A list of our most common questions. If we don't cover your question here, please feel free to send us your question, by filling out our contact form on the contact page.
How long does the finish on a prefinished floor last?
Prefinished flooring is protected by an aluminum-oxide enhanced finish that will not wear through for twenty years under normal residential use and if recommended maintenance steps are followed.
Pricing of prefinished hardwood flooring versus unfinished/sand and finished on site hardwood flooring?
If we consider all the related costs (material, installation, sanding and finishing costs) pre-finished floor costs are typically slightly lower than the traditional floor, because the traditional floor is being sanded and finished on-site. Pre-finished: Higher material cost, less labor cost. Unfinished (Swedish or Waterbase Finish) onsite: Lower material costs, and higher labor costs.
What is used for floor finishes and why should I choose one over the other?
The most common finishes are Swedish finish (acid cured), or a water-based finish. Swedish finishes have been used for many years and have a well proven reputation. They typically require two coats and are quite durable, wear resistant and fairly inexpensive. The downside is that a Swedish finish is very toxic, as it contains formaldehydes. The release of the formaldehyde occurs during the application and one to two weeks thereafter. Water-base finishes are environmentally friendly and have been used for about fifteen years. Good Quality products are as durable and wear resistant or better than Swedish finishes. The water-based finishes are more expensive and require a minimum of three coats.
Why choose unfinished/site-sanded and finished hardwood flooring over prefinished flooring?
Unfinished flooring provides a smooth even surface without grooves (micro-beveled). This flooring is easier to clean, as dirt and moisture will not get into the small grooves. An unfinished floor would be installed, sanded and finish/coated on-site. This is the only way to achieve a smooth and perfect finish.
How does the home environment affect hardwood flooring? (Stability and Hardness explained)
Stability of the wood is determined by how it will react to changes in temperature and relative humidity. Shrinkage and expansion can occur if the wood is exposed to drastic changes or extreme conditions, both during and after the installation. Hardness of the wood is determined by the Janka Scale. Red oak has a hardness of 1,260 lbs/sq" while Exotic South American hardwoods are significantly harder. The harder the wood the more durable it is.
My newly installed hardwood flooring seems lighter than the sample I received?
Almost all hardwoods have the tendency to darken over time. This depends upon the exposure to ultraviolet light (daylight), the type of wood species and the wood finish that is applied. Some exotic hardwood species may also become more reddish over time. Even hardwood finishes can darken over time and can affect the appearance of the wood.
Does daylight affect my new hardwood floors? (Ultraviolet Light)
Almost all hardwoods have the tendency to darken over time. This depends upon the exposure to ultraviolet light (daylight), the type of wood species and the wood finish that is applied. Some exotic hardwood species may also become more reddish over time.
I plan on using area rugs, how long do I have to wait before using them?
Area rugs should not be placed on a newly finished floor for about a three month period – this allows the newly installed hardwood to darken. However, if rugs were laid and you do have light areas, exposure should allow the wood to "catch up." Small area rugs near doors, in front of sinks or in high wear areas are good to keep abrasion of small tracked-in particles from damaging your floors.
Regarding appearance, why would one choose a water-based finish versus an oil-based finish?
Conventionally, water-based finishes do not alter the appearance to such a large extent that an oil-based finish would. The color of a water-base finish is closer to the original product and the oil-base finish has the tendency to darken the appearance of the wood flooring. Oil-based finishes can in some cases add reddish or golden tones to the flooring and can darken over time.
How long does it take for hardwood floor finishes to cure?
Curing time for all wood flooring finishes to reach full hardness is about 2-4 weeks. The curing time depends on the type of finish as well as the temperature and the relative humidity. Important: Do not use any liquids, including water to clean the floor during the first three weeks. Floor coatings are only resistant to chemicals and water after they are fully cured.