Refinish or replace oak floors in my 1954 home?

rjalxSeptember 17, 2013
I've started to pull up carpet to reveal oak hardwood floors. Extremely stained, some nails (attempts to repair?) and many nail/staple holes from carpet install. I don't know if it's wiser to refinish or ??? I'd appreciate input.
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jroll2lo
I would talk to a professional to see if the floors can be salvaged. I bought a house where the floors were slightly damaged and even had some rotten pieces that needed to be replaced, but we had them refinished and the floor turned out beautifully! We received quotes from 3 different companies and the prices varied, so don't be afraid to shop around :) best of luck!
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    September 17, 2013 at 1:11PM
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lisbeth55
Agreed its worth checking if they can be restored. They could be spectacular and it's always preferable to restore original flooring than to put in a new one (we had concrete under ours so I am quite jealous, those look like they could be gorgeous!)
    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    September 17, 2013 at 1:18PM
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Emily Hurley
Thirding the suggestion to get some pros out to take a look. Old floors are wonderful if they can be salvaged.
    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    September 17, 2013 at 1:19PM
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apple_pie_order
Talk to the pros about refinishing. It is vastly cheaper than new hardwood. When removing carpet from old floors, there are always (what seems like hundreds of) nail holes and staple holes and places that need repair. You could have a really beautiful floor if it can be refinished.
    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    September 17, 2013 at 1:20PM
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PRO
Circle Goods Reclaimed
Yes anytime you have old oak floors like that it is worth it to see how they look sanded out.. With that in mind pull all the nails and staples yourself. That way all the company would have to do is come in and sand the floors and prep them it would save yourself a little money there by getting them ready for the company!
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    September 17, 2013 at 1:22PM
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0825sam
Our last two homes (both built before 1900 but who knows when the floors were actually from) had dingy hardwoods when we moved in and they looked great after refinishing. Just ditto-ing the other comments, but wanted to give a little personal experience.
    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    September 17, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Emily Hurley
Of course, it goes without saying that I am dying to see the after photo. :)
1 Like    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 1:23PM
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gacarnegie
My floors looked like yours (and worse in some places) when we pulled up the carpet. We redid them ourselves except for the clear coat. Totally doable and worth it.
    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    September 17, 2013 at 2:59PM
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abbyjean
What a find! Keep them and refinish them! WOWZER!
    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    September 17, 2013 at 3:12PM
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PRO
Pedini of Atlanta, llc
We have a 1954 home too, we refinished where we could and added new in areas that needed it, they but up to each other and you cannot tell the old from the new.
    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    September 17, 2013 at 3:16PM
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jmultimodal
yours look better than most. refinishing will be about 1/3 the cost. $2/sf is decent. even refinished there will probably be a few marks and things that are too deep, but most people actually prefer that look to a perfectly polished floor.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    October 14, 2013 at 1:48PM
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victorianbungalowranch
I'm not sure about this floor, but you might try just using a little denatured alcohol and see if that takes up the finish. If they were shellac, they are easy to strip and those stains could just be water. Not nearly as messy as sanding, which spreads dust everywhere and shortens the useful life of your floor. Even if they were varnished, stripping rather than sanding is worth considering.

Medium tones are more forgiving of dust and paw prints and such than really dark stains, and truer to what it was originally.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    October 14, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Marilyn Wilkie
We are fixing up a home that was built in 1962 with red oak floors. When we took up the thick sculptured carpeting we found beautiful floors. Not nearly as bad as yours. We have about 800 sq. ft. to refinish. We have had three bids ranging from $1900 to $3000. Yes, call in the pros for an evaluation before deciding anything, and as someone else said, the estimates will range all over the place. We are going with a natural color (no stain) and a satin finish. Please let us know what you decide and show after pictures.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    October 14, 2013 at 2:11PM
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PRO
Keller Williams Heritage
Refinish for sure - save that old wood. Old wood looks great after it has been refinished.
    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    October 14, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Nicole Lee
refinish! can't wait to see the finished project!
    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    October 14, 2013 at 2:22PM
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gypsyrose17
I used to rent an old Dolger flat in SF that had light oak floors with some bad wear spots...Indian Sand paste wax gave them a beautiful glow like the red oak above, kind of an old world glow to the wood.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    October 14, 2013 at 3:01PM
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dstemple1956
I agree that given the choice, retaining the original hardwoods are preferable. If there are some stains that can't be brought back to the original light oak, why not consider staining the floors to a darker finish?
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by rjalx    October 14, 2013 at 5:03PM
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rjalx
I refinished them showed the results in a new post if you are interested in taking a look: http://www.houzz.com/discussions/787062/Hope-for-urine-stained-oak-hardwood-floors
Thanks for all the advice and encouragement!
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:08AM
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