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You probably want to know, before you even start looking for a company that can refinish your hardwood floors, what steps they take to ensure a professional appearance and a 5-star service. All hardwood flooring companies do not use the same products or materials. Research the available products and services to ensure the company you choose to refinish your hardwood floor offers the type of products and services you desire.

Step 1: Remove the old finish

Quality companies have a large sander that has a vacuum system for dust collection. The amount of dust in your home will be greatly reduced by using this system. A hand sander is also used around the perimeter and small or difficult areas.

This first step is vital. The stain or finish will not adhere properly if the floor isn’t properly sanded. Once the finish is applied, any deep scratches, lines or swirls made by an inexperienced sander are visible. While homeowners can rent sanders for DIY projects, it is sometimes best to leave it up to the professionals.

Aluminum Oxide is a common finish on pre-finished wood floors. This type of finish is three times more difficult to remove than regular finishes. A flooring expert who is qualified will know immediately if the finish you have on your floor is Aluminum Oxide and will price your project accordingly.

Step 2: Staining your floor

This step can be skipped if you’re going to use a natural flooring.

Your hardwood specialist can tell you what color stain originally was used and will usually be able achieve the exact same color. Remember that many stain colors will fade or become less vibrant over time. This is especially true if the floor has been exposed to direct sunlight for several consecutive hours. This phenomenon is known as “ghosting”. The same color will not match exactly (or due to other factors) if ghosting has taken place.

Your flooring professional can stain a small area of your existing floor to compare the different colors.

Your flooring specialist may recommend “water popping” the floor before staining it if you have a harder wood, such as maple or oak. The process of water popping involves spraying the wood with a light amount of water in order to allow it to open its grain. This allows the wood grain accept the stain more easily and provides a uniform and consistent color. It is a cost that your flooring contractor will add to the bid.

Step 3: Finish Coatings

The floor finish is highly flammable. Before applying the finish, your hardwood flooring professional must extinguish any pilot lights in the oven or furnace. They will also ask that the pilot light be turned off for at least 24 hours following the application of the finish.

The finish is very potent chemically and can irritate the eyes and nose. The flooring professional will open windows during and after the application of the finish to ensure maximum ventilation. Consider having your hardwood sanded, refinished and finished while on vacation. You can also stay at a relative’s or hotel during the application.

Professionals use a variety of finishes every day. The company that applies the finish will usually determine the type of finish used. We’ll tell you why we have favorites.

Acid-Based Finishes

For most residential projects, we recommend the satin-finish. If the client prefers a more commercial-looking finish, gloss and semi gloss options are also available.

Water Born Finishes

A water-based finish is designed to withstand heavy commercial traffic. Over time, it helps to resist scratches from dog nails and other sharp objects. We apply two coats by default, but you can request a third.

Oil Based Finishes

Oil-based finishes are never used. Both in terms of cost and quality, these finishes are inexpensive. These finishes do not last over time. You have spent (or plan to spend) an enormous amount of money refinishing hardwood floors. This refinish should last at least 8 years if it is properly maintained. Do not allow a cheaper finish to be used and reduce the time. Oil-based finishes are often offered by hardwood flooring companies because they’re cheap. They hope you’ll return to them sooner rather than later for a re-coat, or a full refinish. Ask for the type of finish used when you receive a quote so that you can make an educated decision.

For the best experience in sanding, refinishing, and finishing your hardwood floors in Utah, ensure that your hardwood flooring specialist has a dust-containment system, and is knowledgeable in how to properly sand a hardwood surface. Ask about the stain you want and ask if they will show you different stain options in your house. You can be assured that your project will last for years to come if they use only the highest quality finishes. Last but not least, make sure you take good care of your floor by using the best cleaner for hardwood floors to maintain that “new look” over many years.

Do you want us to give you an estimate to sand your hardwood flooring and refinish it? Call Walk on Wood now.