What to Expect


Nature of hardwood floors

Bamboo RefinishHardwood flooring is a 100% natural product, so wood varies from one piece to another, each having variations in grain patterns and color. Expect variations as opposed to a uniform color. Although your new hardwood floor will be installed with the boards tightly together, as a natural product it will continue to absorb and expel moisture. This natural process will cause the floor to expand and contract from season to season. Nearly every floor endures some separation between boards because of humidity changes. In winter, when homes are heated and the air is dry, wood flooring gives up some of its moisture and therefore shrinks. When that happens, thin cracks appear between. Once the indoor heat goes off in the spring, and the indoor environment regains moisture, most of these cracks will close up. Cracks in winter-in the drier months- may develop to the thickness of a dime. This is a normal characteristic of wood flooring, and this will lesson but it never stops as the wood ages. Floors with light-stained woods and naturally light woods like maple tend to show cracks more than darker, wood-tone finished floors.

The Importance of Acclimation

The best way to reduce the amount of expansion and contraction is by letting your hardwood material acclimate before installation. Once your wood is delivered, we recommend approximately two weeks for acclimation. We also recommend that the heating system is operating for at least 48 hours before delivery to stabilize the moisture conditions of the interior. Between the time the floor is installed and the house occupied, the general temperatures within the house both day and night are likely to be lower, and the humidity higher, than they would be if the house were occupied. By having the heat operating, the floor can acclimate to its anticipated environment.

Finishing

For site-finished floors, the finished product will take approximately two weeks to completely cure once the final coat has been applied. Each coat of finish must dry for approximately 12-24 hours. There will be a strong smell present during the dry time, and a fainter smell will follow a few days after the final coat of finish. The finish will be soft and therefore easy to scratch and dent. You will want to be gentle with the floor. During this time, you may walk on your floor and even gently place furniture on it. However, do not install area rugs over your floor for at least two weeks, the rugs and the floor could be damaged as a result. You may notice small dust particles or slightly “rough” areas. This is normal and will wear out with normal use of the floor.

Maintenance Tips

Unlike most floor coverings, wood floors are a long-term investment that, correctly maintained, will last the lifetime of the home. The enjoyment of wood flooring depends on some routine but minimal maintenance details. These include:

Recoating

Depending on the traffic on the floor, most floors will need recoating at some point during the life of the floor. Before attempting a recoat, it is important to inspect the floor for wear, thus determining what steps will be necessary to refinish the floor. If the finish is worn to the point that the color of the wood is exposed, complete resanding and finishing is necessary. If the wear is not that severe, there are several options. Typically, a buffer is used with a screen, pad or other abrasive and the floor is recoated with polyurethane.

Note: Your floor will not be able to be recoated if you use oil soap or wax based cleaning products. If attempted, the finish can separate and leave an unsatisfactory coat.