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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5

    Exclamation PLEASE HELP!! Finishing my hard wood floors

    I do believe that yet again I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I own a 1930's brick and stucco tutor. the upstairs is a master suite with a 3/4 bath. it's beutiful other than the dark green carpet...

    My wife and I met one of the previous owners of the home at our open house when we bought it, and she informed us that the floors upstairs (now covered in carpet) were re-finished less than 5 years ago.

    recently we (I) decided to take up the carpet and expose the hardwood.

    now come the tears.

    the floor had a gradual roll in it (or so I am told) so the previous owners (obviously suffering from OCD) decided that a 80 year old house must have perfectly even floors.

    the upstairs is one large open room about 35' long and 12' wide at the widest point. starting about midway through the room they started with leveler... and then moved to 1/4" plywood... then to half inch... then to 3/4... and then they began to stack various thicknesses... all the while pooring leveler on the top. With a grand end thickness of about 2 inches.

    I started to dismantle this puzzle of OSB hell and am now past the point of no return. after 5 hours of chisels for the leveler to find the screw heads. Flat bars, hammers, screw guns, busted knuckles, and enough Eff bombs to make a sailor blush... there is no way I am getting that "leveled" mess back together. the sub floor is com'n up.

    now my problem;

    I get that it is going to take alot of sanding to get the leveler stuff off of the hard wood in the "transition" area.

    I get that it will take even more sanding to take up the paint that is left over from when they SPRAYED the oak mop boards WHITE and didn't bother to protect the NEWLY FINISHED floor.

    I am well aware of the battery's I will go through in my screw gun taking up all of the 4" SCREWS THEY USED TO ATTACH THE SUB FLOOR TO THE HARD WOOD!!! (did I mention the floors were only 5 years old?)

    My question is this, the screw holes...

    Is there a way to use wood filer and have it match the stain or the poly? I am willing to forgo the stain if the poly won't color the filer differently than the hardwood.

    Is my only option plugging each hole with splinters of oak that I shave off of a board? then dipping it in wood glue taping it down and cutting it off with a razor blade and then sanding?

    Please God tell me that there is a way to use some combination of magic wood filer with equally magic poly to save the day.

    I am old, my knees hurt, my back hurts. and my wife thinks I can do this myself. Plus it was my idea to take the floor back to wood instead of just replacing the carpet (as my wife suggested)

    I can do most of the heavy lifting as far as the sanding and whatnot goes. its always the details that get me. Like spreading poly... YUCK-O.

    But that is better left for a future post. for now, please some one save the day, and my marriage.

    -Matt
    Last edited by mbut645; 01-27-2009 at 10:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! Finishing my hard wood floors

    Matt,
    I feel your pain. I know all too well the feeling of being overwhelmed by a project. I think I lost more than a few hairs off my head in three months time from the stress of a rehab. I am giving you a standing ovation for your effort!!

    Now regarding your screw hole question. There is stain-able wood filler and there is wood filler that is shaded to match different stains. There are fewer shades of the colored filler than wood stain so some filler colors match stains more closely than others. If you have as many screw holes as I think you do, you may want to consider how well the filler matches when selecting a stain.

    Practice in a closet to see if how the stain-able filler compares to the shaded filler when trying to match your floor stain. The filler will probably take the stain differently that the wood so be ready to use a different shade on the filler. Or try mixing some stain in the putty before filling the hole to see if that matches better.

    stainable:
    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17394

    shaded:
    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...6&cookietest=1
    Last edited by bp21901; 01-27-2009 at 09:18 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! Finishing my hard wood floors

    ***, congrats on going the extra mile to do it right. I think I would have given up after pulling up the rug! As with any big project the reward will be knowing that YOU actually did it. For me it is not really about saving money but the satisfaction in doing it. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! Finishing my hard wood floors

    mbut,

    You succeeded in making me smile & chuckle with your descriptions of a project from ****.

    Can't see exactly what you're facing there, but........ any chance that a better approach would be to use wood plugs in those screw holes rather than wood filler?

    Gotta drill press?...or a friend with one? Buy a tapered plug cutter of the approriate size, make a bunch of plugs from the same or a nicely contrasting species of wood, drill out those screw holes to the right size and tap in the wood plugs along with a little glue to hold 'em in place. Sand flush and finish. ????

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,842

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! Finishing my hard wood floors

    I agree with ****hiller. Plugs are the way to go, just take your time to orient the grain to match. Once sanded and finished it should almost be invisible. Cutting splinters of flooring and taping them in will be very evident because you will see their end grain and it's almost impossible to perfectly match filler. With the amount of work you have done already don't do it half a## at this point.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! Finishing my hard wood floors

    Maybe I have the wrong picture in my head, but I was thinking the holes were only the size of the shank of the screw. I could see using the plugs if you had to fix the countersink hole from the screw head because of the size. But as I am picturing it the countersink hole should be on the plywood. Jack & GH, Would you guys use the plugs for the screw shank size holes also?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! Finishing my hard wood floors

    The holes are the size of the shank of the screw. I am unfamiliar with the drill press do-da that will make plugs, but that sounds like the way to go, if I can get the plugs small enough to fit in the tiny screw holes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,842

    Default Re: PLEASE HELP!! Finishing my hard wood floors

    Quote Originally Posted by bp21901 View Post
    Maybe I have the wrong picture in my head, but I was thinking the holes were only the size of the shank of the screw. I could see using the plugs if you had to fix the countersink hole from the screw head because of the size. But as I am picturing it the countersink hole should be on the plywood. Jack & GH, Would you guys use the plugs for the screw shank size holes also?
    Yes, in a finished floor floor. It is the only way you can cover the holes so they are nearly invisible and a much more permanent solution than other methods and takes stain identically to the flooring. A " plug or a 1" plug cut from the same wood and with the grain oriented the same as the flooring is nearly invisible once stained and finished
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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