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Refinishing

Started: 2021-06-27 21:40:22

Submitted: 2021-06-27 23:11:19

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator refinishes his wood floors

After fumigating our house, the last big thing we wanted to do before moving in was to update the floors throughout the house.

Looking back into the kitchen at Nanna Court
Looking back into the kitchen at Nanna Court

The main level of the house had beautifully-installed hard wood floors, but (especially in the kitchen) the floor had clearly seen better days. The kitchen was especially scuffed and worn, and in several rooms there were ominous stains of various sizes, most of them carefully obscured by carpets in the real estate photos. (The various home inspections did reveal the stains, so we knew to look for them.) The wood floors hadn't been refinished in the 20 years the previous owner had lived in the house, and they might not have been refinished ever in its lifetime.

I contacted a local floor installer, Bay Area Floors (located arguably not in the Bay Area at all but in Soquel) and arranged for them to refinish the wood floors, starting the week of Memorial Day; and then (once the floor had been given time to cure) replace all the carpet in the house.

Their first step was to replace the stained boards in the entryway and in the ground-floor bedroom with new wood. They did a great job matching the size and shape of the existing boards, and they assured me that they'd match the stain once the rest of the wood was sanded and stained.

Repaired wood floorboards
Repaired wood floorboards

I blocked out the whole week for them to work on the floors, first sanding away the top layer of stain to an even surface, then staining the whole floor. They wrapped up on Thursday, and on Friday my contact sent me pictures of the new floor, standing carefully outside the house where he could get pictures through open doors. This is the same corner as above, now sanded and stained; and I can tell the boards look a little different but not enough that I can tell that they were replaced.

Refinished wood floor in entry
Refinished wood floor in entry

I was impressed by how good the floors looked, especially the inlaid pattern around the edges: before the colors had been a bit muted; now the darker wood really popped, clearly outlining the rooms.

Refinished wood floor in dining room
Refinished wood floor in dining room

I dropped by the house a couple of days later, once the stain had enough time to cure to the point where I could walk on it (though I still wasn't supposed to sit or drag anything especially heavy on it). The house smelled strongly of the stain used on the floor; I tried not to breathe too deeply, and I opened windows to try to ventilate the house. The floor looked amazing — it looked new, not merely refinished. All of the scuff marks in the kitchen were gone and the floor looked rich and inviting.

Refinished wood floors in the kitchen at Nanna Ct
Refinished wood floors in the kitchen at Nanna Ct

I have every expectation that our newly-refinished floors will look great for years to come.

You know you're a nerd when your uptime is longer than
you've ever had a girlfriend.