Removing bevels / grooves

Q: We have a ranch style home built in the 1940s. The living room and dining room are both together. We want to refinish the oak hardwood floors, but the oak is tongue and groove, and there are grooves between each board. My question is this – what is the best way to make them look as if there are no grooves?

A: If they are smaller grooves or what is called micro bevels they can be sanded off. It is a tough job though.

If they are large bevels from the 1990s or earlier, there isn’t much you can do but scrape and sand the bevels by hand during the process of renovating the floors.

Can we sand out the groove?

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: If a pre-sanded v-groove hardwood floor is laid, buffed and varnished 3 times, how much of a “groove” will you see/feel? We love the look and feel of a straight edge floor, but we have the option of getting the v-groove at a bargain price.

A: I assume the bevel on this pre-sanded floor is rather large. At least the last time I saw one of those floors it was. Most manufacturers of pre-finished floors have gone to a micro bevel, which is very slight. None the less, even with coating the floor yourself, the bevel will still be there.

When the finish is applied, it is meant to be done so at a required spread rate. So, if you are thinking of applying the finish very heavy so as to fill in the groove, I would strongly warn against it. If you are using an oil modified, each coat should be applied in thin, even layers, and abraded between coats to ensure adhesion. If you pool the finish onto the floor, like flooding it, not only will the polyurethane take weeks to cure, but you will end up with a less durable finish that likely will crack along the joints when the floor reacts to climate and humidity change.

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