Frisco and Floors - Juniper Home

Frisco and Floors


Hello from Hotel Vitale in San Francisco!

I’m here for the weekend with a few other bloggers, and many of them live here. It was fun over dinner last night, getting the inside scoop about all the great things this beautiful city has to offer. We’ve thought about moving to San Francisco a few times over the past couple years.  Maybe down the road in a few years (if Brooklyn doesn’t work out for us)…

Speaking of Brooklyn, this weekend I’m trying to figure out if we should refinish the wood floors of the brownstone ourselves or if we should hire it out. If we’re going to do it, I feel like we need to do it first thing, before we move anything in the house.

I have a meeting next week with my contractor, just to get a sense from him how much it would cost to get some of the bigger projects professionally done. In the meantime I need to get online and do some research on DIY floor refinishing. The current reddy stain bugs me, but honestly – it’s not *that* bad. I do think a new stain would help the house feel more finished and updated. Less…70s. But we’ll have rugs in most rooms, so maybe this is a place where we should save our money.

Have you refinished your own floors? Or maybe you went with a professional service and you were glad you did? I’d love to hear about it as we’re weighing out our options.

Have a lovely weekend! See you Monday. xx

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69 thoughts on “Frisco and Floors

  1. Just in case you decide to refinish the floors, I thought I'd share one more thing: my favorite products. I went with Bona Traffic Hd Commerical Extra Matte finish and have never looked back. I did use poly the first two times and, while not bad, the finished product is a bit gym-like. The Bona is fabulously matte and so very durable–and very updated in the mood it creates. Because of the finish scratches are not noticeable at all. Keep blogging!

  2. Hi all, we live in an appartment with exactly the same coloured floors, but it is a rental. Although I find it super difficult to work with this colour, there is no way I can (or want to) refinish the floors. Therefore: do you guys have any advice regarding working with that colour floor? I have opted for very dark brown furniture, mostly, and some white/cremes and some greens, but it has ended up looking a bit old fashioned (and we're young1 and fun!) and I just want to liven things up. I can also not paint walls because, but perhaps you guys have got GREAT colour combo ideas?! I am really quite desperate: this place is great and the floors don't look bad, it's just a difficult colour for me! All advice is much appreciated!!

  3. Check out sandless refinishing… it costs half as much and looks just as good. In Philly, there's a company called "Mr. Sandless" and there may be something similar in your neck o' the woods. We used them to do our floors and they came out glossy and beautiful!

  4. I refinished the hardwood floors in my house last summer and it was one of the most enjoyable DIY projects I have tackled.

    We live near a place that specializes in renting equipment to refinish hardwood floors. They will not let you rent the equipment until you have gotten it right on their training floor. I think the training is a must and makes the difference between success and failure. I would not dream of refinishing a floor without going to a professional to train you and work with you along the way.

    We had 80 year old red oak floors that were redder than those in your photo. The shellac was so thick we had to start with 16 grit sand paper and work our way up to 100 grit. With the right equipment it took a lot less time than you would think.

    We went with a no VOC natural oil for the finish. The application took less than an hour per room and we could walk on the floors the next day. The finish is more matte than typical hardwood floors but the durability is great. Our floors have held up wonderfully to our dog and three kids. The only down side is the cost

    I gained such confidence from doing this myself that I am now ready to tackle patching the flooring on a 3' x 9' area we are about to expose when we rip down some closets.

    If time permits you can absolutely do it yourself for a quarter of the cost. But, if you don't have the right equipment, right training and time to do it right then hire the job out.

  5. I've done it myself before and it really isn't that hard. Rented a professional sanding machine. Total cost about $200 to do 2 rooms. Go for it! ( p.s. They turned out beautifully!)

  6. We are going through the exact same debate right now as we get ready to close on our new home this Friday. The downstairs is all exposed wood that looks ok, just a little worn but the stairs and entire upstairs are covered in a terrible royal blue carpet that we're tearing out because there's wood under all of it. I was dead set on having it stripped and stained a darker color (professionally) because it's currently a blondish color but just found out its not oak but maple wood. Happy it's maple and a harder wood but it's SO MUCH harder to stain maple then oak. It notoriously takes the stain in a very blotchy way so now I'm rethinking the entire stain thing and probably just going to have it sanded and sealed. DEFINITELY do it before you move in as the mess is ridiculous and definitely give yourself as much time as you can (a week if you can) to let the poly cure before moving in there. The price to have 1,400 sq ft + 12 stair treads sanded and sealed (no stain) is roughly $3k in the Boston area I've learned. That includes like $600 for rug removal, tacking strips, staples, etc. Very reasonable in my opinion to not have to deal with the mess yourself.

  7. My husband and I are in the midst of remodeling our home from top to bottom & chose to redo the floors ourselves. It is HARD WORK!!! Long hours, lots of fumes & very tiring. We have completely finished one area of our home, but still have a big portion left. If you can afford to hire someone definitely do it. :) If not, and you are up for all of the work it completely transforms the home. We love the results already, and have only finished one area! I have some pictures on my blog, and will be documenting the entire process once we get moved in.

  8. my husband and i refinished the wood floors in our entire house before we moved in… that meant living with my parents for 2 months but it was SO WORTH IT. it is an insanely messy and stinky job. the dust. gets. everywhere. but we were dealing with the reddy color problem as well, and i coulnd't take it. we worked on it on the weekends and after work. we got an estimate to have them done and by doing it ourselves, saved over $2000! so glad we did it. and it was the best learning experience to boot.

  9. My sister just did it herself….and it is a job for two people. It seems like one person could do it, but having someone wipe up after you sand and another pair of eyes on the staining process was good and saved a lot of time. Her husband helped, and, knowing that mine won't do the same, she warned me!

  10. we are paying to have ours redone this week. it has not happened yet but i am already glad that we are not doing it ourselves! i took the kids to the valley and the dog so we can be out of the way and nate will leave for the last part. Excited to see it after we come back from our huge hike…'cause every 6 month pregnant lady goes on a 20 miler backpacking trip in June. right?

  11. We re-finished our wood floors last year ourselves and it was a huge emotional undertaking + I was 7.5 mos pregnant.

    The result is amazing, still in love with them :) If you decided to do your floors, do it now about 2-3 wks before you move-in because its a dusty and smelly process

  12. Oooh we just had our floors refinished from the reddish red oak 70's floors taht were original to the house!!! We could not be HAPPIER!!!! We did 1/2 jacobean 1/2 ebony-not sure if that makes any sense to you but it's just the mix I was told to go with to get this rich dark, dark brown color. It has completely transformed our house I must say!!! I would definitely spend the money before you move all your stuff in if you can?! I can't imagine what a mess it would be if you tried to do it down the road with all your rugs and furniture already in place! Good luck! Can't wait to see your place once you get moved in!

  13. We refinished all the floors in our house and hated how it looked so we paid someone to do it. That is something I will not DIY again. It took way too long for us to do and it didn't look professional. We diy a lot but this is one job that we will NEVER attempt again!

  14. You can certainly do your own floors, but it will never be the same as pros. If they are true hardwoods, I think it's worth the investment for the professional job. I find that staining is pretty easy, but proper sanding is difficult & the polyurethane available to the consumer, while pretty good, isn't the serious stuff that the pros have. Check out our crazy floor refinishing project on our new blog at
    Good luck!

  15. Don't try to do it yourself it's a horrible job, I speak from experience. I agree that you should tone down the red but beware of going too dark because it shows every speck of dust and dog hair. You will be swiftering morning and night.

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