Answers to Common Customer Inquiries
Maintenance / Cleaning
Product & Service Sheets
Why should I consider hardwood floors?
The grains and colors of hardwood floors provide natural beauty and a sense of
craftsmanship. In practical terms: hardwood floors are easy to clean, more
sanitary than carpet, and are a structural improvement that outlast most other
flooring coverings. (Back to top)
What is the difference in grades of wood?
Cleanest appearance. This grade is mostly heartwood with a
minimum number of character marks and discoloration, providing a uniform
appearance allowing for natural color variations.*
Excellent appearance. Like clear, but having more
characteristics such as tight knots, pin wormholes, slight brown streaks, and
color variations. Select is our most frequent upgrade.*
No. 1 Common
Variegated appearance. More markings than clear or select. Light
and dark colors, knots and other character marks make a more colorful natural
looking floor while maintaining good uniformity. Traditionally our best seller.*
No. 2 Common
The grade with most knots, shorter lengths, wormholes, imperfections and color
variations make a more natural looking floor that has a rustic feel to it.
Perfect for a more casual look.*
Wood, being a product of nature, will have characteristics such as grain, knots,
pinholes and many other beauty marks of nature. Each piece of flooring will
react differently to stains and finishes. This is what gives wood flooring its
warmth and differentiates it from processed flooring products. (Back
What kind of wood floor can I use with radiant heat?
Almost any type of wood floor can be used when the system is properly designed.
Please call us for a consultation during the planning stage of your
construction project for our advice. Engineered floors with their dimensional stability are often considered for radiant in floor heat systems. (Back
Is solid hardwood the best in all cases?
Engineered floors (also known as Longstrip or Europlank flooring) are more
stable than solid wood flooring, i.e. less likely to expand and contract with
changes of temperature and humidity. A concrete slab will likely have higher
moisture content than most plywood subfloors, making the more stable engineered
floor a good choice. Another option is to seal with a moisture barrier and then trowel glue down solid hardwood. (Back
Are engineered floors less durable and impossible to
Re-surfacing can be performed just like solid wood floors but not as many times
as a solid floor. A professional sanding crew can successfully sand an
engineered hardwood floor two or three times. Prefinished flooring may have a beveled edge requiring either a more labor intensive process or to match existing color when refinished. (Back
How do I maintain my hardwood floors?
Use a soft bristle vacuum or untreated dust mop on a daily basis to keep the
grit off the floor. Felt furniture glides for chairs and other furniture that
move about will protect your floor from abrasion. Utilize doormats and area
rugs to reduce the impact of high-traffic areas and outside dirt being tracked
Also, be conscious of scratching from movement of furniture and appliances,
dragging of moving boxes or other items. Never use a product that will leave a
wax or oil residue on your floor. This kind of residue will prevent recoating
(applying an additional coat of finish) your floor in the future. (Back
What products are recommended for care and maintenance?
We recommend Glitsa and Advantage Coatings Technologies cleaning products. (Back to top)
How do I clean my hardwood floor?
Maintain your floor with a clean damp sponge mop and then towel dry to remove
moisture. Repeated heavy or too frequent washing of your floor
can cause cupping and/or cracks to develop from excess moisture being absorbed.
Towel drying prevents film buildup especially in homes with hard water.
Frequent scrubbing of floors or use of abrasives will dull the finish. Pick up
daily spills with a damp sponge and dry towel. Mild liquid soap may be used on
stubborn spots. Do not flood your floor with water. (Back
Do hardwood floors need wax to restore the sheen when they
No. Today's hard surface finishes require no wax. Wax only sits on top of a hard
surface finish causing an uneven sheen with even limited traffic and also
prevents re-coating. (Back to top)
Does the subfloor have to be perfectly level to install a
Depends on the product being installed. For traditional nail down flooring the
subfloor does not have to be perfectly level, but must be flat for
installation. For floating and glue down floors the subfloor has to be level. (Back to top)
What is the appropriate time period for allowing the wood to
acclimate to the house?
Hardwood flooring is typically kiln dried between 6% & 9% moisture content. In a
dry home environment it is desirable to allow flooring materials to acclimate
for several days before installation. Where floors are being added to existing
homes one can allow as long a time as is practical for acclimation. Ideal
conditions in a new construction or remodel situation would provide that all
wet work has been completed for three or four days. Subfloors should be scraped
and cleaned and the environment should have permanent heat. Production
schedules may not allow for this scenario but an increased probability of
cracks due to absorption of site moisture is likely. We also check the moisture content of existing wood or subfloor and the new wood to make sure they are within 2-3% of each other. (Back
Will we be able to stay in the home while the floor is being
GLITSA SWEEDISH FINISH
Our technicians will close windows to eliminate drafts during application of
finishes. Windows should be opened as soon as possible after
the finish is dry on the surface. Airflow across the surface
will help the finish to cure and harden. If you can enter the house without
having to cross the wet floor after about 4 hours to open some windows, do so.
Trapping the gasses in the home slows the curing process and lengthens the time
that the odors are in the home.
Does sanding and finishing a floor take off a lot of wood?
The sanding and finishing generally reduces the thickness by about 1/64". (Back to top)
What does "screening a floor," mean?
Screening is a process by which the floor is lightly sanded by an orbital buffer
to allow for adhesion of the new coats of flooring finish. This process is
performed during the recoating of a hardwood floor. (Back
How often do you screen and recoat a floor?
