Frequently Asked Questions
Floor Sanding and Refinishing
Q. What is the procedure to sand wood floor?
A. Floors are sanded with course - medium and fine grit sand paper.
Q. How may coats of finish will I receive when refinishing hardwood floors?
A. We always include 3 coats of floor finish.
Q. Does 4 coats of floor finish make the surface more durable?
Q. We're remodeling...Which should be finished first...The Painting or the Hardwood Floor Refinishing?
A. Not always, in fact it could make the surface softer. Premium finishes will always be better than low cost finishes, but even the best floor finish is supported by the wood itself.
Oak Flooring is harder than any floor finish available. When the finish on the surface becomes too thick by adding too many coats, the finish becomes softer because it loses its support from the wood.
Using the human body as an example: When we eat too much, excess fat accumulates around our skeleton and muscles….We become soft and less rigid. If someone is trying to sell you 4+ coats of something, it’s probably because they are using cheaper products, and are relying on the multiple coat theory to sell you an inferior job, so beware!
If you are installing new floor and read about pre-finished flooring having 7 or 9 coats UV cured, this is acceptable because the coats are sprayed during the finishing process in the factory and are much, much thinner. The overall thickness of the finish is not going to exceed the point where it will start losing its hardness.
A. The floor sanding and refinishing
should be completed before painting; however some painters are going
to tell you the opposite. Some of my customers tell me the painter is
worried about getting paint on the new floor. This doesn’t sound
professional! Once a painter knows you're going to be refinishing hardwood floors,
he's got the green light to go as fast as he can to maximize profit.
He knows it doesn't matter if paint splatter gets on the floor because
it will be removed by the floor sanding.
Q. Will I need paint touch up after the hardwood floor refinishing?
A. Probably yes, but not always. When we sand the
edges (perimeter of the room) the machine rubs up against the base
molding. It's the only way we can get right up to it. The machine is
stainless steel and leaves a mark on the paint. Also, when we are
staining, we first use a brush and very carefully cut in. But when the
excess stain is removed with rags, they become soiled and also rub up
against the painted molding leaving a residue of stain behind. It can't
be avoided and is why we recommend doing the floors prior to painting.
In situations where the moldings are stained and finished there is no
problem. Finger, hand prints on walls is also an occurrence that
is unavoidable. We are not responsible for paint ouch ups.
Q. Will I need to remove the base and shoe molding before refinishing floors?
A. No. Some people ask me this because they think it’s necessary to sand under it. This is not true, and you won’t see a sanding ridge in front of it when we are finished.
Q. My garbage hauler doesn't take the debris left behind from my job; does Bob Sidoti Floors cart it away?
A. No. Garbage is rarely a problem, but does
sometimes exist. Unless prior arrangements are made with us all debris
is left at the curb or wherever you designate. If the situation does
exist we have found it to be less expensive for you to TIP your garbage
man, than to pay us to cart it to a dump.
Q. What is the difference between Latex and Water-based finishes?
A. Nothing, Latex is a term used to describe a water-based product. They are one in the same.
Q. What is the difference between oil based and water based finish?
A. Oil based is the dinosaur and has a proven track
record. However, the finish ambers with time, requires a lot more
drying time and emits a strong vapor, which is not only unhealthy but
contributes to the depletion of the earth’s ozone. The product has also
been reformulated to comply with EPA laws and is significantly
different than the once reliable choice. Rumor has it that soon;
all solvent based finishes will be non-compliant with the states V.O.C.
Laws making them illegal to use. Water based or commonly called latex
has evolved into an excellent alternative. They are non-yellowing,
non-toxic, and environmentally safe and dry very quickly. Water based
floor finishes developed a bad reputation in the early stages of
development however; today's high-end water based finishes are
excellent and challenge even the best of oil based. In my home I used
Q. How many days will refinishing hardwood floors take?
A. It really depends on the size of the job and how many men I have working there. The average floor refinishing job (750 sq ft) usually takes only 1 day (sometimes 2) to complete.
Q. How long does it take for the finish to dry so that I may walk on the floor?
A. Water-based/latex finishes dry very fast enabling
us to triple coat in 1 day. The 3rd (final) coat takes about 4
hours before the floor can be walked on, while oil based finishes are
very inconvenient taking 1 day per coat.
Q. Why do some floor refinishing contractors I've spoken to tell me that they will need a week to complete the wood floor refinishing?
