Seattle’s Hardwood Flooring Installation and Refinishing Experts

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 How do I care for my new hardwood flooring?


    To ensure the full benefit of the warranties and to extend the beauty of your new hardwood flooring for the many years to come, we recommend the following steps to be considered:

    Use floor mats at all entrances to keep dirt and moisture from being tracked. Mats and area rugs should be slip resistant with backing that will not scratch your floor.

  

   To prevent scratches and dents, install felt floor protectors under furniture legs. Use soft rubber casters for rolling furniture. You can visit www.castercity.com for a variety of hardwood friendly office chair casters.

    

   Hard plastic chair casters will damage the finish on your floor.

    

   Avoid high heels or shoes that need repair. Even a woman of average built with spike heels, can exert 2000 psi when she takes a step. Oak’s hardness is 1280 on Janka scale. Some types of high heel shoes can severely damage your hardwood floor.

   

   A healthy humidity level at 35 – 55%. Humidity control is highly recommended. To reduce excessive shrinkage of your wood floors in the winter a humidifier is recommended.

    

   Sweep and vacuum your floor regularly – do not let dirt or grit build up on your floors. Never clean your hardwood floors with water. Never use products such as, soaps, detergents and oil soaps, vinyl or tile floor care for hardwood cleaning.

     

   When needed , spray a fine mist of hardwood floor cleaner on the floor, that is specified for polyurethane coated hardwood floors, and wipe it dry with a micro fiber cloth. Hardwood floor clears are available at flooring stores and most hardware stores.

    

    Never wet mop your hardwood floor and never use wax.

    

    Remove wear spills or other liquid spills immediately.

    

    Keep pet nails trimmed regularly.

    

    Keep potted plants of the floor.

    

    Please note: Exposure to sunlight and its UV rays will cause the floor to darken somewhat – depending on the wood species. This is a normal process. We recommend re-arranging rugs and furniture periodically, so the floor ages evenly.

   

    Some exotic wood may also change in color. This is a desired and natural process and needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing exotic hardwood flooring.

    

    Also protect your floor from direct sun light and the extreme heat it comes with in the summer. It will cause your floor to fade.


    Why Real Hardwood ?

    Real Hardwood flooring offers many well-known advantages.

    It’s surface can be renewed its color changed numerous times.

    It is the only type of flooring that will add structural strength to your house.

    It’s natural, beautiful, warm, and easy to maintain.

    It costs about as much as other quality floor coverings, but it lasts dozens of years.

    It also creates a healthy environment, minimizing the risks of dust allergies.

    Available in many styles with a wide variety of features, hardwood flooring can complement any decor.


A real hardwood floor enhances a home’s interior and adds much to its resale value. Take the time to compare the many possible floor coverings and consider their benefits over the long term. Think about the feel you want to give your home. Avoid imitations – especially wood-look laminates. Natural is beautiful! Above all, choose wood for your home because you love its warm, classical beauty.

Why choose Unfinished flooring over Pre-finished flooring?

Unfinished hardwood will have a square edge, you can customize the color or sheen of the finish. It can be installed over an imperfect sub-floor, that can not be easily leveled. You can re-coat this type of floor after years of use and bring its looks back to life without having to refinish it. When you see signs of wear like dullness of the top coat, and scuff marks everywhere, a light buffing and one or two new coats of finish will restore the look of your floor. Never let the finish wear completely out. When that happens exposed wood will get dirty and coating over it will not make it go away. You will need to refinish the floor.


Solid or engineered pre-finished hardwood will have either a micro bevel or a full bevel edge. This type of edge is used to help level minor disparities between hardwood flooring pieces especially if there is a height difference between two pieces. Some manufacturers add an eased edge to both the length of the planks as well as the end joints. When you look at a pre-finished floor you will see the contour of every single board. If this floor gets scratched or scuffed, it can not be re-coated. You need to refinish it. I refinished Kitchen floors with this type of floors that were 5 -6 years old. You also need a very flat sub-floor. Milling imperfections create gaps that can’t be filled, boards that are slightly higher than the rest of the floor, because of imperfections in the sub floor can not be sanded flat.

When should I have my floor refinished?

If your hardwood floors are dull, worn or scratch spot areas begin to appear.

What is the difference between Re-coats and Full Sanding?

Re-coats involves abrading/screening the old finish on the existing floor making it compatible for applying another layer of new finish. Minor surface scratches and marking from moving furniture can be usually be removed however deep scratches or impressions would probably not be removed and a Full Sanding would work best.

Full Sanding involves removing all the old layers of finish.

What Happens With Dust?

The Re-coat process is dust free.


The Full Sanding process is 99% dust containment. Most of the dust is extracted through a vacuum system and we always take the extra step of cleaning once the work is done.

What if my hardwood floors have carpet over it?

