Readers Respond: What Was the Very First Wood Floor You Worked On?

Kristopher Jetter

We asked readers on social media what the first wood floor they worked on was. Here's what they said.

Kristopher Jetter

5 inch solid hickory. 3,000ft.

(See above photo).

Dawson Hardwood Floors

Antique Heart Pine.. 7 inch 3/4 x 16 ft.. so long we had to put em thru the windows.

Ecowood Floors Inc

1988 helping my brother edging. Didn’t know how to mount the dust bag properly. Bam 💥 Officially certified myself to The Dust Life. 😎🙌😎🙌😎

Brown Oaks Flooring

I remember I was 11yrs old and my dad was sanding a house in Newark, NJ. His worker wasn't able to come to work and he needed someone to edge, so I hopped on the edger.


A 2 1/4” select and better RO install.

Angus Hardwood Flooring

Parquet that was glue down from the earliest 900. Can’t forget about it.

Express Wood Flooring

Unfinished Ro 3 1/4 from Canada.

Dave Marzalek

It was a wood floor just a wood floor.

William L. Deskins Floors

Isiah Thomas half court in his home.

My first flooring job was at the EUROFORUM Palacio de los Infantes in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid. It involved the restoration of an old parquet floor, and this design was extended to other areas. The material used was French oak wood, and the design was a checkerboard pattern with inlaid blocks. The dimensions of the boards were 490x70x22 mm. This project took place in December 1993, the month I turned 13 years old. For each board I worked on, I charged my father and my uncle the princely sum of 1 peseta.

Boca Raton Hardwood

About 13 years old, I was put in a closet on a tough Brazilian cherry floor with only a scraper and a file. 17 years later I still remember that closet, it felt like a prison.

Jeff Neads

In 1991 I helped a friend sand an old 5/16 plank floor in Fremont/Niles California. Stained it Duraseal golden brown. The work was so gratifying and fulfilling. I have been doing it ever since.

Tracey Davis

I was building houses and I built my third home in 1994. I installed and finished random width antique heart pine in the entire house. I’ve been doing wood floors since. After that I went to my first NWFA school in 1999 and learned a lot. Best thing I ever did was attend that school and I learned a lot.

Kyle Pihlaja

Painted the lanes for the 2016 NBA All Star court. Had a fun time opened a huge door in my career! 🤙🏼

Nola Dustless Hardwood Floors

Antique Heartpine in a 200 year old New Orleans house. So much wax 😭😭


Sophomore in hs 1991 South side Chicago warehouse.. 1st time getting stoned also lacquer sealer + small closet = stoned. 1st residential job cut off the cable coaxial line.. edger are powerful.

Paul Wilke

The first job I was on was a designer showcase house in San Diego. We were repairing an old floor and refinishing it. The floor was 3/8”x2”. Hank explained that they used 3/8” instead of 1/2” because they could fit more square feet on a train car. When he left to pice up the material the person from the magazine came and asked questions. I regurgitated what Hank told me minutes before. My quote and picture ended up in the magazine. Hank was not happy it was his picture that should have been there. I have never looked back.

Patrick J. Russell

A white oak 3000 square footer and then the craziest thing 20 years later I got to help Bradley Kidder sand the same house wild 😜

Hardwood Floors Rich

San Diego college dorms.

Johnny Rodriguez

Noahs atk.

Stephen KS-Floortech

1988 I was helping my brother edging for the first time. Didn’t know how to mount the dust bag properly. Bam 💥 officially welcomed & certified myself to The Dust Life. 😎😂🙌😂😎

T.J. Haas

First job I really worked on was Holiday Lanes in Summerset Massachusetts. Ran a big 45" belt sander for 2 days that turned into about 25 years. The first job anybody ever paid me to work was Rose Bowl Lanes in Newark NY. July 3rd 2001. Drilled probably 14,000 holes.

Dennis Cudd

I'm starting to struggle with my memory now, but it would've been while I was still in school. Freshman or Sophomore, 73' or 74'. Was 13 or 14 and Dad loved to see how quick I caught on to things! Out of the 5 kids, he and Mom said I was gifted like an artist. Gift? Or curse? Lol. I do remember how much I loved swinging the flooring hammer, driving those "cleats"(no staples in the mid 70's). Was a strip oak floor for a builder (Dittmar) in Arlington. The smell of coffee and pipe tobacco was all through the house. I honestly will never be able to thank our Dad enough for everything he did for all 5 of us. One day we'll be reunited with he and Mom ❤️

Bob Alberding

October of 1998, left alone with a Lagler trio on this job. I believe it was red oak throughout and in this room it was bordered off with American Cherry. That week we coated this room with Bona Mega.

Bob Alberding

Benny Powell

I was a carpet guy sent to help the hardwood crew install some wide, prefinished, hardwood in a big, multi million dollar home in zephyr cove, lake Tahoe. Another guy went to flick his waste cut away from saw, and hit spinning the blade, almost cutting his finger off at knuckle. Three guys went together to the hospital, leaving just me in the job. They'd given me the rundown of opening multiple boxes to shuffle, and the correct way to stagger and nail. I had installed most the big, open living room when homeowner, contractor, and designer arrived. They were very happy with everything, and thought I was joking when I said, "Thanks, it's not bad for my first hardwood floor!!!"