A. I really don't know, I assume it's because they
are using oil based polyurethane, work by themselves, or don’t know
what they’re doing!! When you hire Bob Sidoti Floors, you can expect a professional floor refinishing crew!
Q. Can I schedule floor sanding and refinishing over the weekend?
A. Yes. Keep in mind we schedule our work on a 1st commitment basis.
Q. Does dustless floor refinishing really exist?
A. With Bob Sidoti Floors it does!! In order to be dustless, you must utilize a dust containment system. Our vacuum sales division www.vac-max.com sells the equipment nationwide. Be sure that your contractor has made the proper investment in dustless floor refinishing
equipment before you make an investment in him. Only dust containment
systems are dustless. There is no such thing as dustless machine.
Q. Should I stain my floor or finish it natural?
A. Ultimately the decision is yours. We believe all wood should be stained because it seals better & enhances its beauty. Wood Floor Staining is not an upgrade and doesn’t cost more. If your decor supports a natural finish, we will be happy to accommodate you.
Q. Will Bob Sidoti Floors show me stain color samples?
A. Experience has taught us to stay away from samples
because they are deceiving. A stain color may look different on your
floor than it does on the sample; and is because wood is unique unto
itself. We prefer that you CLICK HERE
to view a Minwax color chart; pick 3 colors you want us to bring to
your home the day of the job, and we will show you your stain choices
directly on your floor. By this - What you see is what you get! And
there is no mistake.
Q. Can new floors be stained to match the existing floor color?
A. No. Old floors change color as they age. The process is called oxidation. Not only does the wood amber with age, but the finish also, making it impossible. The best way to visualize this is to think of an old newspaper compared to a new one. Many times stain colors are close, but often they don’t match. The only way to insure all your wood floors are the same in color, sheen level and texture…Is to do them all at the same time. Bob Sidoti Floors will make recommendations but ultimately the decision is the responsibility of the homeowner.
Q. Will Bob Sidoti Floors collect a deposit when scheduling a job?
A. Not always. If you are scheduling with
us online and through the phone…We sometimes collect a deposit when
our schedule is tight, and you need us to hold a day. If you are asking
us to physically come out to your home to measure your floors;
requiring our time and traveling expenses we will collect a $250.00
deposit…In home estimates are not necessary, as we can give an accurate
estimate over the phone! Please be aware that deposits are not
Q. Can my stairs be finished to match my floors?
A. Yes. Stair treds only (no backs or sides) and should be completed at the same time as the hardwood floor refinishing.
Q. I ripped up my carpet and found black spots - what are they?
A. They are probably pet stains, but can also be water. The fact is that nobody can tell you if floor sanding will remove them until you physically try with a professional floor sanding machine.
Q. Will bleach remove pet stains from my floor?
A. Absolutely not! If stains cannot be sanded out – a wood floor repair must be made by replacing the affected boards.
Q. I have to be able to walk on my floors to get to my bathroom/bedroom. What do I do?
A. Latex (water based) floor finish dries in approximately 4 hours and is the perfect solution.
Q. Does Bob Sidoti Floors remove carpet?
A. Yes, on a room basis charge. Stairs are extra.
Q. Does Bob Sidoti Floors move furniture?
A. No, we are insured as wood floor contractors only,
but we will asset you with heavy items; or you may want to contact our
furniture moving service list on this site.
Q. Are Pre-finished floors better than un-finished ones?
A. NO - Pre-finished floors are more convenient
because there is no sanding & on-site finishing. They have
excellent manufacturer's warranties. Unfinished floors are typically
used in new construction.
Q. How long should the flooring be allowed to acclimate to the house before installation?
A. Freshly milled flooring usually has moisture
content between 6% - 9%, and requires 3 days in the area of
installation to acclimate.
Q. Is 3/4" flooring always better than thinner engineered flooring?
A. NO - 3/4" thickness flooring was made to be
installed directly over floor joists as a structural element. Todays
cross laminated engineered floors provide a more stable floor, keeping
expansion & contraction to a minimal.
Q. How is wood floor graded?
A. Depending on the type of flooring, it is usually graded from clear being the best - to #2 common, known as a rustic grade. CLICK HERE for an example.
Q. Do hardwood floors need allot of maintenance?
A. No, if maintained properly wood floors will
perform excellent for years. Never use cleaning solutions that may
leave a residual film behind. Cleaning oils, soaps, one step mop &
shines, etc. will ruin your finish! At Bob Sidoti Floors we recommend
the Bona Floor Care System.