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Refinish dark wood floors to light

Susan Lewis
3 months ago

I’m renovating an apartment that currently has dark-reddish-stained, rift-and-quartered white oak hardwood floors, laid in a herringbone pattern in some rooms and plank in others. Light colored flooring is a non-negotiable “must” for me. The existing wood is in very good shape and looks like it’s never been resanded (no dishing around the edges). A flooring contractor has given me quotes for both refinishing in a light color and for replacing. No surprise: refinishing costs a lot less. And even if it didn’t, I’d prefer it, to reduce waste. But the contractor has warned that even after sanding off the dark stain, there may be dark lines between boards where the stain has seeped into gaps. I could see that working with an intentionally “distressed” style, but not with this apartment’s very sleek, contemporary design. He will do a test patch before I commit to refinishing, so I’ll have an idea what the result will be. But for anyone who has dealt with a similar situation: were there dark lines remaining between boards? A few or a lot? Was it possible to hide them with wood filler? Can you share images of the end result? And for extra credit: the contractor has proposed a wire brushed finish, which I usually see in farmhouse style homes, not contemporary spaces. Have you seen wire brushed finishes work well in contemporary designs? Maybe it depends on whether it’s lightly or heavily brushed?

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