Saturday, June 12, 2010

Living Room: Removing old carpet, sanding and refinishing orginal hardwood floors

Here's a look at the orginal MLS listing photo of the living room.  The carpet wasn't in very good condition and we knew underneath were beautiful hard wood floors waiting to come back to life!
So, the first thing we did was paint the living room. No drop cloths needed since we knew the carpet was next to go!

Then, we got to work on removing the carpet.... Rocco even helped!

Here is a photo is process... to the right what you see IS the hard wood flooring, however during removal we found that it was painted dark brown at somepoint in time. Another fun surprise (sarcasm font). But at least we were going to sand and refinish anyway, just makes the before and after MORE dramatic!

Here is a close up of the dark brown painted floor against our already finished floors by the staircase.

I don't have pictures of Alex in process doing the floors (wa-wa, also this was all done before our blog existed).  But during this time I was out of town for my wedding shower and bacholorette party in Michigan! My hubby is pretty amazing and sweet, I came back home to glorious, shiny, breathtaking, beautiful hardwood floors!

According to Alex, this is a project that took 2 days to sand the floor (both 12 hour days) and 1 day to coat with the polyurethane. Here are Alex's DIY steps after carpet removal (and added quotes from him I enjoyed)...

Alex rented 180lb belt sander from Reddy Rents and took "5 minute belt sanding class".  He purchased plenty of belt sandpaper to remove "deadly 40 year old lead based brown paint".  Then he got to work sanding going length wise along the wood using 32, then 50, then 80, and then 100 grint sand paper going over the floor again and again to eventually to make the wood "smooth like a gymnasium floor". After getting the floor even and smooth, he primed it and removed loose dust with Mineral Spirits and a damp cloth. He did this at least twice to make sure the surface was completely clean and he made sure to open the windows or else he "would have gotten high". 

Next he had to apply the oil based or water based polyurethane (we used oil to match the rest of our flooring). To apply the polyurethane coat, he had to do 3 coats, 4 to 6 hours in between coats, then it had to set for 72 hours before any foot traffic or furniture can be placed.

That's it!!!  Love the new look!
This project cost around $400 for us total. It will totally depend on the size of the room and the cost of water based polyurethane is twice as much per gallon than the oil based. Also, if you do this project on your own, it will likely cost a third or half the price of hiring a professional. It might take a whole weekend, but the floors will look amazing!

1 comment:

  1. We're also looking to refinish our hardwoods that have been covered by carpet for the last 20 years. The hardwoods are original to our 1964 ranch home and are in the living room, hallway and all 3 bedrooms. Our living room is about 335 square feet and our hallway is about 75. Just wondering how many square feet your living room is, so we can plan on having plenty of time to complete our own refinishing project! I'm glad to see it can be done by non professionals with enough diy spirit to see it through!


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