Like many homes in Land Park, my home has red oak hardwood flooring, with a border around the perimeter. The thing that makes my floors a little bit different than others with hardwood in Land Park is that the individual boards are not face nailed; they are nailed through the tongue and groove. So, none of the nail heads show. While it makes for a more attractive appearance, it does make it a little bit more difficult to patch a spot where some careless doofus (namely me) over-watered a plant.
Below is a photo of the difference in appearance between the sanded surface and the original surface of these floors:
Twenty-some years ago, I refinished hardwood floors in a few homes under my buy, fix and sell program. It's hard work and time consuming, and everybody seems to have their own little techniques. But those experiences taught me enough that I knew which questions to ask my floor guy. In the photo above, he is doing the first sanding with a heavy grit sandpaper. He will do 2 more sandings, probably using 100-grit and then 150-grit. The final is to buff after two coats of polyurethane, before the final finished product is applied. Applying moisture to a wood floor (just like paint on a wall) will raise hairs, which need to be smoothed.
He has replaced the floor boards that I warped and covered an old floor vent no longer in use. I honestly cannot tell the difference between the new floor boards and the old.
But this guy does something I have not heard of before. After sanding, he applied putty to the entire floor. His reasoning is it fills in the little dents, scratches or imperfections left behind. Here is a photo showing part of the floor covered in putty:
It's been 5 days since we started with this project. But the difference in a professional finish is apparent. It makes a lot of sense to putty the floor prior to applying the first coat of poly.
We have a reprieve over the weekend, but the sanding, banging and loud noises will start again on Monday. I suspect that my cats will be very annoyed. They've adjusted to it being quiet again. With any luck, this project will be finished by next Friday.
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub