Refinished Wood Floors Bring New Life to Historic McMinnville Oregon Home

Sometimes the best first step for a remodel is to focus on refinished wood floors. That’s what Jennifer Morrow decided for her historic McMinnville home when she learned that Classique Floors + Tile refinished floors.

>> See How a Flooring Remodel Transformed an Historic McMinnville, Oregon Home.

Based on the beautiful woodwork in the house, Jennifer assumed that she would find similar floors under the basic carpeting in the upstairs rooms. So once she cleared furniture out, Classique came in to take up the carpet in the upstairs rooms and find out for sure what was under the carpet. Together they discovered:

  • Original fir wood floors that needed refinishing
  • A surprise under the carpet
  • A small plywood section that needed repair to make it match the wood floors
  • Pressboard floors that required another flooring surface

In this article, we’ll focus on the first three discoveries.

Preparing for refinishing your wood floors

Since Jennifer wasn’t installing new floors in her home, she didn’t have to worry about acclimating the new wood for at least three days before installation.

Or, about dust infiltrating other areas and any sawing, hammering or other machinery noise since the house was empty.

However, she did need to make sure that there would be no other floor traffic during the sanding and finishing process and that no liquids would be spilled on the floors after sanding.

Preparing for refinishing your wood floors

For perspective, a typical wood floor refinishing job (approximately 1000 square feet) takes 2-3 days of sanding, with stain (if any) applied on the following day. The floor is then sealed which takes one day. Two to three coats of finish are applied after the stain, with a day in between each coat to allow for drying. You may not walk on the floors while stain and finish are wet.

In Jennifer’s case, no stain was applied to the floors. The refinishers simply sanded, sealed and finished the floors.

Original fir wood floors that need refinishing

Perhaps most noticeable from the photos is how much lighter the newly refinished floors are compared to how they were before.

Even without finish applied, the original fir floors without coats of dark varnish come alive. The rooms look bigger and the overall feel is much more welcoming.

Historic wood floors that need refinishing

Note in the image below how the wallpaper has already been installed in the top floor landing. The more that can be done before the floors are refinished, the better.

Complete the wallpaper installation before refinishing your floors

Below is a view of that same floor refinished, more of the wallpaper showing and – yes – a sink in the stairwell. Jennifer shared,

“We think the house originally just had the one bedroom upstairs, which is why there is a lone sink in the stairwell.


The back room (now the panel room – see below) could have been more of a sitting room or storage. It has three closets, two under eave ones that are quite large, and one regular closet.”

After view of refinished wood floors on 2nd floor

A surprise under the carpet

I asked Jennifer what surprises she encountered while the wood floors were refinished. She replied,

“I think the surprise was finding in the back room, when we pulled the carpet up, there was an area in the middle of the floor that was much lighter. The flooring guys surmised the light coming in through the window had darkened the wood, whereas under the rug the light didn’t reach the hardwood. 


The floor is at a different level, too. Odd that it’s not the same level as the larger room that was used as a bedroom.”

Below are two images of the surprise” floor under the carpet. Notice how the floor looks lighter in the middle and dark around the edges, exactly in the shape of an area rug in the middle of the room.

Surprise carpet on the wood floors

In this wood panel room, Jennifer kept the wood paneling while she repainted all of the trim in the same dark brown used everywhere else, except where the trim was real wood.

She also had to find a new normal-sized door at an antique store to put between these two rooms. The doorway had originally been one of the tiny doors like the closet to the left in the image above.

Another view of the surprise carpet on the wood floors

In the ‘after’ picture, you can see how the surprise area has disappeared as a result of the refinished wood floors.  Note, too, the dark brown wood trim.

Refinished wood floors transform historic home

Repairing a small plywood section to match the wood floors

Jennifer’s floor refinishing project was, for the most part, routine. With one exception: a section in one of the upstairs bedrooms needed repair. She explained,

“Yes, in the large upstairs bedroom, the previous remodeler had taken out the chimney area to use it for furnace ducts. So this was the remaining area that he had just installed plywood over (because it was under carpet).


So the refinishers installed new raw wood to match the original floor, then refinished the whole floor.”

You can see the before and after of this small plywood section repair in the two images below.

Repairing a small plywood section to match the wood floorsRepaired wood floors

Are you ready to have your floors refinished?

Refinished Wood Floors by Classique Bring New Life to Historic Home

We invite you to visit our Portland, Oregon showroom where one of our Classique Floors + Tile project consultants will guide you through everything from initial estimate to product selection to final installation, as we did with Jennifer.

You’ll be delighted, we promise!

Thanks for reading,


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