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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Question Refinish Oak floors that have polyurethane on them?

    I am considering a house to purchase, but it has 1/4" oak flooring that someone "refinished." They clearly did not sand the wood, as they are irregular in color, etc. I have refinished thousands of sf of flooring, all of which I sanded to bare wood. These floors, however, are already coated with polyurethane varnish and I'm wondering if I sand them if they will act like shellac and melt, clog the sanding belts, etc.

    It is a 50 year old house, and these are the original install wood, not an engineered product. Solid wood, but with the finish poorly done.

    What is the best way to proceed to get properly down to the bare wood?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Refinish Oak floors that have polyurethane on them?

    Sand the floors.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Refinish Oak floors that have polyurethane on them?

    So sanding the urethane will not cause issues?

  4. #4
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    nova scotia, canada
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    Default Re: Refinish Oak floors that have polyurethane on them?

    if you have sanded thousands of sq ft of flooring you should be able to answer this yourself

    the only way to get down to bare wood is to take 1/8 to 3/16 of material off
    polyeurathane will sand off, just be sure to stay on top of changing drums before they clog thats when they burn the floor
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  5. #5
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Refinish Oak floors that have polyurethane on them?

    I asked myself the same questions: how many more miles of flooring do you need to finish to know that you need to sand your floor?
    Another question: Do you think you need to wear dust protection?

  6. #6
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Refinish Oak floors that have polyurethane on them?

    Don't be insulting guys, I only asked about the nature of polyurethane vs. shellac. It's a question that has nothing to do with expertise, which I have, but I have never experienced poorly finished polyurethane floors, only old finishes prior to the invention. So can the attitude please, this is an information forum not a place to fire off your egos.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Refinish Oak floors that have polyurethane on them?

    poly will not clog a sander like wax or shelac will. i'm assuming that you have 3/4" thick wood floors and not 1/4". if you do have 1/4" i would strongly advise against sanding them.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Refinish Oak floors that have polyurethane on them?

    As I stated above sand. Poly will cause minimal clogging unless it is fairly fresh. In that case you can get some clogging and you have to keep an eye on the drum.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Refinish Oak floors that have polyurethane on them?

    Quote Originally Posted by MLB Construction View Post
    poly will not clog a sander like wax or shelac will. i'm assuming that you have 3/4" thick wood floors and not 1/4". if you do have 1/4" i would strongly advise against sanding them.
    Thanks for the correct, intelligent answer. I was concerned about the nature of the poly. I since decided anyway to pass on the house due to other reasons, plus the 1/4" flooring, which is the original thickness of the flooring in the house. Thanks.

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