractive though.

It would work. So would probably a few other variations of laminates and engineered wood. Price is from $1 a foot to $10 a foot. Buy what looks nice to you.

You're welcome. Any time we can save you from doing work, we will.
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wrote in message

And a good primer probably wouldn't hurt. When you go to the professional painters' store, they will have some they recommend.

And this is where you want the pro painters' supply house. You will be investing in a longer time to need to repaint, if you consult with the pros, and buy a top of the line coating, and follow the instructions carefully.
If you were in my area, I would recommend that you see a Kelley Moore store, or an ICI/Dulux outlet. I don't know who's best in your region. Don't go first thing in the morning. Find a person who looks like they have been doing this for a long while. If no one is over 30, then find another store (personal bias).

This is where Better Homes & Gardens, or Sunset Magazine, or similar, comes in. If it were me, I'd delegate this research and decison to the wife.

Do your research online, before you get to a retailer. Know what you're looking at. I'd advise against anything remotely like MDF in your application.

Of course, the group picnic is now scheduled for your beach place, Labor Day weekend. Ed will probably volunteer to do the barbeque.
Patriarch
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On Tue, 10 May 2005 23:48:47 GMT, The Grom King

Don't use latex wall paint. Something like tractor enamel might hold up.

My vote'd be for plan C. (but out of curiousity, what happened to plan B?) Bamboo might be ok, I've never worked with it. Some of those engineered products are extremely durable and totally waterproof (I've got Pergo in mind, but I'm sure there are others) which might be just the ticket for a beach house, where I imagine there is going to be a bit of sand and water getting on the floor. Most of them snap together and just float over the subfloor (you hide the edges with quarter-round) You'll probably have the whole thing done before lunch.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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A beach house is not normally a "show place" and as much as I hate to say this, a piece of linoleum tile from the home center makes more sense.
The Grom King wrote:

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