Eugene Stone

No clue, but I know I started young like two brothers before me & two brothers after me. Two of us made careers out of it, both of us ending up with Carpenters Union pensions.

Kenneth Kelly

I edged out a dance stage for a local college.

Jim Hyde

March 1985. A banquet room in a apartment complex, learned to run the edger day one.

Kevin Knauff

Persian rug warehouse S.F. 1979. I was 16. Edged thousands of ft…. About to edge 1200 ft this morning. This time I keep all the money $$$$ lol.

Brian David Schultz

Not sure but 100% chance it was a 16grit killer on third floor with no a/c.

“Hey put your shirt back on!!”

Adrian Molitor

Mesquite for one of the CEO’s of Weight Watchers 👍🏼

Bill Powell III

Looking back on it I think it's a bit crazy.

The first floor I can remember working on was a 6" x 6" White oak parquet floor. 1987

The floor was already installed, and it was a sand, stain (White) and finish job.

The job site Foreman decided that it was a good idea to set me up with the edger on extra wide extra long steps. I was giving no instruction, but I did know that I am supposed to sand with the graining of the wood. I put on double 0 (100 grit) sandpaper and proceeded to attempt to sand with the graining of the wood. After the first step was done he came over and said"wow! Are you sure you've never done this before?) I had no idea what I did, or how I made it look good, but it was all downhill from there.

Jorge Perez

Section 8 animal urine saturated white oak apartments in the hood. I can still remember the smell. hD rentals, dark walnut minwax and good old Moisture cure poly w no respirator to help w the smell embedded in my nose hairs.

Dustin Bolin

Refinishing Bruce 3/8” covered in that green carpet glue.

Sprigg Singleton Lynn

With my Dad black mastic and 9x9 parquet 1969 . He was baby sitting me with glue. All over me I was 5.

Tchardwood Floors

Re-coating of a shoe store inside of shopping mall . That’s when I totally fell in love with wood flooring

Dean LaPointe

Tore out about 500 ft of cleat and glue prefinish, then laid down 2 1/4 red oak. I kept top stapling the first day I got it. Lol.

Michael Schuetz

The first wood floor? I can’t hardly remember what I had for dinner two days ago. Think the floor may of been a white oak.

Keith Christopherson

1984 residential house. I was 6yrs old. My job was to ride the buffer for weight, clean out the vacuum and empty dust bags. I got my first paycheck for $13 and felt super rich. I remember getting strapped to the big machine and drug across the floor for laughs. (Don’t tell osha.) 😉

J.L.Vivash Custom Wood Floors

It Was 1995, I was 24 yrs old, the maple and pine lane was 60’ long and 42” wide x 24 of them, and I was cross sanding it on a 45 using 36 grit on a 12” Clarke, trying not to fall in the gutter! I was training to be a bowling lane sander. After A crazy summer and an NWFA training session I investment in my own Bona sanding set I was running my orebro universal 10” sander in my first house.

David Runyon

Old heart pine, Fort Valley Virginia. Rough shape. 3 pieces of 20 grit for the 7r and boss ran to get a roll. 2 hrs of a thick Jamaican accent hollering at me to break the gunk off so he could reuse them. I never quit anything but I thought I'd take my check Friday and never touch a floor again. 23 years and who knows how many thousands of feet later I'm sure glad I didn't!

Bod Jewell

A crusty oak floor in downtown Valparaiso, IN. I used a Galaxy drum the first day.

Dane Smidt

With my dad not long after my brother died. He taught me to use the big machine the first day. I liked a ton more than I ever liked installing carpet.

Joe Hartley

A simple 1.5” red oak install with stain. I started partway through the job, at the palm sand/buff stage. I knew I was hooked as soon as the stain went down.

Brendan Gillespie

1991 freshman year in high school, sanding a bar in NYC called “The Deadline” with my dad … we had to finish for opening day that week, I couldn’t believe human beings could actually work that hard or long 😂

Daniel Reddy

Hard to recall at this point but it’s a toss up between two jobs… it was either a glue down herringbone installation in a funeral home or hand scraping 5” white oak in Michael Dittmer’s barn that would later be installed in a home.

Tom Hanson

I can barely remember the floor I did last week ,let alone the first floor I ever did. I can tell you it's located somewhere in Massachusetts.

Mikie White

I don’t remember the floor but I do remember putting my thumb in to the table saw blade at the end on the Friday of my first week 🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️

Sean Tupper

Mrs Popadopolous in Rancho Santa Fe over 30 years ago. No pictures though.

Danny Stenhouse

My own.

Andrew Halabrin

2005 Brooksville, Fl at Brooksville middle school. It was an old clip and channel gym floor we tore out and replaced with a new clip and channel gym floor! What a way to get broken into the wood floor scene, but I loved it nonetheless 🤷‍♂️

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