Old Oak Floors to be redone

5 Replies

I am buying 2 houses on one property. One is a rental and the other will be my home. The 50's oak floor is still there and looks pretty good but I am in the middle of refinishing them by stripping them clear down to the wood. I have been told that instead of staining and then putting poly on that I should get the poly with the stain in it. 

Good idea? Also is poly the best coating?

I think stain is a personal choice, I like the look of oil poly on unstained B grade oak, the kind with lots of variation. My MIL got the A grade and was disappointed with how little character it had, particularly with water based poly.

Here's a recent job, oil poly on existing, maybe 30 year old oak floor. I would not want it darker.

No. The poly with built-in stain sucks. It is very difficult to get it to look even, because the stain is just sitting in the poly carrier and more or less lays on top of the wood. I have used it for some specialty stuff, like trying to do a custom match of an existing wood cabinet door or blend in a floor repair, but if you want a stained floor you should stain the floor and poly it separately.

My preference is for sanded wood, unstained, with an oil-based poly. Water based has its uses - it goes down and dries really fast (you can do half a dozen coats in a couple of days) and it's almost odorless, but it needs a whole lot of coats to be anywhere near as durable as oil-based and it is a lot harder to work with, i.e. keeping a wet edge, spreading evenly without leaving puddles and missed areas, etc. 

Poly with an integral stain is a bad idea.  When you rebuff the floors the color will be all messed up.  Now you can skip the stain all together and put 3 coats of ply on.   The last coat should be a satin/flat finish.  Gloss will  show all the scratches easier. 

I am with JD on this one. Another issue with Poly with color already in it is scratches. When you scratch a tinted finish the wood shows through. Verses a stained and clear coated will still have colored scratches as the color is under the finish and not in it. I have used the "Polyshade" stuff on furniture before and regretted it. It would be MUCH worse on a floor.

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