Sunday, February 24, 2013

Floors - Part One

What can I say about the floors? I'm pretty sure I could write a novel. So I will break this up and make it as short as I can.

When we got the house we decided that we wanted to re-do the floors, they were looking worn and scratched up. To get a professional floor re-sander to do the floors we heard it could be around $5,000 or more to get the entire house done, so we decided to do it ourselves! Hey, how hard could it be? So about 6 weeks ago we rented the sander from a rental place in Ottumwa and set to work. When sanding the floors you need to get the stain and poly finish off the floors and get it down the bare wood. This requires different sand paper levels. We started with level 16 grit, did the whole floors, then went to 36 grit, 60 grit and finally 100 grit. After each round we had to vacuum up the sawdust. I forgot to mention that one person was on the drum sander and one was using an edger, a sander that gets the edges of the room and in tight spots that the drum machine couldn't reach. But there was a hiccup, our machine had a problem and we had to return it and wait a week to get another machine here in Fairfield (the one if Fairfield wasn't available before). So that was no biggie, it just delayed our sanding by a week. Meanwhile, we have said our goodbyes to my Mom and Dad (our handy man leader) as they went off to Hawaii for 5 weeks (I'm not even going to talk about that...).

Phew, finally after about 10 hours we had the floors done. At the end we had to wipe down the walls and the floors to attempt to get every speck of dust off the floors.  Because it wasn't the holidays anymore we couldn't work during the week so we had to wait another weekend to then put down the stain. Now this is where things started to get a little iffy and problematic. We had tested the stain on a piece of wood, but made the mistake of not testing it on our actual floors (let's not talk about this). So we put the stain on upstairs, the entire upstairs, and while we put it on we were excited, but after seeing it over the entire upstairs started to realize it was quite dark and red. So, I wasn't too happy about this, but was not about to re-send the entire upstairs to get a new color, it was something I decided to deal with. So, not the best, but not the worst.

I also made a mistake while putting down the stain. I started a room and then decided to stop for the day thinking for some reason it would be okay to start over the next day in the middle. See the stain overlapped below? At this point we were wondering if we were fine just dealing with it.

But the next weekend our real issues started. Per our friends advice we decided to put sanding sealer on top of the stain. What we didn't think about is the fact that he never uses stain, and he just puts sanding sealer on his bare floors, but regardless, on the can it said it was fine over stain. Here is the other problem, we didn't test a sample, two strikes (how stupid are we). So we put it down, and it went down milky as expected, but never dried clear like it was supposed to. So the result was milky, purpley, horrible looking floors on our upstairs (see the photo below).

Our downstairs hadn't been touched yet thankfully. At this point we decided we needed to completely re-sand the upstairs. Which means we had to rent the sander and spend another 1.5 days resanding.

Part two coming up.

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