HARDWOOD FLOORING CARE AND MAINTENANCE
- Vacuum your floor every week
- Keep the Rain Out
- Remove residue
- We do not recommend
- Never use wax
- Protect high-traffic zones
- Additional maintenance
It is important to vacuum your floors because dust and fine grit can wear through your floor’s finish. Use an attachment with a brush or a felt surface that runs along the floor. Attachments with rotating brushes or a beater bar can scratch the finish. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, a dust mop or microfiber sweeper will work just as well.
Water can ruin the finish on a hardwood floor by penetrating deep into the wood and causing stains. Close windows when you’re expecting rain, put trays under potted plants, and wipe up any visible water immediately.
Remove residue with no-wax wood floor cleaner Wipe up spills and dirt immediately; then use a cleaner that is recommended by your flooring manufacturer. Failing to use approved products can void your warranty. Bona makes a good product. When in doubt choose a product that has the NOFMA seal. Do not use Murphy’s Oil Soap or vinegar to clean your flooring as these products can build up and cause a hazy film to develop on your flooring.
We do not recommend the use Rejuvenate, Orange Glo or any product that is meant to restore a gloss to your hardwood flooring These products DO NOT work. They can damage your flooring. We have had countless customers who have had to have their hardwood flooring totally resanded due to the use of these products. They are essentially water based polyurethane. In order for polyurethane to adhere to your flooring property it must be buffed. If you do not buff the floor prior to applying polyurethane it will peel off after a short period of time. This flaking is very noticeable, and it cannot be removed without sanding the floor all the way back down to bare wood.
Never use wax on a surface finish It not only makes the floor slippery, it also interferes with subsequent finishes.
Use an extra-long front doormat While vacuuming and spot-cleaning are great, keeping the dirt out in the first place is even better. Get a 4- to 6-foot-long “walk-off’ mat for the front door. The longer the mat leading up to the door, the more people will rub dirt and moisture off their shoes as they walk in, even if they don’t stop to wipe them.
Protect high-traffic zones with area rugs Walking across an area several times a day eventually wears down a wood floor’s finish. Nice-looking throw rugs are the easiest way to reduce the wear, but make sure they don’t have a backing. Vinyl or rubber backing traps humidity, which can ruin your floor’s finish and stain or damage the wood.
Additional maintenance needed Hardwood flooring should be screened and coated every 3-5 years. This process is relatively inexpensive. It removes fine scratches and restores shine to dull hardwood flooring. It is important to avoid using products with waxes, such as Mop & Glo to clean your flooring. These products make the floors impossible to recoat.
What to expect when refinishing your Hardwood Floors
Sanding and refinishing your floors can make a huge difference in the way your floors look. It is important that you understand that wood is a natural product. Hardwood has color and grain variation. It has knots. Some hardwood has more imperfections than others. It is part of your floor’s natural beauty. If your floors are very old, were not installed properly or have water or pet damage they will look better, but they will not be perfect. If you have any areas of particular concern please point them out during the consultation.
- Do expect some dust. There is no way to avoid creating some dust while sanding your floor. We have vacuums on all of our equipment. Our machines will catch the majority of the dust. We vacuum the floors with industrial vacuums between each coat. Please bear in mind that dustless sanding is not 100% dust free…nothing is.
- The timeline can vary based on the amount of work being done. Prefinished floors or floors that have been coated in orange shellac take longer. If you choose a dark color it will add time because we water pop all dark floors. This process opens the pores of the wood allowing for optimal stain penetration. The type of polyurethane that you choose makes a difference. Generally it will take a day to sand 1000 sq. ft. of hardwood. It will take anywhere from 2 to 5 days for the staining and polyurethane application process. If it is cold or humid outside you will need to allow for extra drying time. The majority of our projects take anywhere from 3 to 7 days.
- Sanding your floors will not fix gaps or other major flaws. Refinishing basically smooths and finishes the wood that is already there. If there are gaps between the boards before the job starts there will be gaps after it is finished. If the gaps are minor we will put wood filler in them. The filler doesn’t absorb stain the same as wood does. You will notice it. When the hardwood expands and contracts with the seasons the filler can pop out.
- Matching stain colors can be difficult. Stain looks different on different floors. The type or age of the wood can affect the way the stain color looks. The paint on your walls can make stain look different from one room to the next. For that reason we prefer to put stain down on your floors for your color selection. This makes it easier to choose.
- Wood that has been repaired will look different. Wherever there is new wood the color will be lighter than existing hardwood. There is a more noticeable difference in pines because pine typically darkens more over time. Lacing in new hardwood is less noticeable when your use a darker stain color.
- When remodeling save the floors for last, but be prepared for touchups. The sanding process will scuff up baseboards, and you will see some stain and polyurethane on them. They will need to be touched up after refinishing your floors. This will include steps, risers, strings, and spindles. We do tape them off, but stain easily can bleed through the tape. It is possible that some walls can have slight scuffs from the machines if it is a tight area. We do our best to keep any touch up minimal.
- Avoid using tape of any sort on hardwood floors after they have been refinished. Painter’s tape, even the stuff made specifically for floors, will remove your finish.