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Project #1:

Collingswood NJ hardwood floor refinishing

If you have an older home with pine floors in rough shape, this restoration will be of interest to you. This home in Collingswood, New Jersey had beautiful 100 year old pine that was in pretty poor condition. At some point in the past a previous homeowner had attempted to sand and refinish the floors themselves… with the less than stellar outcome you can see in the photos below…

BEFORE Heart pine floor in Collingswood NJ before
AFTER Heart pine in Collingswood NJ after

The project involved sanding and refinishing the 600 square feet of hardwood floors in the living room, dining room and entry downstairs. Upstairs included the 700 square feet of wood flooring in the bedrooms and hallway. We also restored the well worn staircase. We had to do a few more sanding passes on this poor floor than we usually do… you’ll soon see why.

Old heart pine flooring
Our Silver System
DuraSeal Expresso

Project details...

The original finish on this floor was an oil based polyurethane that was most likely applied in the 1980’s. It had yellowed and worn away in certain areas after about 20-30 years of use. In the photo on the left below you can see how yellow the floors were. That beautiful amber, yellow color we all love to hate. You can also see the scratches, waves, chatter and drum marks left by the previous sander. There is a closer shot of the drum marks, waves and chatter in a photo further below…

yellow, scratched and damaged hardwood
Yellow, scratched and full of drum marks...
stained dark brown hardwood floor
... to beautifully flat and stained dark brown.

On the right photo above you can see the finished result after a full sand, stain and the water based finish applied. Big difference!

Below is the first cut, taking off the existing finish. Because the previous sanding job was so bad, we had to remove more than we usually would. You can see the drum marks clearly in this photo… we had to sand down to the bottom level of those to flatten the floor. We do the first cut on a 45 degree angle to ensure the floor is flat. Going straight would just enhance the waves already there…

sanding old wood floor in Collingswood NJ
The first cut is done on a 45 degree angle to remove the damage left by the last person to sand the floor

Below you can see a closer look at the original condition we found this floor in. Results like these stop/drum marks are typical of a DIY job. The big sanding machines are difficult to master and take years of practice to get smooth results. One second too long in a spot and you get divots like shown in the photo on the left below…

drum marks in badly sanded wood floor
Closer look of the drum marks throughout the floor...
drum marks removed
.. and a closeup shot of them removed

On the right shot above you can see the after results… a beautiful flat professionally finished floor.

Below on the left shows wear from an unprotected furniture leg. After years of movement, with no felt pad for protection, it wore right through the finish down to the bare wood. You can also see a drilled hole through the floor from the cable company as well as a radiator that needed a lot of hand scraping and sanding underneath…

worn out floors before sanding
Severely worn areas, holes and radiators to sort out...
sanded, stained and refinished
... and the beautiful end results!

And the finished result on the right above. The wear area sanded right out. We plugged the hole so it matched the surrounding floor. And the radiator and pipes were hand scrapped and sanded to match the sanding of the machines. It takes a bit of effort but it’s well worth it for the professional finished result.

Below is the entrance…

ugly damaged entrance hardwood floor
The entrance was the worst part of this floor...
fully restored wood floor in Collingswood NJ
... but not anymore after we had finished with it!

On the left you can see the amount of wood already removed where the threshold was. This floor had most likely been sanded at least twice before. Probably once in the 1950’s and once again sometime in the 1980’s. You can see more drum marks, gouges, scratches and nail holes that need repairing.

On the right the finished floor is now completely flat. All the damage has been removed and the nail holes filled with putty that was mixed with the sanding dust so it blends in. We don’t fill in-between the boards on these old pine floors because with the seasonal movement, the filler would pop out. This not only looks horrible, it damages the finish when walked on.

The owners decided to stain them a beautiful dark brown color called Expresso by DuraSeal. The finish was upgraded from oil-based polyurethane to a far more durable 2 component water-based system you can read about here.

These beautiful floors in Collingswood, New Jersey will easily last another 20+ years if looked after well. They have another 2 or 3 restorations possible before they will need to be replaced.


Dustless Hardwood was professional and fabulous from start to finish - Brian showed us a bunch of samples, tolerated our multi-day indecision on what to choose, got us quotes quickly, and managed to arrange his schedule so he could do our floors while we were away for a few days. He even send me pics of the job in progress. Everyone we dealt with was helpful and responsive, and the floors look amazing. I would highly recommend them. Jed Morfit | 5 Star Review on Google

Would you like similar results for your floors?

We’d love to restore your antique pine floors for you to the same standards as you see above. If you are ready to find out how much it will cost, click here to Schedule Your Estimate and we’ll be in touch.

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