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Frequently Asked Questions

Sanding & Refinishing Process


Repair damaged boards with wood putty or replaces them. Replacement pieces should be of a similar grain whenever possible. Either fills or plug holes with a matching grain. Nails will be countersink finishing down with a nail set.


Sanding the floor three times with each machine to effectively remove old finish and smooth out the floor. On each pass, a different grit of paper will be used to achieve the desired results


Apply stain section by section along the length of the room. Saturate each area with stain and then wipe up with rags to achieve a uniform color. Each subsequent coating of stain should overlap the previous, so that the sections are always different. Apply stain in coats until the desired look has been achieved.


Finish the wood floor by applying either water-based polyurethane, or an oil-based polyurethane. All sealers require three coats of application, with a fine sanding between coats.

Water-based urethane's are the most populars type of floor finishis. A waterborne finish that dries as the water evaporates. These finishes are very clear and non-yellowing. We generally apply 3 coats of this finish as well - however multiple coats can be applied in the same day since the finish dry’s in 2 or 3 hours.

  • Expensive
  • Clear – resist yellowing over time
  • Low odor
  • Very quick drying times
  • Very durable

Oil-based urethane's are the most common type of floor finish. This type is very easy to apply and generally dry in about 8 hours. We typically apply 3 coats of this finish and it has a yellowish or amber tint.

  • Easy to apply and touch-up
  • Moderate odor
  • Slow drying time
  • Very durable
What wood floor can I install over a concrete slab?
With the improvements in hardwood floors most engineered and longstrip engineered plank floors can be used over a concrete slab. Manufacturers do not recommend using solid hardwood flooring over a concrete slab. Engineered planks and strip wood floors can be glued directly to a clean, dry, well-cured concrete slab. Some engineered wood floors can be glued at the tongue and grooves and then allowed to be floated over a special padding that is laid over the concrete slab. Longstrip engineered planks can be floated over the slab with a padding underneath. There are some new "hybrid" engineered floors that can be floated over a concrete slab and come with a click (glueless) tongue and groove locking system.
What to I do to remove scratches in my wood floor?
This really depends on the type of wood floor you have, the finish you have and how deep the scratches are in the top layer. For small minor scratches in a urethane finish you should be able to order a touch-up kit from the store you purchased the flooring from. Be sure to use the manufacturer's recommended finish products and test first by applying a small amount in an out of the way area. For deep scratches you will probably have to have a professional do a screen and recoat. This is where they use special sanding screens to lightly abrade the floor's finish to help the new urethane bond better to the existing finish. With some wood floors you may be able to just replace the damaged boards. It is best to leave the sand and recoat, or board replacement to a professional flooring installer, or refinisher.
Can I install a hardwood floor if I have pets?
Although many homeowners have pets, hardwood flooring is not designed for the abuse a dog or cat can cause on a floor. Urine may permanently discolor the finish of the wood floor and large dogs' claws will probably leave scratches in the finish. The type of wood floor you buy, the color and the finish will also be factor in how much punishment the floor's finish can withstand before showing scratches and excessive wear.
Can an engineered wood floor be refinished?
Some of the better quality engineered wood floors have a 1/8" thick finish layer and can be sanded and refinished 1 or maybe 2 times. The sanding and refinishing of an engineered wood floor is best done by an experienced hardwood flooring refinisher. If you have heat vents in your floor you can remove a heat cover to get a side view of your wood floor. This will help you check to see how thick you finish layer is. Always consult with the manufacturer to see if the recommend sanding and refinishing of the engineered wood floors.
Can I use throw rugs on my hardwood floor?
Before using any throw rugs on your wood floor you should know the type of finish you have on the floor. All rugs should be non-staining, meaning the colored dyes will not bleed. Generally in the presence of moisture, some dyes used in rugs may bleed through onto your floor and discolor the wood floors surface. Also, be sure the rug does not have a rough backing material that may scratch the surface of the floor. Clean dirt and debris from under the rug regularly. To prevent possible shading of the wood underneath the rug, move the rug occasionally.
How do we stop a solid hardwood floor from expands and contracting?
Solid wood floors cannot be stopped completely. Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity. Using a humidifier during the heating months may help reduce the amount of gapping in solid wood floors. Also, some wood species may gap expand and contract less than others. Engineered wood floors are much more dimensionally stable than solid wood floors and will show little or no gaps between planks.
What should I use under furniture legs?
Most flooring stores carry the recommended felt pads for using under chair legs and other furniture. The felt pads come in various sizes. Some pads just stick on the bottom of the legs and others need to be nailed on. Never hit the pads directly with a hammer. Follow the directions provided with the pads. Check and clean the pads often to prevent debris, dirt and small particles from being trapped in the pad, which may cause scratches in the wood floor's finish.
What Kind of Wood Flooring Is the Most Durable?
There are numerous hardwoods out there that make for wonderful and durable floors. From the most durable wood in the hardwood family, Oak, Brazilian cherry, on down to maple, hardwood flooring has to hold up, especially with active families and their pets. Choosing a hardwood floor doesn't have to be difficult once you know what you want.
What are the benefits of hardwood flooring?
  1. Hardwood floors can add value to your home because of their beauty and durability.
  2. Hardwood offers a variety of grain patterns, natural color variations and the beauty of a natural material.
  3. Hardwood floors are easy to clean.
  4. Hardwood floors are ideal for allergy sufferers because they do not promote dust or harbor dust mites.
Can we install hardwood flooring in the basement?
No. It is highly recommended that you do not install hardwood floors. However, it is possible to install laminate flooring or engineered hardwood floors in these situations. Call us at 916-284-0239 to discuss some of these options available to you.
Can I apply a wax finish to my prefinished floors?
No. You should never apply wax finish to your surface type finishes.
What are the causes of floors squeaking?
Squeaks are normally caused when the sub floor is not properly screwed in place using ring-shank-screws or more commonly known as “deck screws”. If you ensure your sub-floor is properly fastened you should be able to eliminate squeaks.
Is it normal for my floor to change color?
Yes. Areas exposed to long periods of sunlight are more subject to color changes. Ultraviolet rays can impact many materials (cloth, paint, plastic, wood, PVC, etc) in your home and change their color. Wood does change color; it’s a natural phenomenon. Some wood species, such as American walnut, keep their original color longer than others. At the opposite end of the spectrum, American cherry changes color more quickly but is preferred by some for this reason. Dark-stained wood generally change color very little since the stain hides the natural color of the wood. From time to time, move the furniture and decorative rugs around your rooms to even out the wear on your floor. If color differences are visible, they will fade with time and eventually disappear.
Should I use unfinished or prefinished hardwood?
Both choices have their advantages. If you are trying to match to an existing hardwood floor, you may want to go with an unfinished floor so it can be stained to match. Prefinished floors are already finished which means you will get the convenience of not having to shut down the room while you finish the floor onsite.
What are some potential moisture problems I should look out for?
Cupping and crowning are caused when water is trapped between the wood floor and the subfloor. When this imbalance in moisture occurs, it is essential that the boards dry evenly; if not, cupping or crowning can appear.