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  1. #1
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    Default Restoring hardwoods in kitchen in 100 yr old home

    My wife and I bought a 100 yr. old home 2 and a half years ago. We've remodeled most of the house and are now working on the kitchen, then the last 2 small 1/2 baths, then pull up the carpet and we're done with the interior for now. My question is this:
    We have linoleum flooring in the kitchen, probably from the 50's. It is in terrible shape and we're pulling it up this weekend. They installed black felt paper under the flooring, resulting in a tar-ish black coating well infused into the wood. I am curious if anyone has tried to sand this and how effective that was? Thank you in advance for your input.

    -Shane, the stressed out, near broke home remodeler
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    Last edited by shanefish; 03-14-2011 at 01:21 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Restoring hardwoods in kitchen in 100 yr old home

    i've encountered that before and my flooring guy sc****d the wood floors to remove any of the tar above the wood with a paint sc****r, it did a number on the floors but after that he was able to sand it. he went through a bunch of sandpaper because the drum got gummed up a few times with more tar residue but they turned out pretty nice. he did have to replace a few boards here and there after his first sanding due to some deep staining but it wasn't that bad.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Restoring hardwoods in kitchen in 100 yr old home

    Thank you for your information. Did your guy use a large, stand-up floor sander, similar to a floor buffer, or did he use a drum sander resembling a hand-held belt sander? The tar on my floors is pretty stiff I think because of how long it has been in place and I am not sure how easy it will be to sc****. The tar isn't really pliable at all. We'll see....thanks again though!
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    Last edited by shanefish; 03-14-2011 at 01:21 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Restoring hardwoods in kitchen in 100 yr old home

    I have been working on my old farmhouse, kitchen plank floor with similar problems. The tar, I discovered, removes better if it's wet down first. Use a spray bottle with plain hot water, (or lay a wet rag on top of tar area) wait about 5 min or so then sc****. It's a dirty job but it does work. I never thought to use my steamer but when I do use it I never seem to have enough hands. I had added problems with old sub-flooring, nails, & staples on top of the original 3" plank flooring. The cleaned section I sanded with my palm sander looked real good. It's a work still in progress though.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Restoring hardwoods in kitchen in 100 yr old home

    he used the big industrial flooring sander that you see most floor refinishers use.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Restoring hardwoods in kitchen in 100 yr old home



    I have all but finished the scraping of the floor. I tried a little warm water on a sponge, but found that brut force worked the best. Now, I am alsmost finished and have never stained/sealed a wood floor in my life. My wife likes the rustic look so I don't have to go crazy with the sanding; however, there are some places where i gouged the wood and will have to sand these spots at least enough not to cause splinters in people's feet. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions/comments regarding 1)Do I need to sc**** off every trace of the previous floor's stain/poly or because I am going fairly dark, am I ok? Plus, because I went to bare wood in a few places, will I have to do the same all over? and 2) After staining, what is the best finish for a kitchen floor?

    Thanks in advance for any advice/comments.
    -Shane
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    Last edited by shanefish; 03-14-2011 at 01:22 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Restoring hardwoods in kitchen in 100 yr old home

    *** .. I am about to marry someone with a 100 yr old home that hasn't done a thing to it since his first wife died 18 yrs ago... I know part of the kitchen/ washroom is rotted out... it's got laminated flooring and we are sure the beams are rotted out in the wash room... I want hard wood all over the house.. it's a beautiful home... He warned me the 1st week I will be dealing with contractors to make sure there is no leak and the beams need replacing. As I was walking in the formal dining room I felt .. yes... you guessed it.. something is rotten underneath the carpeting.. oy ! Will be back in about 6months..I am going to ask if we can start BEFORE the wedding .. ha ha ..

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Restoring hardwoods in kitchen in 100 yr old home

    I feel for you Shane...I refinished the hardwoods in my entire house 4 years ago with similar problems, and its not something I ever want to take on again. But I did find that doing it right the first time around will save you a lot of grief down the road. If you have deep gouges, a drum-type sander will work best. You can rent one at most local equip rental stores. You can also get a trim sander designed for floors; even through your small belt or random orbit sander looks like it can do the job, stick with the specialty equipment. Explain your situation to the rental store, so they can set you up with the right drums for your particular job. A word of caution: when you start sanding, doing multiple passes at an even pace is much better than trying to do a couple heavy sanding sessions. It is tempting to linger over an area to get that gouge completely out, but you'll end up with an uneven floor. If you're going for the antique look, you don't need to get the floors bare, but try and get most of the gouges out. Very deep gouges can be filled with a mixture of sawdust (you'll have plenty!) and wood glue...you'll see it, but it takes stain better than wood filler.

    Hope it helps...let us know how things turn out.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Restoring hardwoods in kitchen in 100 yr old home

    Ok, now I am getting close to finishing this floor but have noticed little specks in the finish after using Varathane. After the first coat, there were small specks of what looked like balls of stain covering the floor. I had 24 hours between coats and sanded, then applied Varathane again, only to have specks again. They were fewer in number this time, but I am wondering if this will go away after 4 coats hopefully??? Here's a picture, kinda hard to see the specks, but they are there if you feel with your hand. Any advice would be appreciated.


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    Last edited by shanefish; 03-14-2011 at 01:22 AM.

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