There are several ways floor owners can add a custom element of design or flare to a new wood floor installation for their home or business. Traditionally wood floor installers come in, set up shop, snap a straight line and start laying out floors in a single direction from beginning to end. Once installed, wood floors can last the life of the home with proper maintenance and through professional resurfacing and refinishing. Installed as is, wood floors exemplify walkable art so lets take a look at some ways you can install wood floors with a “wow” factor.
Site finished UV cured wood floors offer many benefits for businesses and high traffic homes. UV cured floors offer all the same advantages of water modified floor coatings with a few bonuses. These floor coating are 40% harder than any wood floor finish currently available. They dry extremely fast and are cured instantly with UV machines which means families can get back full control of their homes and businesses can open doors and resume traffic as usual the very next morning.
Business can hire a floor company to come in to resurface the floors at closing. If enough time is allocated the floors can be completed overnight and businesses can resume as normal but with newly resurfaced or refinished flooring.
Many prefinished or factory finished wood floors can be refinished with this new technology. If the wood flooring itself is still in optimal condition but the wear layer is dulling, fading or worn then the top coat can be abraded and pepped to allow for a new UV system to be applied on top. This will be a cost effective, less intense solution to a full resanding.
– White oak flooring above finished with waterbased floor finish in Central Falls, Rhode Island.
One of our favorite floor finishes to apply are water based or water modified floor finishes.
An excerpt from a highly regarded floor finish manufacturer’s website reads:
“It has been a misconception that waterborne finishes are not as durable as oil-modified finishes. In Taber test results, it is proven that waterborne finishes withstand the wear and tear of commercial and residential floors better than oil-modified finishes”
source – Bona Kemi
If you’ve ever had your floors finished in the past 15 years or so chances are they were top coated with older, outdated finishes such as oil based polyurethane, moisture cure and lacquer sealer. These were the norm finishes for floors during the building boom of the 70’s. They are extremely toxic to your health, to the refinishers and the environment. For example, if you use oil base polyurethane on your floors then it is advised you vacate the home elsewhere during refinishing and expect for hydrocarbons to evaporate into the air you are breathing for the next 30 days until the finish cures. Moisture cure is even worse, pilots have to be turned off in the home during refinishing as these outdated finishes can be highly flammable and combustible. Also these finishes require multiple coats that require at least 24 hours for additional in-between coats so most projects will require you to be out of the house for 3-4 days.
Waterborne finishes are quicker, safer, stronger and the wiser choice for refinishing wood floors today. These finish have higher chemical and scratch resistant properties. Keep in mind not all finishes are created equal and the best finishes are sold exclusively to registered flooring contractors and not available at your nearest paint shop or big box store. Even then your flooring contractor has the option for low end finishes to high end so it’s always advisable to ask to see exactly what brand is being used on your wood floor.
As the name implies these finishes are water based and dry extremely fast to the touch (30 minutes), oil based polyurethane on the other hand is a solvent based that takes 24 hours to dry before you can take a single step on it. Waterbase finishes have almost no odor and dry as the water evaporates from the finish leaving you floors protected where as the outdated finishes gas off a lingering fume that is offensive to your eyes, lungs and respiratory tract.
Here in Rhode Island and Massachusetts most of the floors that we go out and quote have been finishes previously with oil based polyurethane and by the time we are called the floors show extreme wear and tear form traffic, kids, cats, dogs and sun damage. Often times it takes very little effort to sand off the finish. It’s rare we encounter floors previously finished with waterborne finishes that need to be sanded and when we do it is quite labor intensive to remove the top layer as the coating is so strong.
Last winter here in Rhode Island and Massachusetts we broke records. We experienced some heavy snowfalls and wicked bad storms. The heavy snow really took it’s toll and uppped the wear and tear on many of our wood floors here in New England. We even had a few extensive repairs in which we had to rip out andreplace sections of wood floors in homes because of inconspicuous leaks that wreaked havoc. Some leaks were visible but many were not until the damage was too late.
Cleaning and maintaining wood floors is the most effective way to ensure your hardwoods will look great for years to come and hold up the the everyday wear and tear us New Englanders give to our floors. The number 1 investment would be a vacuum with a brush or soft felt head to catch all outside debris, gravel, dust etc. These particles fine or small latch on to socks, barefeet, soles and inevitabely create surface scratches. Second would be do pick up a wood floor cleaning spray, we highly recommend Bona Kemi floor cleaning spray and all it’s accessories:
We have seen a 25% increase this year alone in new hardwood floor installations over cement. Normally up here in Rhode Island and Massachusetts we encounter cement slabs or subfloors in resedential condominiums or commercial applications. Installing wood floors over a cement subfloors is a bit less forgiving than standard installations and selecting a quality grade of flooring is crucial as milling and tounge and groove construction have to be spot on to allow the boards to lock into place directly.
For almost a decade we have been resurfacing wood floors all across Providence, Rhode Island and the rest of the state. On every single resurfacing job we get to the point where we ask our customers, “what shine do you want for the final coat?” Some customers know exactly what they want, some are unsure and some are completely confused. This article should clear things up as we will go over the practicality of each sheen.
Area rugs are simply wonderful! They add a whole different element to the decor of the room in which they are in. From solids, to patterns to intricate textures and colors, it’s easy to stumble across a rug that just works.