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FAQs

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The work that was done to our floors was excellent. They added new oak wood floors to an existing 50 year floor and can’t tell a difference. Excellent company. I highly recommend this company.

- Luis M. in Alexandria, VA Alexandria, VA July 27, 2016

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What is Dustless Refinishing?

Dustless wood floor refinishing refers to a method of sanding the floor utilizing dust containment equipment. Dust containment equipment consists of a vacuum that is hooked up directly to the sanding equipment to capture the dust. Regardless of how good or new the equipment is, there is no way to completely capture all the dust associated with sanding a floor.

Main floor sanding is normally done with a continuous belt machine. This machine can be hooked up to a vacuum system or can simply collect the dust in a filtered bag; either way, this sanding method is not creating the bulk of the dust.

The most dust is created when using edgers on stairs or around the perimeter of the floor. Edgers spin in a circular motion thus throwing out wood dust into the air as it moves along the floor. Most new edgers are capable of being hooked up directly to a vacuum system, which greatly reduces the amount of dust that becomes airborne. The buffer also moves in a circular motion and should also be hooked up directly up to a vacuum system.

What is Sandless Refinishing?

Traditionally, sandless wood floor refinishing is meant to buff & coat your floors. This is a process where your floors are vacuumed clean, and then the existing finish on your floor is buffed prior to another layer of finish being applied directly over the area that was buffed. This method is great to smooth out minor surface scratches and to add another protective layer on your floors. This method will not take out scratches that have penetrated the wood surface and will not change the color of your floors. In fact, in some cases it can actually darken areas on the floor that have moisture discoloration. This method is generally not recommended on prefinished floors.

We have recently seen so-called “sandless” wood floor refinishing companies come into the marketplace. These companies have been claiming to have the latest and greatest method in the wood floor refinishing arena. Be careful to manage your expectations when going down this route. We have found that many of these methods utilize wet mopping or stripping your floors, then applying acrylic finishes that have water base stains added to alter the color of your floor. This can be a problem because scratches are not being addressed and the wood is not being stained. It becomes a big problem when the new finish doesn’t bond with the existing finish or the new finish becomes scratched and the old floor color shows through. Many of these sandless companies play on unfounded fears of carcinogenic effects from floor sanding to get in the door. Buyer beware.

How many days will it take to refinish wood flooring?

Although every refinishing project is unique, the sequence of events is similar: Sanding * Staining * Coating.

The time frame to complete each project can vary for many reasons: removal of existing flooring, unseen damage to existing wood flooring, adding stairs/rails to be refinished, the square footage of the project, the color stain, use of oil base vs. water base, etc. During the time of the estimate, our estimator will tell you the number of days needed.

What’s the difference between oil base polyurethane and water base polyurethane?

Oil base polyurethane adds a rich, amber tone due to its golden blond color. Drying time is 7-8 hours; the finish is durable and has a moderate odor when drying.

Water-based finishes can be fast drying, non-yellowing, have very little odor, offer great durability and can give your floor an excellent look. Drying time is 2-3 hours; to be easily coated 2-3 times in a day.

Can I match new hardwood flooring with my existing hardwood flooring?

Yes, our estimator will identify the existing wood flooring material during the estimate. New unfinished material will be installed, sanded, stained and coated to match the existing.

Should we paint first or refinish the wood floors first?

It is our recommendation to refinish the wood floors first. Although the equipment used is dust contained, it captures only about 98%. Therefore, there will be minimal dust in the air and on walls. There is the possibility that walls and woodwork will be touched in the process with the use of oversized equipment and extension cords rubbing against the baseboards. PHF takes every precaution to prevent this from happening; but if it does, touch up will be your responsibility. For Refinishing projects, do not use any tape, including painter’s tape, on the finish. When removing the tape, it could damage the polyurethane.

What can we do with the furniture?

For wood flooring installation, it is possible that large pieces of furniture remain in the room. As the floor is installed, the furniture can be relocated from side to another. For wood flooring refinishing, all furniture must be removed. For large pieces of furniture, discuss with PHF estimator.

How soon after for the floor is refinished can I put the furniture back?

Furniture can be placed back the day after the floors have been refinished. We recommend that rugs remain off the floor for at least 72 hours after floors have been refinished.

Can I stay in the house while the work is being done?

Yes for both hardwood installation and refinishing. Be prepared for loud noise and banging throughout the project. For refinishing, be prepared for fumes from stain and polyurethane. These fumes are non-toxic for people and animals. However, use your discretion for staying in the home during the project.

How do I select my stain color?

After the sanding process is complete, the crew leader will request your time to select a stain color. Stain colors, of your choice, will be applied to a small sanded area. This will allow you to see how your wood will take the stain.

Do I need to remove the existing shoe molding?

No, removing the existing shoe molding is included in the price of hardwood installation and refinish.

Do you refinish hand rails and posts?

Yes, our service does include refinishing stair hand rails, baseplates, scotia molding and posts. When requested, these areas are priced separate from refinishing staircase.

How should I clean my floors?

It is our recommendation to use Bona Hardwood Cleaner. Our customers are provided a Care and Maintenance Guide. Please see our Care & Maintenance page for more information.