Stain or Natural: Hardwood Floors & Color

Something we love about our specialty of refinishing hardwood floors, is the amazing transformation that can take place when we stain the wood, previous to applying finish.

Some people want to coordinate or match with cabinets, fixtures, or furniture in the rooms. Some people have old pet stains or water stains that can be covered with the application of stain. Others are referred by their interior designers to choose a certain color family that will go with a new look.

Take a look at these examples of the many colors and grain patterns hardwood flooring could have. What’s your favorite look?



Water-based vs. Oil-based Finish

A lot of people get their floors refinished without even knowing the product that is being applied. Over the past 15 years, the trend has changed in preferred products for finishing hardwood flooring with polyurethane.

It used to be  that the use of oil-based polyurethane was the most common and most durable option. It had a thick “build”, which took time to wear through. Over time, though, oil-based finish turns orange, and like I said, it does wear through to the bare wood after many years of traffic. It takes 12-24 hours in most cases to dry, per coat; and it has a strong smell with high VOCs, which isn’t ideal or safe for families or owner-occupied projects.

Have an orange, “glass-top” looking floor which has varying levels of shininess depending on the traffic? It was likely coated with oil-based finish, many years ago. If you have this floor refinished, and the contractor uses a water-base finish, you should know that there are several differences, some that you might not anticipate, seeing as water-based poly is now a more durable and more expensive product than oil-based finishes.

First, it isn’t as thick. It doesn’t have a visible build. In fact, you often can feel the grain of the wood to some extent, even after finishing. “Glass-top” will no longer be. However, it doesn’t break down at the rate that oil-base finish does.

Also, it dries within a couple hours between and after coats. It doesn’t smell nearly as bad, so you can still occupy the home while it’s being coated.

And finally, it can never match existing or adjacent oil-based finishes, because it doesn’t change or darken in color over time. It will be a clear coat over the stained or natural floor, and remain that color through the life of the poly.

If you like the look of oil-based finishes, with Wolverine Flooring, you do have the option to choose oil-based finish, instead of water, but we do recommend the water-based polyurethane to all of our customers who live in the home with the project.





How long will it take to dry? How long will it take to cure?

Depending on the brand, durability, and chemical makeup of the poly that’s used on your floor, the dry time and the cure time can be widespread. 

We use Bona brand waterborne polyurethane finishes, three from the many in their professional and environmentally friendly line of products. The Bona website offers detailed information about the dry times and the cure times that are necessary, if you want to do your own research.

We apply 3 coats of finish, the final coat carrying the sheen of the customer’s choice, between Matte, Satin, Semi-gloss, and Glossy. The coats each take an hour to three hours, depending on humidity and temperature, to dry.

Drying means being able to walk on it without it sticking to your feet or shoes. We still recommend stocking-feet and felt-covered furniture feet only, for the first several days. We recommend sweeping or vacuuming debris, hair, or dust that falls into the freshly dried floor, to avoid adherence of the debris to the floor’s curing finish. Curing is the process where the poly is attaching to the wood and fully hardening. Pets should be kept off the freshly finished floor with their nails, for as long as possible, up to 30 days, which is the full curing period; some people use pet socks! Clean, stable rugs that are not sliding or scuffing across the finish can be laid as early as 7 days after the finish is dry.

Have any questions? Post a comment or message me on facebook!



Wolverine Flooring


Are hardwood floors worth it?

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Is hardwood flooring expensive? Usually.  More importantly, what’s the perceived value vs real value? The answer to the title question is obviously relative to the reader; indeed hardwood flooring can be more expensive than many other flooring alternatives. But what it comes down to for the consumer is whether they are willing to pay a premium for the rich, beautiful tones of hardwood to grace their floors or settle for a cheaper alternative.

When looking at true hardwood flooring for your home, you have to decide on one of two options for your flooring: solid wood or engineered wood?

Solid wood floors are as advertised: one solid piece of wood through the whole plank.

Engineered wood consists of a top layer of real wood with cheaper plywood layering the bottom portion of the plank.

There are many benefits to a homeowner in opting for hardwood floors in their home. The first advantage is the beauty that hardwood brings to a home. The tones of the grain of wood selected for your flooring can match furniture and cabinetry.  Wood floors are easy to maintain and clean, do not hold dust and allergens, and can be refinished multiple times rather than being replaced like carpet and other cheaper alternatives can  require frequently.

But, before opting for hardwood, consumers need to consider the downside of the product before they decide if it is the right flooring for them. Hardwood is very sensitive to humidity and moisture in the home and the slightest bit of water, if left untreated, can cause damage to the wood. Because of this reason, areas where water tends to get on the floor, like bathrooms, are not recommended for hardwood. Hardwood can also be quite noisy if on an upper level of a home when walked on.

When the decision is made to go with hardwood floors in a home, many factors will come into play in determining what the final cost will be for the project. The first major impact on final cost is the type of wood that floor is made of.

Some popular options for wood include:

• Oak

• Hickory

• Maple

• Brazilian Cherry

• Bamboo

• Cork

The looks all vary significantly between the types of wood as do the costs. Consumers should take some time to shop around for the look and price that matches their needs best.

Another factor in the final cost of the flooring is the installation of the flooring. For people looking to save costs, installing on their own is always an option, with a bit of carpentry skill and the right tools.

Wolverine Flooring loves to work with customers who do their homework about wood flooring.  Whether you are contemplating refinishing older floors or installing new,  we can help guide, suggest options, find good value, and ultimately provide quality workmanship at an affordable price!






When’s the best time to paint?

As a flooring company, I’m always working with my customers to coordinate with other contractors, other projects, and other plans. Some things come to mind from my experiences that I’d like to share.

First, when having floors refinished, or unfinished floors installed and finished, keep in mind that some dust will be flying during sanding. If the walls have recently been painted and are still tacky at all, the fine dust will cling to the walls, and therefore make them harder to clean-up after the construction.

Second, if the baseboards have been recently painted, they’ll likely mar or dent more easily than old paint. We like to prepare our customers to plan on doing some touch-up painting after flooring construction, just because of the scuffs or scratches that occur near the floor due to the size and speed of the machines we’re using.

We recommend that any painting be done more than a week before the refinishing process starts. We suggest waiting to paint until afterwards, especially the baseboards.

On a side-note, we also recommend that any quarter-round or base-shoe molding be removed prior to the refinishing project, and reinstalled after the coating dries.