Wood Floor Rescue: Uncovering Gems In Rural North Dakota

Kim Wahlgren Headshot
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1 I 822 Wfb As22 Wf Rescue Ed LauscheIn rural North Dakota, wood floor pro Ed Lausche of Northern Hardwood Floors in Nome, N.D., uncovers “some pretty good gems” when he’s hired to sand existing wood floors. In homes that are commonly 100 years old, he’s discovered intricate patterns and floors composed entirely of bird’s-eye maple or quartersawn white oak. Most frequently, the big reveal uncovers beautiful clear maple strip, and that was the case in this home he estimates was 60–70 years old. As commonly happens in rural areas now, the new owners were moving to the area from another state, and the laminate flooring installed over a thin layer of plywood had to go—leaving behind a floor of staples. “The staples were very long, and they just would not pull out without breaking, so I ended up using an angle grinder and grinding off the top of every one until it was down to the surface,” he explains. “Then I put old paper on my machine to grind off the remainder of the staples and continued on like I normally would.” For him, that process includes following his big machine and edger with his Trio, then using the HydraSand on the buffer. After a sealer coat and two coats of waterborne finish, the floor was ready for its big reveal and the homeowners were amazed. “One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing that transformation and also seeing the customers’ faces when they see it—they are just blown away,” Lausche says.

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