Where can I install hardwood flooring?

Hardwood flooring is an extremely durable flooring product. It can be installed in virtually any room of your home that is above ground. There are several locations that are not recommended for hardwood flooring. Because hardwood flooring is a natural flooring product it is not recommended that it be installed in wet locations such as bathrooms, washrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or verandas, or anywhere that may require wet-mopping. Extended exposure to moisture of this type may cause your hardwood flooring to warp, swell or crack.

When is Water popping and when is it necessary?

Water popping is spraying water on a newly sanded floor to open up the grain so that the wood will have a higher stain absorbtion rate and stain more consistently.

Closed-grained hardwood such as Hickory, Maple and Fir must be water popped prior to staining any color.

If you want a really dark stain or a really light stain (making the wood lighter than its natural color), then water popping is necessary on all types of wood.

I scratched my floor. Can just a small area be recoated?

If the scratch is deep enough that the wood was damaged, then we would need to resand & coat the entire area.

If the scratch went through just the finish, then we can buff & recoat the entire area.

Once a floor has been coated, we can’t recoat (or sand & recoat) a small area. The whole room would need to be redone. Any additional applications of finish would look different than the original, and therefore, we are not able to do “touch ups”.

How long will my new floor (or new refinish) last?

With proper care, your new floor or new refinish will last many years, even up to 10 years.

Always clean up spills and messes immediately. Don’t allow liquids to sit on the finish or seep between the wall and hardwood. No finish (not even the commercial grade finishes) are waterproof. Standing water will discolor the finish and quickly seep through it to discolor the wood and make it start warping. 

If you take good care of your floors they will last a lifetime. Make plans to recoat your floor every 4 to 8 years if its properly cared for. If your floor has seen a lot of wear, plan to sand & refinish your floor every 4 to 8 years.


How long does it take to sand & refinish my floor?

Each floor is different, but here are some general guidelines:

Plan for one day of sanding for every 400 square feet of wood. Plan for one day of finish application for two coats of finish. If you want three coats, plan for two days. During cold or humid days, plan for two days of finish application, due to the finish taking longer to dry. If you opt for stain, we can usually add that to another day of sanding or just prior to finish application for most colors. If you want a grey stain (or other special colors), allow an extra day of dry time.

Can you give me a rough estimate for sand & refinishing without seeing my floors?

That would be really convenient, wouldn’t it? We would hate to give you an estimate over the phone or email, then once we actually saw the floor and measured square footage, have to tell you it will be more expensive than the estimate.

We would prefer the estimate we give to be as close to the actual charge, if not exactly what you are expected to pay. We know you are on a budget, so we want to give you the best possible estimate, and we can’t do that if we are guessing at square footage or the type of wood you may have. 

In addition, there might be some repair work you need or a threshold that needs to be replaced. We wouldn’t be able to make the right recommendations without seeing the wood ourselves.

Estimates only take about a half hour and they can be extremely informative To schedule an estimate, click on Request A Bid.

Can I use a paste wax on my hardwood flooring?

Hardwood floors are no longer treated with wax. Most finishes on your hardwood floor will become cloudy if treated with wax. In addition, it’s harder to remove wax from hardwood, so it will raise your refinishing costs if you apply it to your floor.

What is the difference between unfinished and prefinished hardwood?

Unfinished hardwood is sanded, stained and coated after installation. Prefinished hardwood is sanded, stained, and coated before installation. Many prefinished hardwoods are coated with an Aluminum Oxide finish.

Can an engineered wood floor be refinished?

Yes, in most cases it can be refinished. However, you can’t refinish an engineered floor that is hand-scraped or has a veneer thickness that is less than 2mm.

Can we install hardwood flooring if we have a dog or other indoor pets?

Yes, but you need to take extra care with the floor to keep it protected. We recommend using the commercial Traffic finish rather than a regular residential finish. The traffic finish withstands scratching more reliably. The best protection for your floor is to keep your pet’s nails trimmed and always immediately clean up water spills from their food dish. In addition, if pet urine is not cleaned up promptly,  the acid can eat through the finish and leave the wood black, which will not always sand out.

