Category Archives: Refinish

When should I refinish hardwood floors?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell for sure that your floors needs to be refinished now or next year. It makes sense to keep floors as is for a while to save some money, but you have to be careful with that. What may happen is floors get buckled or darken too much to get that new look back. Let’s go over few things to help you distinguish when you can wait or not.

First of all, let’s go to the basics. Floor finish protects wood from damages like:

  • Dirt, which can get into wood deep enough to damage its structure
  • Water, which can leave dark stains. In general it’s impossible to tell for sure how deep water has penetrated. From our experience, 10% of the cases are unpredictable and 90% of the cases can be predicted with 80-90% chance of guessing.
  • Moisture, which doesn’t change color of material but makes it cup or buckle.

Based on these facts, here is what you want to avoid:
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When Should I Consider Refinishing My Hardwood Floors?

In this day and age, “out with the old and in with the new” is all too common. And while that may work and be true for many things, when it comes to hardwood floors, we believe in cherishing them and making the best of what you have. Unfortunately, we know that once in a while, you might have to totally replace a hardwood floor.

However, today we’re going to focus on refinishing your hardwood floors and determining when you should consider getting your hands (or ours) “dirty”! Read More When Should I Consider Refinishing My Hardwood Floors?

Oil-based vs water-based finish

“What’s the difference between oil-based and water-based finish” is one the most common question among homeowners that plan to install or refinish hardwood floors. These two finishes have major differences and should be discussed in detail. We will do side-by-side comparisons here to get better idea about the two.

Let’s start from a look:


  • Oil-based materials have a warm, yellowish color. Once applied, they make hardwood stand out more and make the entire room look warmer. Oil-based finishes tend to darken with time, so we always recommend moving furniture once in a while. In general, you can see some differences a couple years after application. Once applied, any color stain will saturate and deepen a color. If white stain is applied, a dull yellowish color is the result.
  • Water-based material has a white to transparent color. The final result looks a bit dull but more constant throughout the entire floor. If your hardwood has a lot of shades due to knots or material character, water-based material would cover some of them for you. If used with any stain, final result is more dull. It is recommended that water-based stain be used only with light or white stains. Latex (water-based material) also has better UV protection, but still can be affected by strong direct light – it tends to fade with time.

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Wood Sanding and Finishing

Hardwood Refinish

By hardwood refinishing we understand sanding of old hardwood and applying new coats of finish on it. Hardwood can be finished with polyurethane, paint or latex. The main point of hardwood finishing is to add protection layer to it. Wood itself is pretty exposed to water or dirt damages. Water damage can leave huge black stains on the wood. Those stains are hard to remove. It’s almost impossible to determine if water did go deep enough or it’s just a top surface damage. That is why not all the wood refinishers can guarantee water damage stain removal by sanding. The most confident way to remove water-damage stains is to replace wood boards (if possible) with new ones. In other hand dirt damage is easier to remove since it doesn’t penetrate in to the hardwood.

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