Helpful Tips for Floor Refinishing

How long does it take to refinish my floor?  How can I expedite the drying process?  These and more questions are answered below by simply clicking on the plus sign (+) which opens the dialogue box.

What should I do to prepare for the day my floors are going to be sanded?
  • Take your pet to a friend’s house or keep them locked in another area of the house.
  • If you remove carpet yourself, be careful not to damage the wood.
  • Remove all of the furniture from the room and empty the closets.
  • Remove all pictures or art work from the walls, as the machines are heavy and they vibrate.
  • Remove or cover drapes.
  • Keep the temperature warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Do not turn off air conditioning or heating systems.
Can I stay at home while my hardwood floors are being refinished?

It is possible to stay at home during the restoration process.  The polyurethane does emit an odor, which some people find too strong and unpleasant to stay in the home.  Generally, opening the window slightly will help air out the room.  The floors cannot be walked on while drying.  If the room cannot be avoided we suggest you find an alternate place to stay during the process.

Will my home be dusty after sanding?

Our machines have bags that collect most of the dust, but there will need to be some clean up after we finish.  We will hang plastic and vacuum the floors of the rooms we sand.  Conti Oak Floor Refinishing also utilizes the Dust Containment System which significantly reduces the amount of dust left from sanding.  The Dust Containment System reduces dust by about 97%.

How often should I refinish my floors and how many times can my floor be sanded?

A hardwood floor is typically ¾” thick, and therefore can undergo about 10 standard refinishes before the floor is compromised. The average floor will need to be refinished about every 12 years, depending on the wear and tear your floor sees with daily traffic. Sometimes a buff and coat will be sufficient enough to restore some shine to your floor.

I thought my floor could be recoated, but now I’m hearing it needs to be resanded. What does this mean? and how do you know?

Recoating means lightly abrading the surface and putting a new coat of finish on it. Resanding means sanding the floor down to bare wood and starting over — a much longer and more involved process. Assess how much finish is left on your floor. If there are bare spots where there isn’t any finish, you can’t just recoat. Your floor would have to be resanded. If you want your floor to look new, you will need to have it resanded. If you can live with seeing some scratches, dents, or other damage to the floor, recoating is the way to go. Be aware, though, that recoating can seem to highlight the imperfections that are left in the floor.

What will screening my floor accomplish over sanding and refinishing?

Screening, or buffing, the floor will only remove light marks caused by normal wear and tear. Once the floor is screened (lightly sanded) it will be coated with a coat of polyurethane. It usually takes one day to screen and recoat a hardwood floor. Screening will not remove deeper scratches and indentations. Screening will not help a floor that has been worn down to the stain. In these cases, the floor should be completely sanded and refinished.

How long will it take to have my hardwood floors refinished?

The average refinishing is a two-day process. Two coats of commercial-grade, oil-based polyurethane are applied, allowing 24 hours between each coat. More time may be needed if you request any additional coats, if the job is atypically large or if environmental factors stall drying time. Staining a floor could add additional time as well.

What is the best way to expedite the drying process?

Leave the air conditioner or heat on, and turn fans on after the finish is applied.

After my floors are refinished, how long should I wait before walking on or placing furniture on them?

Typically, 24 hours after the last coat is applied your floors should be dry enough to walk on and place furniture on. Even though the floors are dry, it will take the finish about 21 days to fully cure. Wait at least 10 days before you place any area rugs down.

Should I expect color variations in my hardwood floor?

Yes. Wood is a product of nature. It will include visible variations from board to board. No two boards are ever the same.

Will my dog ruin my hardwood floor?

Keep your dogs’ nails trimmed and watch for wear over the years. Have your floors recoated when you begin to notice wear. Make sure your pets are housebroken. Pet urine is acidic and will damage the natural color of the wood flooring if it is not cleaned up immediately, leaving a black stain that does not sand out.

Why are there gaps between the boards in my hardwood floor?

During the summer months, there is a lot of humidity in the air.  Your hardwood floor expands. In the winter months, with the furnace on, the floor dries out and starts to gap.

I have a squeak in my hardwood floor. Can I put baby powder in the squeak?

Putting talcum powder in the small gaps around squeaking boards may be a short-term fix, although you run a risk of contaminating the floor for future recoats.