Stains on Hardwood Floor
October 25, 2008 9:16 AM   Subscribe

We rent an apartment and have some pet stains in our hardwood floor. I believe they are too deep to sand out and I think the floor will have to be partially replaced. The damage covers parts of an area about 32" x 36". I'd like to try and take care of it without involving my landlord. Is it possible to replace only part of a hardwood floor? Does anyone know a reputable flooring company in the Chicagoland area?
posted by youngergirl44 to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
You shouldn't be doing any significant work on the place without your landlord's knowledge and permission.
posted by Class Goat at 9:42 AM on October 25, 2008

I don't know of any Chicago flooring companies, but I do know that you should read the fine print of your lease before paying someone to rip up flooring. Many forbid doing what you plan on doing.
posted by mrmojoflying at 9:46 AM on October 25, 2008

Yeah, as a landlord, I'd be shocked to find out that my renters were replacing parts of the floor without my knowledge. Please don't do this. Or at least, please let the landlord know the situation and offer suggestions -- he or she might have a flooring guy who they could call and you could contract with him or her on the repairs / replacement / etc.
posted by zpousman at 9:46 AM on October 25, 2008

Best answer: Replacement of damaged individual boards is definitely possible and not that hard really. What needs to be done is the old section cut out and new pieces nailed in. This used to involve face nailing the last strip placed but the marvels of modern adhesives have eliminated that problem.

That said it is essentially impossible to get an invisible colour and grain match. IE: You will be able see the replacement. However you can minimize that if you can steal the replacement boards from under the fridge, in a closet or even a section of hallway and then use the new material in those locations. No one really sees the floor of a closet and if the mismatch is right at the opening it looks like it is supposed to be that way.

I've also installed a floor medallion to repair a damaged section of floor. This usually involves a lot more work because the damage is rarely where you want the medallion so you need to remove two sections of flooring (the good part where you put the medallion and the damaged section where you put your reclaimed pieces).
posted by Mitheral at 10:21 AM on October 25, 2008

You also might want to note that most contractors will not do any work to an apartment without landlord approval. It is potentially a big liability on their part. Just so you know.
posted by MiggySawdust at 10:56 AM on October 25, 2008

Agreed on "talk to your landlord". For a specific company recommendation if he doesn't have a flooring guy: Stanley Flooring. Reasonably priced and quality work.
posted by true at 1:02 PM on October 25, 2008

Another: don't do this on your own / talk to the landlord, vote. They will be able to tell if you do some sort of work yourself without their knowledge and that could cost you more (the work and fees per terms of your lease or more if it's considered damage to the place) and just get you in more trouble. Most flooring places deal with the owner only. Look at your lease and see what it says about repairs, damage and find out what is considered standard wear and tear on apartments in your area. This is not your place to make this sort of decision. You do this you're risking more financial trouble.
posted by dog food sugar at 1:21 PM on October 25, 2008

Ok, handling it all yourself is out. Still, I'd want to find out about some repair options before talking with the landlord -- maybe even get a couple of estimates. Then he'd be less likely to get nervous or to lose his temper. You'll be ready to tell him that "Joe the Floor Guy" says it doesn't need to result in a glaring mismatch, and you don't have to have the whole floor sanded down. If the floor finish is fairly new and if the LL knows what coating was used, just the affected boards can be taped off at the edges. The new finish will be too shiny at first, but will dull down as the coating cures, which can take weeks.
posted by wryly at 1:37 PM on October 25, 2008

Don't do it for this reason: you could fix it wonderfully well and your landlord could still keep your security deposit because you damaged the floor. Talk to your landlord.
posted by zerobyproxy at 5:38 PM on October 26, 2008

I've done this during a renovation, and it isn't that hard if you can handle a hand saw. I'd be wary of the landlord complication though.
posted by bystander at 3:41 AM on October 27, 2008

« Older This weekend's iron chef ingredient: pumpkin. Now...   |   How to publicy praise my doctor for future... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.