LESLIE: Lloyd in Missouri is on the line with a flooring question. How can we help you with your project?
LLOYD: I have a 58-year-old house and we’ll put in rental. And the floors are solid-oak hardwood floors. They’re not particularly worn but the finish, in places, is worn off. And I had carpet on it for a while and thought I would see if there was a good, economic way of finishing those without all the big sanders and all that stuff.
TOM: So here’s what you have to do: you do have to do some amount of sanding here. Now, there’s – I would say there’s two levels of this. If you want to sand the floor but maybe you want to do it yourself, there’s a machine that you can rent called a U-Sand Machine. The initial U-Sand. You Google it, you’ll see what I mean. It’s basically a sander that has four vibrating discs under sort of a housing. And the reason I like this machine is you can’t really screw it up. You can leave the thing going in one spot and you’re not going to ruin the floor.
With the big floor sanders – the belt sanders – if you sneeze while using one of these things, you’re going to tear out part of your floor. It just – it really takes a lot of skill and practice to use it. So, that would take off the surface or a good portion of the old finish, which is good. And in the areas where it’s worn through, it’ll sand just enough of that to let a new finish take hold.
The other way you can do this – and your floor may be too worn for this but you can rent a floor-waxing machine, like the commercial kind with the spinning wheel, but you put a sanding screen on that instead of a buffing pad. And then you run the sanding screen over the whole floor and it does the same thing. It takes a little bit of that finish off, kind of cleans it up, gets it ready for the new finish.
So, either way, you’ve got to sand the floor. And if you want to do it yourself, those are your two options. If you don’t want to do it yourself, by all means hire a pro to sand it. They’ll come in with a belt sander and they’ll be done in two hours and you’ll be very happy.
Now, in terms of finishing it, you’re going to want to use an oil-based polyurethane – good-quality polyurethane – and then kind of work your way out. You brush – you use a brush on the corners and on the walls. And then you can use what’s called a “lambswool applicator,” which kind of looks like a wet mop, to put on the rest of the finish, work your way out the door and don’t come back for four or five hours. And do that twice and you’ll be good to go.
LLOYD: Well, I appreciate your help.
TOM: Well, you’re welcome, Lloyd. Good luck with that project. I’m sure your floors are going to look great.