How long does the process take?
On average, a job will take us two to five days to complete. Projects that are getting stained will usually take four to five days because of the dry times for water popping and the stain itself. On the other hand, most non-stain projects we can finish in two or three days, depending on size, any repairs needed, and if there are stairs involved. We will be able to give you a better estimate after looking at the job.
How bad is the smell?
This depends on the product being used. For most situations we recommend a water based polyurethane or hardening oil. Either of these products are not too troublesome to most clients. If your situation calls for an oil modified polyurethane (looking to match other wood, keeping cost as low as possible), there will be an odor. Also, if you're using a stain, there is an odor, but it dissipates pretty quickly.
Will I be able to stay in my home while the work is being done?
Most clients do remain in their homes during the refinishing process. Some have us come in while they are on vacation, which is a win-win. If you are not fortunate enough to have a vacation scheduled, staying home throughout the process becomes much easier if a water based polyurethane or penetrating oil is chosen, as these can generally be walked on 4-6 hours after they are put down and smell is not too much of an issue.
Do moldings have to come off?
They do not have to come off. Some people worry about seeing a lip after the floor sanding, but we have never encountered that problem. What we do tell customers though is that they may need some paint touch up on the molding afterwards from either a machine leaving a slight mark or, if it's a stain job, getting some stain on the molding.
Should painting be done before or after?
Painting should be done after. The best scenario is for the painter to do all the prep work before us, and final coats after. One reason is the one said above, moldings may need touch ups. Another is that it is easier to protect the floor than all the walls, moldings, etc. Just make sure your painter protects the floor and doesn't put any tape directly on the newly refinished floor.
Do you move furniture?
Generally we ask for the rooms to be empty for us when we arrive. We are not insured for moving furniture. If there are a few pieces you need a hand moving, we can help you out.
It's winter. What are these gaps in my floors?
Wood expands and contracts according to the humidity in the environment. This is why some doors may stick in the summer when the humidity is high. In the winter, around here, humidity is low and wood shrinks. This is why the gaps happen. Wood likes to stay between 35-55% humidity, so if this becomes a big issue, you may want to look into installing a whole home humidifier which should nullify the problem.
How long will my floors last?
When it comes to a newly installed, unfinished or prefinished floor, it should be able to be sanded 3-5 times, largely depending on how much wood is taken off by the people sanding the floor. With an engineered floor, it depends on the quality of the product and how much wear layer is on it. Some engineered floors, generally the cheaper ones, cannot be sanded at all. Some will have the same wear layer as normal unfinished and be able to be sanded 3-5 times. When it comes to how long a newly finished floor will last, there are many variables involved. These include wear, pets, the products used to finish the floor, how clean the floor is kept, and if you choose to get an occasional recoat.
How much will it cost?
Ahh the big question! Cost will obviously vary depending on the services required and products chosen. This is why it is best for us to come take a look at the job and discuss all the possible options. With that being said, if cost is your only deciding factor, we will most likely not be the choice for you. We strive on delivering value, and included in that is the investments we have made into training and machinery as well as using the right products and techniques that the circumstances call for. There is no doubt you could find somebody that's cheaper to come in and throw down two coats of polyurethane, but we redo jobs like that a lot and paying twice for the same job is never fun.