Floor Refinishing

Once you have decided to have your hardwood floor refinished, you may wonder what the first step is. Sanding is usually the next step and commences with a belt sander or drum sander and an edger. The belt/drum sander does the center of the room while the edger does around the sides of the room. Snug spaces in corners and door trims get scraped by hand.

It is important to realize that not all hardwood floors are “sandable.” This is because if they have been sanded many times over the years, they may be too thin to sand again. We can determine this upon examination and also point out any areas of concern, such as stains that may not sand out or boards that should be replaced before sanding.

floor stain brush

Once the hardwood flooring is sanded the next step is the staining and finishing. The first coat is always the color selected and then the clear coating process, which usually takes 2 to 3 coats. Coating comes in different sheens – matte, satin, semi-gloss or high gloss.

After the finish is applied, we advise our customers to stay off your floors until they have had time to dry. The amount of time depends on the stain color and type of finish used. Normally dark colors take longer to dry than light colors and oil base finish takes longer to dry than water base.

Our Professional Floor Refinishing Process Begins with…

First and foremost, we sit down with the homeowners to discuss what the traffic is like in the room that needs refinishing, if there are any pets, and how glossy the homeowner wants the floors. This information will help determine such needs for the floor refinishing. We then do a thorough evaluation of the floors that need refinishing.

The best thing about most hardwood floors is that, as long as the floor is in good condition, we can easily change the color to stain any existing hardwood floor, even if they were stained in the past. The dedicated Long Island flooring professionals at E_M Custom Flooring & Installations work hard to give you the style of flooring that you would like at a price that you can afford. Depending on the finish chosen by the homeowner, the floor refinishing process is usually complete and ready to walk on the very next day.

If you’re considering replacing your hardwood floors because they are old and worn out, think again and give us a call. We may be able to save your existing floors – it doesn’t matter if they are light or dark, wide plank or thin, we can make your existing hardwood floors new again!

Oil-Based vs. Water-Based Polyurethane

While both oil and water-based polyurethanes protect the wood from damage, there are some differences between them.

Both products are durable, but a quality brand of water-based poly, such as Bona, will last longer if it is well taken care of.

An oil-based polyurethane will darken over time, while a water-based poly will remain clear for the lifespan of the hardwood floor. It’s important to keep in mind that only one coat of oil-based poly can be applied to a hardwood floor in 24 hours, which means a much longer drying time. However, with a water-based poly, several coats can be applied in one day and drying time is much faster.

When applying oil-based poly, we advise our clients to leave their home and to also remove their pets from the house. This is because oil-based poly has a strong chemical odor that can be harmful to inhale. On the other hand, water-based poly has almost no odor and is safe for people and pets to be in the house while it’s being applied and drying.

When it comes to thickness, water-based poly is a thinner, but harder coating so we recommend 3 coats if going with this product. This is especially important if you have pets as water-based poly is more susceptible to surface scratching. Oil based poly is a thicker and softer poly so 2 coats are sufficient as a minimum.


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