You might be surprised at what you’d find under 50 or more years of carpeting. When wall-to-wall carpeting became popular, homeowners covered many rooms with the new and wonderful material, and after many years and changes in ownership the original flooring may have been forgotten. In a new house, the carpeting might have been the only flooring that was ever installed. This is still true today, with rooms sometimes finished with padding and carpet directly on top of the subfloor material, which could be plywood. But back when wall-to-wall carpeting was a new idea, homeowners laid the carpet over the existing floor, which might have been finished with some fantastic, hardwood. Well, styles change, and for many years now designers and homeowners have often prefered the look of a rich, wood floor again. So, adding a wood floor is a common renovation project. That was part of the plan for this project, however, pulling back the carpet revealed
a beautiful wood surface. Therefore, instead of having to add a new floor to the cost of this remodel, the existing wood floor only needed refinishing. (One other interesting find was that there were layers of carpeting on this floor, with the first layer a unique, 1960s style carpet that was still in remarkably good shape.) After completely sanding the floor, we coated it with stain of the chosen color. Then we added five coats of polyurethane to create a durable, finished product. Five coats is probably more than necessary for most floors, but pets and children can supply some heavy wear on a floor, and we wanted this surface to last for many years.
Instead of staining, we can also paint wood floors. In this next example the floors in many rooms had been painted previously, but had seen many years of use. If a floor is already painted and a stained finish is wanted, it is usually possible (with a heavy dose of both sanding and patience) to remove all of the paint. In this case removing all of the paint wasn’t necessary, because the owners liked the painted look. We prepared (which still required some sanding) and repainted them with an alkyd product from Benjamin Moore, which provides a beautiful and long-lasting finish.