Refinish Your Own Floors? No!

By Steve Cooper

wood floor2Though there are many home improvement projects that the average homeowner can tackle, refinishing your wood floors should be removed from the list in most cases. Putting life back into hardwood flooring can challenge the skill and experience of most DIYers.
Not convinced? Here top five reasons you shouldn’t attempt refinishing floors yourself:

1. Clueless about wood flooring. If your floors are less than 20 years old, chances are good that they are engineered wood. This means that they were made like plywood, with a series of substraits topped by a beauty layer that may be too thin to sand.

2. Struggling for time. It takes time to prepare and refinish a floor. It’s tempting to think that the drying of finishes will take up most of the time. However, there’s also moving furniture, cleaning floors, repairing flooring flaws, restaining, and putting down mutliple layers of clear topcoats.

3. Dangerous with a sander. You’ll probably feel in control right up to the moment that the sander digs in and gouges your flooring. Even if you use an well-worn sander belt to rein in the machine’s strength, it takes just a split second to ruin a job.

4. Mystified about stains. In a perfect world, getting the stain color you want requires making samples on small pieces of flooring material. But your house didn’t come with flooring samples, so all you can do is try out stain colors on a closet floor. Does this seem professional? Will the results be?
5. Confused by oil-based vs. water-based finishes. One smells more than the other—so what more do you need to know? But there may be a problem with the consistency of the finish. What do you use to dilute it if it seems too thick? Oh, yes, and what’s too thick?

There are more reasons, too. They add up to one obvious conclusion: Hire a professional to refinish those floors. This is a job that is definitely tougher than it seems.

To find a professional who specializes in cleaning and restoration, click here.

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.

Love That “Old Dirty Goat”

Submitted by Annette Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Old Dirty Goat 2A few weeks back, I posted a blog about new directions in wood products.  Well, this blog dovetails with that subject beautifully.  I’ve always been fascinated by reclaimed wood products, where they came from, their history, and their future.  Companies that take the time to search out, harvest, and rejuvenate reclaimed woods should be commended.  What an excellent example of reusing resources and promoting sustainability.  Authentic Pine Floors in Locust Grove, Georgia is definitely one of those companies.

Started in 1984, Authentic Pine Floors can cater to the customer looking for a custom-finished solid wood floor that fits an “Olde World” profile, or the customer searching out unique pre-finished wood stains.  They describe their product as “recycled, antique in origin, hand-rubbed with oil; and custom stained”.  Now that certainly stirs the imagination.  Sources for their solid hardwoods are concentrated throughout the Southeast part of our country. Beautiful heart pine, aged wide-plank oak, and wide-plank walnut each tell a story of their own.  From old bridges to small town churches, their woods have a rich history. The Southeast, it turns out, is a treasure trove of aged woods waiting to be assigned a second life.  The antique heart pine collection was reclaimed from massive beams of distilleries and warehouses built in the19th century.

Prefinished, site finished, and engineered wood floors are all part of the offerings from Authentic Pine Floors.  That’s where Old Dirty Goat comes in.  Yes, it is one of the custom finishes used on the reclaimed heart pine.  The claim to fame of Old Dirty Goat lies in the light to dark tonality it gives the hardwood floor.  Its got character and sass, and so much intensity, the principals of this company said that “no other name would do…”  Love it—both the name and the look.  Weathered gray wash on solid pine is another finish I want to draw to your attention.  Warm gray tones are hot, hot, hot, and here’s a floor that will underscore that trend beautifully.  Heart pine is harder than the pine we are familiar with, so no worries about these floors living up to the use of an active family.

I spoke with the local distributor for Authentic Pine Floors here in Southern California, and I was amazed at the affordability per square foot of these floors.  That’s pretty astounding given the uniqueness of the product.  I encourage you to go online yourself at to investigate further and find a distributor in your part of the country. Plus, I know you want to get a look at Old Dirty Goat—admit it. And I do want to mention that you can install any of these floors unfinished too.  I cannot tell you how huge the trend of using wood floors in their natural state will upsurge over the next few years. It will become HUGE as we turn towards that which is real and as close to natural as possible.  Design is now all about authenticity (you’ve heard that a time or two from me) and back to basics. 

FloorTalk has an important job to do, and one that I take very seriously.  That job is to steer you towards unique design products. But also to provide you with a working knowledge of design trends that are here to stay. Those two elements in combination will help you create a timeless design, impervious to fads that come and go.  Hopefully I’ve accomplished both of those goals in this blog, and you have my promise I will continue to do just that.  Stay tuned…

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.