Refinishing Solid Wood Flooring


It’s been nearly a week of disorder and inconvenience, but we finally have our house back. Well, mostly back.

For the first 24 hours all we did was marvel at the new floor. It was too pretty to cover up. I’m not sure the pictures will do it justice because the texture and color is subtle.

We wanted a smooth finish even though that hand-scraped look is all the rage. We resisted because the hand-scraped floors we’d seen were deeply grooved with that worn, rustic look. Even the floor company owner tried to talk us into hand-scraped floors, saying that dog nails and rough pads won’t show up as quickly.

When the actual refinishers showed up, David, the crew foreman, took the time to create three large squares on my floor then sanded, hand scraped, and showed me three different stains so I could see how it would look in real life and not on a color swatch. I told him we didn’t like that deep grooved scraping, so he only lightly scraped it, giving it a subtle texture.

With the different color samples too, I changed my mind from mahogany (which has always been my favorite stain color) to a honeyed chestnut color. I thought the mahogany had too much purple in it.

I was trying to look into the future to see how the stain would wear five, ten years down the road. That purple undertone could come back to haunt me. I wanted a color that would mellow with age.

The refinishers were amazing. They worked all day, 8-10 hours a day with only a short break for lunch. We’d fix them coffee and sweet rolls in the morning and then left them to their work.

It was noisy! Between the sanding machine and the loud music, I don’t see how they weren’t all deaf. The polyurethane smell was as awful as predicted. But we were lucky. They timed it so that they’d varnish early in the morning. By bedtime, the odor was acceptable, especially since we could block off our bedroom and keep the window open. We didn’t have to go to a hotel!

Of course, now that we have a new floor, the old sofas look ratty by comparison. We’re keeping one because we’re lacking one in the formal living room, but my comfy cloth sofa has to go. It’s starting to show its age.

I don’t care for the color, but it was extremely comfortable.

We’d been window shopping for a new sofa, but I’m kind of disappointed in what’s available. I want leather again, something with narrow arm rests. I’m tired of the overstuffed look. Greg wants it to recline. That kind of takes away from the leaner silhouette I wanted, but I’m willing to let him have his recliner in lieu of style.


This is the one I’d rather have, but it’s got no reclining feature for Greg.




We found one we both seemed to like, but I wish it came in better color options. It’s exceptionally comfortable. Of all the sofas we tried, this one had the best feel. It has a power reclining feature too. Although it’s more ‘stuffed’ than I’d like, at least it has narrow arm rests.

Rugs are another thing we’ll have to buy. We have terrible luck with rugs, mostly because we have terrible dogs who like to scratch, lick, and paw at every rug in the house.

We learned our lesson long ago and will no longer pay a hefty price for nice rugs. But one thing at a time. For now I’m happy with my new floor. I’m only sorry we didn’t do it right the first time instead of going with that company that only ‘refreshes’ a floor. That was a waste of money.

Who gets to decide what kind of furniture goes in your house? Do you ever find you want to update the other things in your house once you’ve remodeled?


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  1. JackieBCentralTexas

    Maria the finished product is gorgeous. The couch with no recliner would be my preference as well simply because we have overstuffed cloth furniture and I cannot get out of it anymore once sit down because it “traps me”.

    The furniture we bought new when furnished the home we are in now was almost all picked out by Karl, I was not too picky back in 2011 just wanted to get it done and set up in the rooms.

    To this day wish when we tiled the kitchen, spare bedroom and living/dining rooms we had done the laundry room as well. Twenty-twenty hindsight is a pain but it always rears its ugly head after a renovation is done in months and years to come.

    • Jackie: Greg has always let me pick our furniture but he gets veto power.

      I hadn’t thought about the overstuffed couches making it hard to get up. I can see that now. Maybe what we need is a spring that throws us off the couch when we want to get off. 🙂

  2. Your floor looks awesome! What a big difference it must make.

    We were afraid, when we remodeled the bathroom, that we’d want to redo the whole house to match it. So far, we’ve resisted that, but I have tackled the garage. It’s overwhelming, but I’m not giving up until it’s clean. Dear ghoddess, there is so much STUFF in there, and it’s all crumbling and filthy. I would love to just call a junk hauler and pay them to take everything.

    • Marlene: Oh, gosh! I remember one house we had, there was a leak in the shower wall. One thing led to another and we ended up remodeling the whole thing.

      I have to say it was gorgeous though. Greg resurfaced everything with tumbled stone. It gave it that Roman villa look. The realtor told us it was the biggest selling point of the house.

      re: junk hauler
      We tried donating a ton of stuff but we were out of every charity’s district. In the end we had to haul it ourselves.

  3. While one of us might suggest replacing a piece of furniture, we both have to like the replacement. Luckily we have similar tastes and comfort levels, so that helps.

    Your floor looks really nice. I’m glad we’ve been replacing our carpet with hardwood floors. Kind of wish we had the whole house done that way when he had the house built, but didn’t know any better. Then again, we had really CHEAP builders (much to our dismay), so they probably would have done a lousy job!

  4. Lovely! I like our dark wood floors but the more mellow nature of what you did is nice.

    We bought a new couch a few years ago and went with slimmer, thinner, not as poofy. It’s fine to sit on, but not as comfortable to curl up on. We’ll know better for next time. 🙂

  5. Looks fabulous, but that is the smooth finish, right? In your post, it almost sounded like they talked you into hand-scraped. I love the color.

    I’m not as crazy as our new couch as I was in the store. The top section on the back is too overstuffed and with my height, it pushes my head forward. Great if I’m reading and looking down anyway but if I’m watching TV, I get a sore neck trying to push back against it.

    • Linda: We were dead set against scraping the floor until David showed us a lightly scraped floor. It gave us texture without the heavy gouging. We immediately liked it and went with his suggestion.

      re: couch
      I know what you mean. The last one we bought (the recliner one) seemed great in the store, but I’m short and it’s not comfortable unless I’m sitting straight up. I almost always move off and go to my cloth couch where I can lay down and watch tv. (Great for taking naps too. That’s why it looks so lived in now. LOL!

  6. Floors look great! Worth the time and effort! We are in the market now of looking at couches/love seats. I think we found something that we both like and are comfortable. If we get them, I’ll post a picture 🙂


  7. Holy cow, what a beautiful job they did! I also think you were right going with the honey chestnut color; that should age well. It’s really stunning, too.

    We’re still in the market for a sofa, mostly because we haven’t had time to go to the big stores in the city. I don’t trust any furniture I can’t see in person. We’ve decided to go with a small pit group-type sofa instead of a sofa & loveseat set as we had before, so that makes it more challenging (we need a very small one — our livingroom is particularly dinky.)

    My guy and I always pick out furniture together, and while he usually decides on the style I choose the colors, and for some reason that works out perfect. It helps that I like his style taste and he appreciates my color sense. 🙂

    Once the final fledgling leaves the nest this fall we’re planning a renovation of the kids’ old rooms. One will definitely be a guest room, but the other we haven’t decided on yet.

    • Lynn: They did such a good job. I’m so glad he offered to do live samples for me.

      re: sofas
      We considered a pit group too because we wanted to impede the racetrack path the dogs take to the bedroom. LOL! I think now we’ll just get a big rug to save the floor.

      re: renovating kids’ room
      That’ll be fun! Our formal living room has a library. I could see your second bedroom as a den with a library. It could be a quiet place to get away from everything. I hope you’ll post pictures when you get it done.

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