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Please share your experience installing/finishing hardwood floors

11 years ago

I've posted this question on the Flooring forum, as well, but I'm also putting it here because this is the main forum I check in with and also seems to be one of the busiest---so more chance of responses.

We're finally ready to have hardwood floors (white oak) installed in our living room/dining room and have the 20 year old oak floors already installed on the first floor of our house refinished at the same time. I'd love to hear how some of you worked out the logistics.

The floor guy initially recommended that we finish all the floors with Glitsa Swedish oil-based finish. He said we have the Swedish oil finish on our old floors, which have held up pretty well. They were installed and finished prior to our moving into the house. I was concerned about the toxic fumes from the Swedish finish, and we had decided to go with a two-component water-based finish (Glitsa Max). However, now DH has changed his mind and is convinced we should have the Swedish oil-based finish for more durability, as well as a better look. I am very concerned because I have pretty severe asthma and some chemical sensitivities. I'm not sure I'll be able to move back in after just a couple days---possibly not even after a couple weeks---with the Swedish finish. Also, with a Swedish finish we will have to figure out where our two cats can go while the floors are being finished. I'm mostly concerned about my breathing, however.

What have your expereinces been having floors finished or refinished? How long were you out of the house and how long before you started moving furniture back in? What type of finish did you choose? How happy have you been with it over time?

Have any of you compared water-based finishes to oil-based? Can you tell me how they each look? DH said he read that the water-based (including the two-component water-based) finishes look like wood with a layer of plastic on top, which has a lot to do with his determination to continue with the Swedish oil-based finish, despite my health concerns. He also believes it will last longer.

Any advice you can give would be appreciated. At this point, DH is pretty determined to go ahead with the Swedish oil-based finish, and I am just scared of how it's going to affect my health and for how long. I don't want to make DH settle for a less satisfactory finish on the floor due to my health problems, but I need to be realistic in what I can manage.

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