Oil-based vs water-based finish

This question is the most common question we have among homeowners that plan to install or refinish their hardwood floo r. These two finishes have major differences and should be discussed in details. We will do side to side comparison here to get better idea about two.

Lets start from the look:

  • Oil-based material has yellowish warm color. Once applied, it makes hardwood to stand out more and make entire room look warmer. Oil-based finish tend to darken with time, so we always recommend to move furniture once in a while. In general you can see some differences couple years after application. Once applied with any(except white stain) color stain, it saturates and deepens a color. If you apply it with white stain, you would get dull yellowish color.
  • Water-based material has white to transparent color. 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 gets way more dull. It is recommended to use water-based stain 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 out with time.

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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 safe 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 which will help you to 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 how deep water got in for sure. 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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Subfloor options: OSB vs Particle board

Subfloor options: OSB vs Particle board

A common question prior new floor installation is what type of subfloor to use. It gets confusing when people compare OSB and particle boards as s subfloor. One of them is often used as a part of subfloor for carpets, one is used as primary subfloor for hardwood. Let’s take a closer look at both of them.


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Why should I choose laminate flooring?

In this article we will try to go through the most important pros and cons of laminate flooring.

1) First of all, flooring has to be durable, so how durable laminate floor is?

Laminate floor has durability grading system that goes all the way from not very durable(AC1 or 21 grade), that can be used only for low traffic places, like a house where you have people in only one month of out a year. On top of that nowadays it’s ready hard to find AC1 grade laminate. On another side, highest grade (AC5 or 33 grade) is designed for huge traffic commercial areas such as stores, showrooms and etc. Based on this you can tell that laminate can be extremely durable, depending on its grade. The best choice for homeowners with moderate traffic is AC3 and AC4 for heavy traffic.

2) Where laminate flooring can be installed?
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