Here are some common questions you may have about hardwood floors for both new flooring projects and for floor refinishing projects. We’ve organized the questions by floor wood choice selection, floor finishes, and by floor installation process questions.
About Wood Choice
Q: With so many wood choices available, do you have a preference, and why?
A: Choosing a species of wood for your floor is like choosing a color for your carpet. Every person will have a different opinion and preference. Red oak is the most common selection in Illinois. Red Oak is readily available, affordable, absorbs stains well and holds up to heavy traffic.
Q: I really want something exotic, can you help me narrow down my choices?
A: Exotic species vary in both color and availability. Most exotics are very hard woods with tight grain patterns that don’t take stains very well, so.. look at the natural color wood when making your selection.
Q: I want to imitate a black walnut grain but don’t want the expense. Are there any wood alternatives you would recommend?
A: Many white oak floors with a dark stain come pretty close to the right color and look. White oak tends to absorb the colors better than the red oak. The costs saving can be quite significant.
About Wood Finishes
Q: I have kids and pets and of course, it’s always high traffic through the house. What finish will give me tough protection without being caustic to my family?
A: Bona Kemi has a finish called Traffic. It is a commercial latex finish that consists of one coat stain/sealer and three coats of finish. Because it is a water based finish, it has very low VOC (Volatile organic compounds) with minimal odors and dries to the touch within 3 to 4 hours after application.
Q: I want to get my project done quickly without a lot of toxins. What should I do?
A: Speed cannot be compromised without giving up quality. We work from start to finish as efficiently as possible. Finishes available with less toxins would be water based . The two water based finishes available at A&R Wood Floors are MEGA for standard or residential use or Traffic for heavy residential or commercial use.
Q: How often will I need to refinish my floor?
A: The life of the floor finish will vary with the type of finish and the volume of traffic on the floors. A home with average use should get approximately 5-7 years before refinishing is needed. Recoating the floors in 3-5 years can extend the life of the finish before resanding is needed.
About Hardwood Floor Installation
Q: Do I have to move all my furniture?
A: Yes, Unfortunately ALL furniture needs to be moved out of the rooms we are being worked in.
Q: On a refinishing project, will I have to remove my baseboards?
A: No, our equipment is designated to sand right up to your existing trim. The only time trim is removes is if you have plans for replacing it.
Q: Do you have a general rule for how long it will take to finish my house?
A: The amount of time needed will depend on the scope of the work to be done. Timetables will be discussed at the time of the estimate.
Q: I have a floor now but it needs work. Will a refinishing project leave a lot of dust?
A: A & R Wood Floors is now using the BONA DUST CONTAINMENT SYSTEM which contains 95% of all sanding dust which makes the refinishing and clean up process much more tolerable.
Q: How often and with what products do I maintain my floor?
A: Today’s finishes are basically maintenance free. Dust mop or vacuum as needed. Sponge mop when dirty. Cleaning solutions will depend on the type of finish applied. DO NOT USE OIL SOAPS, FLAX SOAPS, OR ANY TYPE OF WAX.
Q: My floor is looking dull. What can I do?
A: When your floor is looking dull and the finish isn’t holding up, you may be ready to have your floors recoated. This process involves abrading the existing finish and applying another coat of urethane. Although recoating is relatively inexpensive, it requires a 24 hour period that no foot traffic is allowed and the furniture needs to be removed form the work area. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RECOAT YOUR FLOOR IF OIL SOAPS, FLAX SOAPS, OR ANY TYPE OF WAX HAS BEEN USED.
Q: How often can I refinish a floor?
A: A solid 3/4 inch wood floor can be refinished numerous times. The actual count will depend on the thickness of the original wood floor and the history of its use. Currently we still sand and finish wood floors that were originally 5/16 inch and almost 100 years old. Today flooring is 3/4 inch thick and unless there is a flood or fire your floor will be around for a very long time.