Don’t be surprised to find pet stains or other similar stains in the hardwood floor. Most of the dirt, grime and stains can be removed.

Pet Stains?

In some cases pet stains can be removed with sanding, only if the stain has not penetrated deep inside to wood.

Damaged beyond sanding?

If wood floors have significant damage such as they are rotten then the wood boards would need to be replaced.


What does wall to wall carpeting do to your living environment ?

(The are many issues with wall to wall carpeting; some of them, see below, were well described by the informed people at “One earth one design“)

    Wall-to-wall carpeting is one of the most unhealthy flooring materials for many reasons. Many of the components that make up carpeting can outgas a variety of chemicals into the air for a long period of time. Off-gassing or out-gassing refers to the release of gases during the life of a material. Many of these gases are considered toxic to many people as well as the environment. Heat and sunlight can increase the off-gassing rate.

    The components of carpet are: face fibers (the top surface of the carpet), the primary backing (what the fibers are bonded to), and the secondary backing (which provides added strength and endurance, and can be a special padding or moisture barrier layer. Off-gassing can occur from the chemicals used to make the fibers of the carpet itself, the backing systems used, finishing processes (including stain resistance and moth proofing), and the adhesives used in attaching the backing systems to the carpet or in the installation process. The padding used may also cause out-gassing. It is very difficult to find a carpet and pad manufactured with non-toxic materials, and we are lucky to have found a wall-to-wall carpet, which is featured on this web site.

    Another major problem with wall-to-wall carpeting is the cleaning process. It is impossible to remove all the soil and allergens that accumulate in carpet through daily vacuuming. Inefficient filters in vacuums can cause the dust and allergens to become airborne. Any damp cleaning method can allow mold, mildew, and dust mites to inundate the carpet. Some people may be sensitive to the shampoos used. Some professional cleaners may add insecticides or fungicides, which are toxic. A central vacuum system is a good alternative. These systems are built into the walls and have an exhaust pipe that releases the dust outside. This system will eliminate the fine particles that can pass through the vacuum bags and release into your home.

    To attain a truly healthy home, wall-to-wall carpeting should be avoided. There are wonderful alternatives to wall-to-wall carpeting. If you can install a hard surface floor – wood, cork, tile, linoleum, bamboo, etc. you can simply ad natural fiber area rugs. These types of rugs are generally much easier to clean and are available in a variety of styles and patterns. There are several people who prefer carpet and prior to purchasing should become an informed buyer. It is important to find out the materials used in each component. The process to manufacture the product. Stain proofing or moth proofing treatments which may have been applied, installation methods required and recyclability.

    Environmental impacts include the amount of fossil fuel required to produce carpet, transportation of the carpet, and disposing of carpet into landfills. 1.8 million tons of carpet and rugs are disposed of in landfills each year. Some carpet manufacturers have initiated a recycling program. The cost to the client has prevented many people from participating in these programs. Many manufacturers are using a percentage of recycled content. While this feature is good for the environment, it may still release toxins and be unsafe for people.

Is moisture affecting hardwood flooring?

Wood flooring is a natural product that responds to humidity variations by expanding and contracting. Sometimes these changes may be noticeable. During warm and humid summers wood expands. During dry weather wood contracts. This seasonal movement is normal for wood flooring. The best way to reduce such movement or to prevent it completely is by installing humidity controls and making sure that they function before flooring is installed.

In the winter time when homes are heated and the air is dry, wood flooring gives up some of its moisture and contracts as a result. When this happens, thin gaps can appear between planks. This is normal, and a homeowner should be prepared for it to occur. Once indoor heating is turned off in the spring and humidity levels rise again, most of the gaps will close up.

To avoid these separations, try to control and monitor air humidity levels during the dry season by installing a humidifier in the furnace or bringing a movable humidifier into the room that has good air circulation. Optimal humidity level falls in 45-60% range. As long as humidity does not fall lower than 45%, no gaps at all will appear between the planks. Installing a simple humidity meter will allow you to monitor and control humidity levels in your home all year round.

During warm and humid summers when indoor humidity can rise up to 90%, the opposite occurs. Wood absorbs moisture from the air and expands as a result. Even just a few days of exposure to high humidity can cause wood flooring to cup. When a wooden board cups, its edges are higher than its center. Cupping can also happen when spilled water is absorbed by the wood. Once cupping has occurred, it takes a while for the wood to restore its internal moisture and flatten out.

When extensive moisture or humidity causes the wood to expand significantly, adjoining boards start pressing against each other. In extreme cases, this increased pressure can cause the affected boards to lose their structural integrity and crack. To avoid cupping, keep indoor humidity level in your home or job site (prior to hardwood installation) within 45-60% range. Never allow indoor humidity to rise over 65%. Maintain optimal humidity levels by keeping air conditioner or dehumidifier running during hot humid summer weather.