Refinishing: Day 1

Wednesday, JDL Flooring started on our house. We met with Jon, the owner, a few Saturdays ago during our big basement demo day. Our tenant hadn’t moved out yet so the 2nd story was the only floor sans covering. It was before we ripped up the laminate and he didn’t see the 3rd floor. We liked his style & demeanor. He seemed knowledgeable, reasonable, and experienced.

We did our due dilegence and contacted a few other companies. One company that came highly recommended never called me back. (Some of the junk companies didn’t call me back either. What’s with people not wanting my business??) We contacted some of Jon’s references; everyone raved.  We felt comfortable choosing him & his team and he worked to stay within our budget. Monday we agreed on a price and were told they could start Wednesday.

At 7:30am on Wed. June 24th, Lucio (Jon’s head refinisher) was waiting for us at the house. Punctuality = good first impression


Introduced ourselves. Gave Lucio the walk through as his son unloaded the truck.


During our walk through, we realized most of our lightbulbs are burned out. Huh.

We showed Lucio where are circuit breakers are. He popped out 2 of the breakers and plugged in a massive extention cord. He said the sanders have their own breakers and this way they won’t constantly loose power.

With that, they got to work.

first passes of the sander

After a few minutes of them sanding, Rob & I weren’t sure what we were supposed to do. Should we stay? Should we go? We decided to leave and went to tell Lucio. He asked us to wait a minute and showed us what was under the paint.

lots of filler

That, my friends, would be filler. Lots & lots & lots of white plastic (latex, maybe??) filler. Jon doesn’t use filler, which was one of the reasons we chose him. We wanted the floors to be authentic and original. And, frankly, filler looks like crap. BUT it seems someone didn’t share my sentiments.

Lucio did a quick test for us using ebony stain to see if it covered it up. The filler absorbed some of the stain but not nearly as much as the wood (which I suppose is to be expected). Huh.


He said he’d sand more and do some sample swatches of different stain options for us to choose from.

Then it was off to work for us and they got busy.

That afternoon, I met Jon back to the house. Lucio was still there working.

Front Hall:
sanded foyer


2nd floor hallway:
2nd floor hallway

2nd floor looking from back rooom to front room:
sanded floor looking to front

2nd floor front bedroom:

2nd floor back bedroom:

There was a pretty large spot of damaged floor in the 2nd floor back bedroom.

They’re going to replace it today with new stuff (can’t find any reclaimed; boo.) but it was neat to see the structure underneath.


Here you can see Rob standing on top of the floor, the thickness of our floors and the space between the joists.
Pretty cool, right?!!

Dining room:
sanded dining room

They ran out sand paper, otherwise the 3rd floor would have been sanded too.

They RAN OUT OF SANDPAPER. That’s how many layers of awful were on our floors.

Dining to Living room:

Lucio also left us stain samples to choose from:

(click to make bigger)

Which color would you pick?

Which one do you think we picked??

This entry was posted in 1st floor, 2nd floor, 3rd floor, Floors, JDL Flooring, Product/Service Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Refinishing: Day 1

  1. Mom Liv says:

    Wow – what a big difference…. And as usually is the case – one thing leads to another! All that white filler! Hmmmm…. Nice to see the stain choices on the actual wood – I think you’ll pick 4 or 5 but 3 could be in there too! Love you! Mom

  2. mrslimestone says:

    Wow, you’re making progress quickly – hooray!

    I love the dark color but for long term versatility, I’d go with the darkest brown that has some black in it.

    If you are wondering about the filler and paint, it looks like the floor you have now is the original subfloor. (At least based on what I see around your fireplace hearth and my own experience with old buildings not having plank finished floors). So that filler makes a lot of sense when you are putting something on top as it prevents creaking and helps keep the top layer stable. Not that this information helps you, its still not as crazy as it may seem.

  3. Lily says:

    1. I like the bottom two
    2. I tagged you on my blog 😉 GO AND SEE!

  4. MEA says:

    I vote 5! Looking pretty great!

  5. Eva says:

    We had the exact same open random hole next to our fireplace! We think they cut part of it away to get the heater in? And instead of filler someone got the great idea to use cement on our floors. Awesome.

    The guessing game is hard… but I think you picked 1, 2 or 5. With #1 as the front runner. I would pick # 5, 4, or 2.

    The progress being made is awesome though! I love seeing the floors stripped down. I

  6. Marilyn says:

    i love 5 and 6.

    you guys probably picked 5

  7. Dad "A" says:

    #4 or #6 have my vote.

    • Dad "A" says:

      How about dropping a fire proof floor safe in that hole since it’s all ready open?

      • Dad "A" says:

        BTW #2…
        Do we (you) have an idea what’s under the island in the kitchen and what we’re (you’re) ultimately doing with it (island vs. peninsula vs nothing)? If the island comes out, will Jon and crew need to come back and match the uncovered patch with the rest of the dining room floor? Just food for thought…

  8. Mo says:

    I’d vote for #5

  9. Greg says:

    You had a LOT of awful on those floors!

    I choose 4. final answer.

  10. Jen says:

    #3…final answer…

  11. Kim says:

    Oh my. I’m so behind. Your floors look awesome!! I cannot wait to see them all done. (Sigh) I have a major affinity for hardwood.

    I pick #5. Ryan picks #6. Cannot wait to see what you choose.

    How’s the garden apt. coming?

  12. Digs L. says:

    1 or 2. love you!

  13. Erin says:

    My vote(s) are #3 and 5. Very exciting!!!

  14. ifloormini says:

    Your hardwood floor really makes it to the edge. At first it’s kinda messy but the result really paid off.

  15. priscilla says:


  16. Glidden is giving away free quarts of paint, no strings attached.

    Get yours here:

    I know you guys need a heck of a lot more paint than a quart but it might be a nice thing to have for a small project.

    Heck, it’s free which is my favorite price.

  17. Our house has 6 while the inlay detail is 5.

    What would I choose? 2

    It’s dark which I like but not too dark. It’s also a nice brown that shows hints of red and black.

    I’m dying to know what you guys picked.

  18. Dalton says:

    I like 6. I am a fan of light colored floors.

  19. Pingback: Stain Color?? « brick city love

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