Is a solid wood flooring better than an engineered wood floor?

aNot necessarily. It depends on your intentions. Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished many times and last your lifetime with proper care. Engineered hardwood, depending on the vaneer thickness, can only be refinished a few times. But, many engineered hardwoods are prefinished with the aluminum oxide finish that will last many years longer than regular finishes. Keep in mind, the aluminum oxide finishes are really hard to sand off. Most hardwood flooring companies charge extra to remove this type of finish.

On the upside, engineered hardwood is more dimensionally stable than regular hardwood and can potentially be used in areas where regular hardwood wouldn’t work, such as over  a concrete slab.

Can we put hardwood flooring over an existing floor?

Some types of engineered hardwood or laminates could potentially be floated or glued over certain flooring types including glued down vinyl, old hardwood, or even low pile carpet. Regular hardwood is usually nailed down and would need proper support and a wood subfloor or previous hardwood. Contact us with the specifics of your existing floor and we can recommend whether or not your idea would work and what brands of flooring to go with. 

How does moisture affect my hardwood flooring?

 Excessive moisture can lead to many changes to your floor, such as cupping, buckling or cracking. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not use water to clean your floors.

The average moisture content of hardwood should be within 6-9 percent. If you  need to  repair and/or refinish your floors due to water damage, the wood needs to return to below 9%. We are happy to   bring our moisture meter and monitor the progress of your wood drying. and make recommendations on when your wood would be ready for refinishing.

Do you always install a moisture barrier under the wood?

No. We install moisture barriers only when the wood installed over a crawl space to reduce moisture coming up from the ground.

We have found that installing moisture barriers in any other cases prolongs or stops hardwood from drying if water damages occurs. We’ve seen where the floor never dried because of the moisture barrier and the whole floor had to be replaced because of it.

What is the best way to clean my floors?

The best way to maintain your floor is to sweep, dust mop and/or vacuum the floors regularly. Hardwood floors also clean easily with a Swiffer or similar type dry mop. You should avoid excessive moisture such are regular wet mopping. A slightly damp mop may be used to mop up a sticky spill.

The floor beneath my rug is lighter than the exposed floor, what can I do?

This phenomenon is called “ghosting”. Over time sunlight will discolor the floor and extreme direct sun can even burn the hardwood. To keep ghosting to a minimum rotate your rugs and furniture occasionally and draw the blinds during the day to reduce direct exposure of the sun. You can also turn your blinds to direct the light upwards rather than down to the floor.

When hardwood has been burned by the sun, sanding and refinishing the floor will not always remove the discoloration. It depends on how deeply the wood was affected.

Can I install hardwood flooring in a bathroom?

No, there is too much chance for water damage in a bathroom. We recommend using waterproof cork-backed vinyl planks. They look great and come in many styles and colors. We also install these vinyl planks, so give us a call if interested.

Why does my hardwood floor make noise?

As a wood floor naturally expands and contracts with changing humidity and temperature levels, you may hear small cracking or squeaking noises.

A word of caution, if your old hardwood floor squeeks and you want to carpet over it, make sure you never want to restore the old hardwood in the future. Screw holes in the planks cannot be filled once they are made. As an example, we had a client who had just purchased a home in Sugarhouse that had carpet over the old hardwood. We went in and pulled up the carpet to find screws in almost every plank. Instead of a refinish that cost a few thousand dollars, she ended up having to install new hardwood over the old that cost three times as much.

How Do I Prevent Furniture From Scratching My Hardwood Floors?

We recommend investing in the felt furniture pads. They come in various sizes and styles. When moving heavy or awkward furniture get a buddy and lift it rather than drag it. The most common scratches come from daily use of kitchen chairs. We easily get into the habit of sliding the chair against the floor to stand up. Use the glue-on or nail-on felt pads for these situations. Make sure to check the wear of the pads occasionally, as they may tear or get debri in them that could potentially scratch the floor.

Why do I have to acclimate hardwood flooring prior to installation?

Yes. The amount of acclimation time depends on the wood species. Oak typically only needs three days, as it doesn’t expand or contract as much as other types. For hickory or maple, plan for a 14-day acclimation period.

Engineered hardwood does not need to be acclimated.