Carmel flooring expert answer questions about hardwood
Who we talked to
What are the advantages to having hardwood flooring in your home?
"The main advantage of a hardwood floor is longevity. A hardwood floor can last up to 100 years. They're also very clean, they're friendly for people who have allergies and easy to maintain, and you're using a natural product, so there's not a whole lot of waste created by them."
What can homeowners do to maintain their hardwood floors? How can you help?
"For cleaning, the best thing to do is use a dry dust mop and a non-residual product called Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. Don't use any product that claims to make or restore shine, like Murphy's Oil Soap. If you want to add a new coat of finish down the line, the waxy residue they leave will prevent the new finish coat from adhering.
"Beyond cleaning, we do a screen-and-recoat maintenance process for scratched or dull finishes. We take a screen and buff down the top coat of finish on the floor and lay down a new top coat. You probably want to do a screen-and-recoat about every five to seven years. That usually runs about $1 a square foot. Then you won't have to refinish your floors as often, which we generally recommend every 10 to 15 years, on average.
"Refinishing is a much more comprehensive, 10-step process. We sand down the finish multiple times with industrial sanders to get down to the actual wood. Then there are two options: staining the wood or sticking with the natural color without staining. After that, we typically add three coats of polyurethane finish. Refinishing about 2,500 square feet of flooring would take about six or seven days. The cost varies from about $2.50 to $4 a square foot, depending on the complexity of the job."
Is there any type of stain or scratch you can't remove?
"With the refinishing process, there's really nothing we can't get out. The only things that can't be sanded out are cat urine stains because the ammonia in it penetrates all the way into the wood grain. Typically, when we come across an animal stain, we'll remove that section and replace the wood."