As we relayed in a previous post, the discovery of hardwood floors in our home pretty much changed all of our plans. It meant we needed to complete all of the messy jobs like baseboard removal and drywall repair before we could get the floors refinished. For the most part, this meant living with just the bare essentials in the house for the better part of 3 1/2 months. I'd like to thank my wife for putting up with that situation with very little grumbling (although there was some grumbling, or, more accurately, an occassional expressed desire to actually be able to live in the house).
With the walls and ceilings in good shape, it was time to turn our attention to the floors. We first checked into Mr. Sandless. They use a quick and cost-effective, chemical "sanding" process of some sort to restore wood floors. However, they are limited in what they can remove from your floors given the very fact that they don't sand off a layer of wood from the floors. Joe at Mr. Sandless in Harrisburg was very upfront in what they could and could not do after seeing pics of our floors. They wouldn't touch the steps because of the stains (mainly from carpet cleaning), but thought that their process would work in the rest of the house. I was a little concerned because I saw some of the same staining on other parts of the floors and the stairs would need to be sanded anyway, so we decided against the sandless process.
Our realtor asked around and got us a list of wood floor refinishers that were recommended by other realtors she knew. We got estimates from 3 different outfits and chose Nissley Professional Hardwood Flooring. They quoted us a competitive price and used a dust control system, which the other two did not. And since we'd be living in the house as the work was being done, that was very important to us. Notice I did not say dust-free because that is just unrealistic when you're talking about millions of extra-fine particles of wood floating through your house.
Freshly sanded, raw, natural white oak hardwood floors...
Gratuitous pic of floor with toes in pic
It took them three days -- one to sand, one to apply a sealer and a coat of Street Shoe and another to apply the final coat. Early on we had talked about having the floors stained a darker walnut color, but decided against that in the end. And we're extremely glad we did because the natural look of the white oak in its different shades just adds this originality and uniqueness to the floor that I fear might have been lost with a darker stain. Oh...and we went with a satin/matte finish as opposed to a high-gloss finish.
The finished product....