Past project: Refinishing the floors

When we moved in, the wood floors were in pretty good shape, other than the fact that they were pink. Yep ... pink. They are red oak and had been "pickled" which gave them a decidedly pink appearance.

Add in two enormous and often wet Newfoundlands and the fact that our house, which had previously been a rarely-used second home, was actually being lived in, and you have a pink floor in really bad shape. The finish was peeling up in sheets. I think water would get under a scratch in the finish and it just sort of bubbled up.

A few years ago we decided to have the floor redone professionally. This was definitely not a project we were going to take on ourselves so we hired a professional wood flooring company. We also found out about a ceramic coating, often used in commercial applications, that sounded like just the thing to allow us to keep the wood floors we love without having to be in a panic every time a 150-pound dog decided to run laps on it.

Much to the disappoint of our floor guy, we wanted to keep the floors light, but not pink. We opted to go with a bleached red oak floor. In the bedrooms we had fir that wasn't in the best of shape, and even though the floor guy told us it wouldn't take stain evenly, redoing the bedroom floors was not an option, so we told him to do the best the could. Ironically we ended up loving those floors almost more than the bleached floors in the rest of the house.

Three years later, the floors still look great, but it wasn't as simple as that. Something went wrong with the ceramic coating they put on and within two months the finish was peeling up. Apparently the coating manufacturer had a bad batch or something so they paid to have the floors redone. They are holding up well, but it was a HUGE drag to have to move out of the house twice. But time heals all, and we've mostly forgotten about that and now we still look at redoing the floors as some of the best money we've put into the house.


  1. Erin - your floors look great! I love the finish you put on them. As you know I have a Newfie too and would love to have the name of the ceramic coating you used on your floors. Does it really resist scratching??


  2. Hi Brenda,
    Well, it's not impervious to scratches, and since our big guy Hudson has so many ortho problems, he tends to spin his wheels a little in the process of getting up, so there are some scratches, but I never notice them unless I'm down there on my hands and knees washing the floor. Unfortunately I have no idea what the name of the product is, but I asked the floor guy for whatever they put on commercial wood floors. I have seen "ceramic coating" mentioned on pre-finished wood floors before, so I would assume this is the same kind of thing.

    The Newfs are hard on the floor, that's for sure! I also try to dremel their nails every time I hear clicking (I can't stand the sound of clicking nails!)

  3. Clicking nails are definitely a bad sign! We grind down Nimitz's nails too and I know what you mean about "spinning out" trying to get up. Poor Newfies.....their huge mass betrays them when they want to get moving.

    Thanks for the info on the floor coating. I'll just tell them I want the ceramic coating. I'm sure it's pretty widely known.

  4. Hi Erin,
    I'm pretty sure I've been to your blog before, but I'm pretty scatterbrained, and have so many I like to look at, that I"m not sure. I clicked on your link from a comment you left on someone's blog where you mentioned you are zone 5. I am in Nebraska, zone 5b, so I thought I'd come by.

    This post brought back memories of when we were getting the house ready to move in. We had the wood floors, which were only in the bedrooms redone. One of the rooms was so stained from cat urine, that we were also told it wouldn't take the stain evenly. It was in an area we could put a rug on, but it doesn't bother me.

    You have a lovely home. Your floors turned out great!

  5. Hi Sue!

    Thanks so much for stopping by (again)! Us Zone 5-ers need to stick together! Redoing floors is one of those projects that is so worth it but is so awful when you're going through it!


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