FLOORING FAQ & TIPS
When should hardwood floors be installed?
If you’re having a home built or making some renovations, it is highly suggested that the hardwood flooring work be scheduled near the very end. Far too many times, builders rush the flooring installation and major repairs become necessary due to inconsistent temperatures, worker traffic and/or mishaps.
How long does a typical refinishing job take?
If you’re having your floors sanded and refinished, the number of days that you will be off the floors depends on the following:
Natural finish with 2 coats of oil based polyurethane – 3 days
Stain with 2 coats of oil based polyurethane – 4 days
*each additional polyurethane coat will add another day
Natural finish with 3 coats of Bona water based polyurethane – 1 to 2 days
Stain with 3 coats of Bona water based polyurethane – 2 days or more depending on stain choice
What time does Alpine usually start working and do they work on weekends?
Alpine Flooring typically begins work at 7:30 am and our work week consists of Monday thru Saturday.
Do we have to stay at the house while the work is being performed?
We recommend that you are not in the house while the work is being performed. If their is a stain being applied, you must be present at the start of the job to approve the color but can leave after the choice is made.
Can we leave a key with Alpine to get access to our house while we are away?
There are a number of ways that Alpine can work with the customer to get access to the house where the work is being performed.
Some leave us the key or a code if there is an access panel and others have a family member or neighbor present to let us in. The important thing is that we must have some established access prior to job commencement.
What brand of stains do you use and how can someone see the stain color before it is applied?
Alpine Flooring uses Minwax stains and there are several ways to see samples of stain colors.
Here is a link to Minwax’s website http://www.minwax.com/wood-products/stains-color-guide/
Alpine will also do stain samples on your floors the first day of sanding. This enables customers to see the color choice on their floors which we feel is the best way to view them. Once the choice is made, the floors are sanded and stain is typically applied the same day depending on job size. Darker stains ( jacobean, ebony ) may require and additional coat to achieve the desired look
How do I acclimate the wood?
For new construction or remodeling, the heating system must be operational and the house must be heated for a week at 71 degrees F. Plastering and concrete work must be fully dry prior to installation. Basements or under floor crawl spaces should be dry and well ventilated.
What types of wood floor is best over a radiant heating system?
Engineered, laminates, and floating floors work the best with radiant heat because of their dimensional stability. Not all species of wood are good candidates for an installation over radiant heating. Quarter sawn or rift-sawn flooring is preferable to plain sawn. And strip flooring is a better choice than plank flooring because narrow boards expand and contract less than wide boards do. Using narrow boards also means there are more seams in a floor to take up movement.
We have natural maple cabinets/bookshelves/etc. throughout our house and we are now considering putting in laminate flooring. Here is our question: Would it be best to stay with the natural maple for the flooring (too much maple?) or go with a cherry – will it be contrasting?
We recommend a contrast when it comes to flooring. The white sapwood in American Cherry would certainly be complimentary to the natural maple cabinets. It is a beautiful wood, but note that it is very soft and tends to ding and dent easily. Hickory is a fun wood if you like a more rustic look, and it is very hard and dense like maple. Its white sap wood contrasts with the deep, rich, reds and browns of the heartwood. You can also select the all-time favorite oak with a warm stain for contrast.
When you’re selecting a flooring that will compliment your cabinets/bookshelves, etc., also be thinking about how it will work with the actual colors that you’ll be using for upholstery, draperies, wall paint, etc., especially if you’re thinking of using burgundies, reds, rusts, browns, golds, etc. The yellow and/or reddish tones in wood can get tricky.
Tips for keeping your new wood floors clean:
Vacuum often to keep dirt from grinding into the floor finish or sticking to it. Wipe up spills immediately. A damp (not wet) cloth may be used on a well-sealed wood floor to wipe up food spills or mud. Wipe dry with cloth or paper towel. Clean when necessary with BONA hardwood floor cleaner. Follow directions on container. Solvent removes dirt and old wax, and leaves a thin wax coating which must be buffed. Apply with:
- A dry cloth, rubbing floor and refolding the clean part of cloth as dirt is taken up; hard on knees
- Cloth over long-handled wax applicator, rubbing and refolding cloths as above Electric floor polishers, can be rented at many supermarkets, changing to clean brushes or pads as dirt and wax are taken up.
- Buff wax left on floor: immediately if by hand; or after 20-30 minutes if with electric polisher.