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How to Remove Tiles and Refinish Wood Floor

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Next up, we have a remodeling-a-bathroom question from Bill.

    Welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help?

    BILL: I’m remodeling my bathroom and it appears that underneath the tile there is a wonderful, old, yellow pine flooring.

    TOM: OK.

    BILL: And what has happened is they put, apparently, thinset or some leveling compound over that and then stuck down vinyl tiles. I’m wondering about if removing the vinyl floor and refinishing the yellow pine, what would be the best way to, first of all, clean it up; and then what would you recommend as a finish to keep the natural look of the yellow pine.

    TOM: OK, well first of all, when you have the old floor removed and you remove as much of the old floor debris as possible, I would recommend that you go out and rent a sanding machine that’s called a U-Sand, U-s-a-n-d. It’s a disk sander that consists of four 6-inch disks on one sanding head. And why I say that is because you have a pine floor, you do not want to use a heavy floor belt sander because it’s going to really tear it up. It can really damage it, it’ll chew it away to nothing in a heartbeat. If you use this U-Sand machine, it does a nice, even job of sanding the surfaces away and it has a dust collection bag; it’ll get down to reasonably fresh wood.

    And then, in terms of the finish, I would recommend an oil-based polyurethane; not a water-based but an oil-based because oil-based is going to do the best job and it’s the toughest finish. The way to put that on is to – after you’re done sanding, is to use a lambswool applicator. It looks kind of like a sponge mop and you actually mop it on and work your way out of that room and you’re going to have to allow four to six hours for it to dry and then put on two more coats. Do at least three, maybe even four coats on that pine.

    BILL: OK, that sounds wonderful. And that’ll recapture some of the ambience of the original bungalow. (chuckles)

    TOM: It’ll look excellent. Alright, Bill?

    BILL: I’m looking forward to it. Thanks a lot for the help.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. The website is MoneyPit.com.

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