Hardwood Flooring Facts & Fiction

What preventative maintenance should I do on my hardwood floor?

  • Use rugs both inside and outside doors to prevent grit being tracked onto floor.
  • Do NOT use a wet mop on a wood floor.  This can dull the finish and damage the floor.
  • Wipe up spills immediately.
  • Put felt tabs under the legs of furniture to prevent scratching.
  • Do not slide heavy furniture across the floor. Instead pick it up entirely.

What cleaning products do you recommend?

We recommend the BonaKemi line of cleaning products. No matter what brand you choose though you should make sure that it does not contain any waxes or oils as this can affect the adhesion of future coats of finish should you choose to get a screen and coat down the line.

What is the difference between a refinish and a screen and coat?

A refinish is where we sand all of the finish off to the bare wood.  We then buff the floor and apply a minimum of one sealer coat and two top coats of finish.  A refinish is the same process that was done when a new unfinished hardwood floor was originally sanded and finished.  A refinish will get rid of scratches, dents and a majority of stains.

A screen and coat is where we lightly buff the surface of the hardwood floor and apply a fresh coat of finish.  A screen and coat will eliminate surface scratches, but not deep scratches, dents or stains.  A screen and coat is recommended before you see that you have worn completely through the finish to the raw wood.  The screen and coat will add new life to your floor and prevent you from having to do a complete refinish on your hardwood flooring for years to come.

What type of finish do you use?

We primarily use BoneKemi Traffic. This is a commercially rated environmentally friendly water base finish.  It is GreenGuard Certified for indoor air quality by the independent non profit GreenGuard Environmental Institute.  Traffic is 75% cured after 24 hours and 90% cured after 72 hours.  In comparison many of the oil base finishes popular in the NW take up to 60 days to fully cure.  Traffic is the same finish that we use in commercial applications such as offices and restaurants.  So it is more than strong enough to withstand the wear and tear that the average family will put on a wood floor.

How soon can I put my rugs back down?

One week after the final coat of finish was applied.

How soon after the last coat of finished is applied until I can clean my hardwood floors?

Use a dry micro fiber mop or cloth for cleaning during the first week.  After first week resume cleaning with your products of choice.

What species of wood flooring is most durable?

One of the best ways to evaluate a species durability is to use the Janka hardness scale.  This should only be used as a general guide when comparing species. Other factors will also affect a species durability including the manufacturing and construction of the planks and the finish applied.

What are the pros and cons of a prefinish hardwood floor versus a sand and finish hardwood floor?

It really depends on the level of customization you wish to achieve.  With a sand and finish floor you get to choose the type and sheen of finish such as high gloss, satin, satin matte or no sheen,.  You will also get to pick a stain color if any.  There are also more species options and options as to the length and width of your floor when you choose a sand and finish wood floor.  A sand and finish floor offers unlimited possibilities for customizing and putting your personal spin on your floor.  Because the floor will be sanded and finished in your home the job will take longer and there will be more of a disruption.

With a prefinish floor the floor is finished at the factory.  So the major benefit is that one less step takes place in your home.  One of the biggest draw backs to prefinish that our customers find is the bevel on all four sides of each board.  This can create a very busy look and a great spot for dust to collect.

What am I primarily paying for when it comes to a sand and finish?

You are primarily paying for the craftsmanship and expertise of the person sanding the floor.  Not all sand jobs were created equal.  Sanding requires a lot of finesse and skill so as to get an even sand with all of the scratches out.  You want to be able to look at your floor from the side and for it to appear flat with no rolls or dig outs.  You are also paying for the skill of the person applying the finish to get an even coat with no puddles or streaks.  Sanding and finishing a floor is becoming a lost art and is considered a true craftsman floor.  Therefore, you want to make sure you meet the person that is actually performing the work and not just the person selling you the service.

Do you use dust containment?

Yes we do use a dust containment system.  Our dust containment system effectively eliminates at least 90% of the dust usually generated with a sand and finish; thus helping to maintain a healthier, cleaner home.  No matter how minimal the dust we create is, we still recommend that you cover any items that you want to keep dust free.

Do I have to move out of my home while work is taking place?

This really depends on you and the layout of your home.  There will be noise from saws and hammers while the wood flooring installation is taking place.  During the sanding process there will be noise from the sanders and buffers, as well as some fumes from the staining if any and the application of the finish.  You will also not be able to walk on the newly applied finished for at least 24 hours.  This being said most of our clients do decide to stay in their homes throughout the whole process.  If you do choose to stay in your home you will need to make sure you have access to an outside door that does not require you to walk on the newly site finished flooring.

What should I do with my pets during the wood flooring process?

We ask that all pets be contained to a separate part of the home during the duration of the work being performed.  This is for the safety of your pet as well as your new wood floor.

Do you move furniture and appliances?

Unfortunately we do not.  Our insurance does not cover damages caused by moving furniture, appliances, etc.  We recommend that you have professional movers remove any furniture from the area and replace it when the job is finished.  We can, however, assist you in acquiring a professional moving service.  A very popular option with many of our customers is a POD.

Do you acclimate the wood? If so, for how long?

Yes we do acclimate all of our hardwood flooring. Acclimation is a crucial step to having a successful outcome for your hardwood flooring project.  Generally speaking the time required for acclimation in the Portland Metro area varies from three days to two weeks.  Normal living conditions need to be present during the acclimation.  This means that the heating and cooling system are turned on to the temperature that the home will be kept year round.  Wood flooring is adversely affected by too little or too much moisture.  Wood is a natural breathing product that will shrink and grow according to the moisture in its environment.  This means that it is important that you keep the humidity levels in your home consistent.

Why does my floor expand in the summer and get gaps in the winter?

Wood flooring is a natural breathing product. Some minor contraction and expansion may occur with the changing seasons.  If you are experiencing more than minor contraction and expansion, it means that your floor is being exposed to either too little or too much moisture.  This can be a problem in homes where the central heating and cooling system is turned on and off throughout the year creating large fluctuations in humidity inside the home.  The best answer for homeowners that live under those conditions is to install a humidifying system onto your central HVAC unit.  This will help to keep the humidity in your home at a constant.