When considering installing new wood floors, or refinishing
existing wood floors, it is important to realize that wood is
an organic material. Wood has personality, character, and individual
quirks, and it changes throughout its lifetime. Understanding
these physical properties of wood will help you to have realistic
expectations of your hardwood floor.
Being an organic material, wood is described as 'hydroscopic'.
This means that it will react to water and humidity by expanding
and contracting. Too much humidity in the air will increase
the moisture content in the wood and create expansion in the
wood. Too little humidity in the air, such as drying caused
by heating during the winter, will cause moisture to come out
of the wood resulting in shrinking between the floor boards.
Air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems should be
operating before, during, and after work is performed. The temperature
and relative humidity should be at 'normal living conditions',
between 60-80 degrees (F) and between 30-50 percent humidity.
|Wood floors are a lifetime investment, adding
value and beauty to your home or workplace. As with any major
improvement you should expect some disruption and inconvenience.
When having wood floors refinished or installed make sure to
give the floor contractor the time he needs to complete the
job without interference from other trades, such as painters,
carpenters, window installers and plumbers. Other trades are
allowed the necessary time to complete their jobs, thus so should
the wood floor contractor. Before you start your project, be
aware of the following:
|Sanding and refinishing expectations.
|--There will be noise, dust and fumes during
|--Even though we use "dustless"
machines during the sanding process, and the area may be sealed
off with plastic, dust could and probably will infiltrate other
areas of the house. Our workers will remove trash and other
debris created during the refinishing process but you are responsible
for wiping down the walls and trim in the area of work and cleaning
up other areas.
- The odor varies in intensity depending on the type of
finish used on your floors.
- Oil based finish-This finish has a moderate smell
when applied that most people do not find offensive.
It dries to the touch in eight to ten hours per coat
under normal conditions. The finish will amber or darken
after application. It is available in gloss or satin
- Waterbased finishes-This finish is environmentally
friendly, has virtually no smell when applied, and dries
in one to three hours per coat. It does not amber or
darken over time like oil based finishes. We offer this
finish in either gloss or satin sheen.
- Moisture Cure-This finish has a very strong smell
when applied that most people find very offensive. We
recommend leaving the area for the entire work period.
It takes eight to ten hours to dry to the touch. This
is the most durable finish we offer at this time. However,
we normally do not recommend this finish for residential
use because of the smell and toxicity. Most often this
finish is used in commercial establishments such as
restaurants, bars and dance halls. This finish is available
in a non-yellowing formula (at an additional charge).
We offer it in a high gloss sheen.
|--Pets. Please arrange for pets to be kept
away from work areas in advance. We are not responsible for
pets left unattended at the job site.
|--Any work schedule discussed with us should
not be considered as "written in stone". It is in
the best interest of all parties involved with your project
to stay on schedule, but factors and circumstances beyond the
control of all may change the schedule of your project. As a
courtesy, we give our customers tentative schedules for the
work to be done so they have a basic idea of how long it may
take from beginning to end. However, because the work required
to finish your floors properly each day may take from one hour
to a full day, depending on the scope of the work, our customers
must have flexible schedules throughout the project duration.
We cannot be held responsible for work time lost, hotel stays,
baby sitting expenses, etc., while work is being done.
|--You must ensure that our workers have
access to the jobsite.
|What Not To Expect From A Wood Floor Finish.
|--A table top finish. Each piece of oak
flooring sands differently depending on its grain type (plain
or quartered) making it virtually impossible for a completely
|--A dust free finish. Since your floor is
being finished in your home, it is not possible to achieve a
"clean room" environment. Some dust will fall onto
the trim and walls in the area being worked on.
|--A monochromatic floor. As a natural product,
wood varies from piece to piece. Remember it is not fabricated-it
is milled from a tree and will have grain and color variations
consistent with the grade and species of flooring selected.
|--A floor that will not indent. In spite
of the "hardwood", oak flooring will indent under
high heel traffic (especially heels in disrepair). The finish
that is applied will not prevent dents.
|--A floor without cracks between boards
or parquet pieces. Although your new floor may start tight together,
as a natural product it will continue to absorb and release
moisture. This natural process will cause the flooring to expand
and contract from season to season resulting in cracks between
some pieces in the floor. Some stain colors, such as white,
will show this process more than others.
--Understand that furniture, cabinetry, doors, etc., are
fabricated in a factory under ideal conditions and contain
1-10 different pieces of wood. Your floor is fabricated in
your own home and is made up of 300-1000 pieces. This means
that your floor will never be duplicated-a truly custom floor
of your own!