Frequently Asked Questions
Red oak is not red, and white oak is not white. Red oak has a warm, reddish tone and the grain shows very well, especially with stain. White oak is light brown color and less grain shows. It is a little denser, and it withstands more humidity. (See picture)
Hardwood is our choice. The price is comparable, but nothing else. With hardwood floor, you have a real value in your house. Regular thickness (3/4 inch) can be sanded 10 times. After any sanding, you can play with the color, and the floor looks like new. Every sanding can last 5-10 years, plus, you can refresh (buffing and coating) every year. That means you can have a nice hardwood floor for 100 years. -LIVE LONG. Laminate doesn’t contain any wood. It is plastic. You cannot sand laminate, so any scratch or damage will stay there forever. And laminate doesn’t count towards your home improvement value.
With red oak as a standard, pine is 30-50% softer. Bamboo is the same hardness; maple is 10% harder; hickory is 40% harder; and Brazilian cherry and mahogany are 70-80% harder.
Three coats poly will protect floors better. With first coat laquer sealer, floor looks lighter and smoother, but we believe that without sealer, poly will penetrate deeply into the wood, which makes the finish longer lasting (sealer prevents the wood from soaking up the poly)
Years ago, oil based was stronger, but lately, very strong water based finishes have been developed. (Street shoe, mega…) Water based finish makes floor lighter than oil. It dries in one hour and there is no strong smell. Oil based makes your floor more smooth and shiny. Also, the grain shows a little better.
Preventative maintenance is the key to enjoying the natural beauty of your hardwood floor. Prevention starts outside of the home. Have a good mat and wipe your shoes well of sand and grit (salt in winter time). Most damage occurs a few feet away from the entry-way or first few steps of stairs.
Install felt pads under furniture (small area rug in dining room will help). Food spills should be cleaned with a well wrung out cloth or, if necessary, with a mild dish wash soap. Never wet hardwood floors. Do not wax (waxing will prevent us from re-coating your floor).
All organic material, including wood, leather and cotton, will dry out or absorb the moisture in the air. In New England the long winters and cold air dries the air in houses, summer humidity does the opposite. Dry air causes wood to shrink and moisture absorption causes wood to swell. Wood changes 0.1% along the grain and 2-8% across the grain. Use of a humidifier in winter or a de humidifier in summer is highly recommended. Air-conditioning helps as well.