This depends on the amount and kind of traffic in the home and the type of
finish used on your floor. With Glitsa Floor Finish after three to five years
one should review the performance to consider recoating. Other finishes such as
water based or polyurethane finishes may not perform as well and may need
recoating sooner. A screen and coat should be considered as preventive
maintenance; its low cost and minimum dust and disruption add years to your
hardwood floor without major refinishing. (Back
Can I do anything about the squeaks in my floor?
Isolated boards that squeak in a floor can be top nailed and the squeak may be
removed in some cases. In conditions where the entire floor has squeaks it is
very difficult to remove them. General squeaking can be caused by structural
conditions, structural design or by seasonal wet crawl space or basements.
There are a great number of things that can be done to reduce squeaks but no
guaranteed solution. (Back to top)
Can I put rugs on my hardwood floor?
Yes. Place throw rugs in entries, in front of the kitchen sink, and other high
traffic areas. Finish manufacturers recommend an extended curing period before
using rubber-backed area rugs. (Back
What about cracking?
Because hardwood floors are sensitive to climate, seasonal cracking is common.
Humidity causes expansion and dryness brings contraction. To minimize cracking,
a humidifier can be used to add moisture to your home by maintaining a constant
humidity level around 35% and 45%. (Back
Will certain finishs stop wood flooring from fading and
No. Certain finishes will reduce the effects of ultraviolet rays but none will
fully eliminate UV light. Both the wood and the wood floor finishes will change
color. This fading is a natural aging process. (Back
Why is my floor cupped up on the edges?
When wood flooring "cups" up at the edges it is because of water has been
introduced to the wood after it was installed. This is true whether it has been
installed for two days or twenty years ago. The sketch below illustrates the difference between "cupping" and "crowning" and will help
explain why "crowning" occurs. With enough time most floors will dry out and in
some cases no repairs are required. This of course depends on the volume of
water that has been absorbed into the flooring and the length of time that the
flooring is exposed to moisture. When floors have absorbed a great volume of
water it is best to replace these floors. We recommend that new flooring be
replaced when water damage has occurred due to scheduling requirements and to
return the floor to a new condition. (Back
What are Common Sources of Moisture on existing flooring?
The most frequent cause of water damage to hardwood flooring is plumbing leaks.
Water supply lines to refrigerators seem to be the most common source of
problems because these lines are easily damaged. Dishwasher supply lines are
probably a close second with a wide variety of supply and drain plumbing
following behind. Roof leaks are the most common structural failure, which
cause moisture to damage wood floors along with leaks in door and faulty window
units, and improper flashing on decks. Poorly designed landscaping and faulty
gutters and downspouts have also caused moisture to enter the home or
crawlspaces and then damage hardwood floors. Remember that many leaks may never
cause water to pool on the surface, and therefore can go undetected for some
length of time before doing damage that is noticeable. Many leaks are difficult
to find because evidence of the excess moisture can appear in places, which are
not directly related to the source. It may be necessary to consult a General
Contractor to help locate problems in your home. We would be glad to recommend
a number of General Contractors if you are not acquainted with one. (Back
How long will it take for the flooring to dry out?
Simply, not until the "cupped" flooring has lain down close to it's original
flat surface. If the floor is uneven on the surface then the moisture content
is too high to sand and refinish as "crowning" may occur after the floor has
dried. Wood products will maintain about 6% moisture content (MC) in our dry
climate. New flooring materials have a 6% to 9% MC. Even though your floor
"looks dry" the moisture content may be considerably higher than normal level
for your home. (Back to top)
What can I do to speed up the drying process?
We recommend clipping one or more 150-watt trouble lights to the floor joists
beneath the damaged area as a safe method drying a subfloor. This
recommendation assumes that you have unfinished access beneath your floor.
Space heaters can be used to cure moisture out of a structure but care must be
taken to avoid overheating and causing a fire hazard. Dehumidifiers can also be
rented to dry moisture out of the home. Generally heat & airflow on the damaged
area and air exchange in the home are required for the moisture to cure from
the damage area. Crawl spaces can cause considerable delays in this drying
process, as evaporation up into the home will continue to add moisture to the
subfloor and the hardwood floor. Ventilation of the crawl space is absolutely
necessary for the curing of the water damage flooring when flooding of the
crawl space has occurred. (Back to
Can new subfloors or generally wet jobsites damage a new wood
Wet subfloors can be caused by the rain or snow when the roof is open during
construction, water spilled from tub saws or drywall wet work being done on the
subfloor before the installation of flooring, (to name a few sources). After
installation of the hardwood flooring mud and water or snow may have been
tracked into the site during construction. Also plywood and OSB board may have
been installed with a high MC. "Crowning" is often the result of wet site
conditions, which may not be detectable when the flooring is sanded but will
later show up after the home is properly heated. Cracks from compression set
frequently occur on jobsites where excessive moisture is a problem. (Back
Can over-washing of hardwood floors cause damage?
Yes. Kitchen floors, which have been repeatedly scrubbed, can develop cupping
and cracks. As the moisture is repeatedly absorbed into the floor cracks can
become enlarged after compression set occurs. (Back
Do hard surface finishes prevent water from penetrating and
damaging hardwood flooring?
This finish and other comparable brands of finish are designed to hold up to
traffic but are not designed to serve as moisture barrier.* (Back
* Illustrations provided by the Wood Flooring Manufactures
Association. Here are links to N.O.F.M.A. and N.W.F.A. which are what companys use
for guidelines in the flooring industry.