Welcome to our new home! And welcome to my first ever blog post about removing laminate tile and refinishing our hardwood floors in the living room and dining room!
My name is Amy and my husband, Justin and I recently purchased our dream house in the area where we grew up and we are super excited to share with everyone our updates and renovations projects along the way. We bought this house from a wonderful couple from our community, they lived here 58 years! They took great care of the home and property along with their children, as a result the majority of our updates are going to be cosmetic.
Some history about the home, our property is 2 acres of the original 10ish, and from what we have been told the original section of the house was smaller and has been added onto over the last 111 years. The upstairs roof peaks originally pointed the other way!
Materials Needed to Remove Laminate Floor Tiles
Before Removing Laminate Tiles
As you can see from the pictures the original tile dated to the 1950s or 1960s, maybe earlier than this!
We found out that sometime in the past it had also been covered in carpet so we weren’t exactly sure what condition the wood would be in. We had known there was wood floor underneath because we had one of the tiles removed to test for asbestos (none found!!)
We started by removing each tile individually with a putty knife
Removing Laminate Tile Backing
Removing the tiles was the easy part, then came the challenge. We knew that we would need to try to get most of this backing off as we weren’t sure how well a drum sander would be able to go over this without ruining the sander. Justin (that handsome man below) found a floor scraper which worked wonderfully and created a lot of paper curly cues. Our son, Sawyer had fun playing with the curly cues.
My brother-in-laws helping scrape the floor using hand scrapers
Sanding the Hardwood
Using the hand scrapers and the floor scraper we removed as much of the paper backing as we could making sure not to dig too deep so we didn’t nick the floor. The next step was to use orbital sanders to go around the edges. We did this since we knew the large sanders wouldn’t be able to get the corners and edges as well.
This is my awesome sister-in-law, Kaitlyn helping us with the sanding!
Up next came the big sanders, the first one we rented was a drum sander from Home Depot, I wasn’t there to take pictures when Justin started so this was when he was almost done.
After this sander we rented a plate sander from Home Depot, we used this after as the associate at Home Depot suggested this as the next sander we should use for finishing.
DUST, DUST AND MORE DUST!
We had dust EVERYWHERE! We didn’t realize that the first drum sander’s dust catcher was broken until Justin finished using it so we had a fine layer of dust on every surface in our house!
The wet/dry vac seemed to help get a lot of the bigger pieces and I used the brush attachment which helped too but there was still dust in spots. I then found tac cloths at Home Depot and these worked amazingly! They are like a piece of scotch tape in cloth form, if you are tackling this project or a similar one I recommend buying more than you think you will need as they picked up the dust great but also there was so much fine dust that I used each sheet up fast.
Justin and I chose to go dark on the stain using dark walnut . Even after all the sanding the lines from the tiles were still visible and we were concerned that if we did a lighter stain the lines would still show through. As you can see the lines were very visible.
It’s very nerve racking to apply the stain and knowing that this is permanent (well unless we wanted to re-sand)
We applied the stain using rags that were t-shirt material and just applied one coat
Then came three coats of polyurethane using thick paint brushes . Below is my awesome sister-in-law Kimi helping with the polyurethane.
After Removing Laminate Tiles, Sanding and Staining
This is the final picture I have of the floors without all the furniture in and before the floor was cleaned. The floor “cured” for 3 days before we brought the furniture in and then I was able to use my Shark mop with some wood floor cleaner to make it look nice and shiny!
Thanks for reading along on this project, I hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to sharing more of our home projects with you all!
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