everything you need to know

Everything You Need To Know From Start To Finish

The natural beauty, warmth, longevity and cleanliness of hardwood flooring is unmatched by any other type of flooring on the market. The initial investment will more than pay for itself by increasing the market value of your house, as well as improving your daily lifestyle while at home. We consistently refinish floors that have been installed for over 100 years, and make it our goal to give you a floor that will outlast any of us. Two of the most overlooked steps you can take to ensure the quality and longevity of your floor is to humidify your home to between 35-45% and to not wear shoes in the house. Other common problems can be alleviated by ensuring that there is a stable subfloor, not sliding furniture across the floor, and avoiding water damage (occurs often from copper lines to fridges and dishwashers, overwatering plants, and unprotected windows and doors). 

Maintenance/Cleaning and Care – After applying the final coat, the longer you can postpone moving your furniture back the better. Do not drag or pull anything across the floor. Always lift and set your furniture in place. We recommend using floor glides/felt protectors under all of your furniture. Do not mop your floor for the first month. Never use Murphy’s oil soap, Pledge for floors, Swiffer wet mop, or any product with oils or waxes in them. Wipe up spills with a damp dishcloth. Vacuum or sweep using a soft broom on a regular basis. We recommend using Bona floor cleaner or a solution of 1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water to clean your hardwood floors on a regular basis. Excessive cleaning, particularly with commercial cleaners, can dull your finish.

220/110 Volt Electricity – 110  volt power is needed  for installation and 220 volt power is needed for sanding; these must be accessible within 100 feet of work areas.  It is the responsibility of the homeowner or contractor to notify Wood Wise in advance if a 220 hookup is not available.  If the 220-hookup is not operational, a generator may be provided for $175.00/day. If other subs are using 220 or 110 power at the same time, electrical overloads may occur, causing delays.

Applying finish/stain - When the coating has begun, doors and windows must remain closed and fans turned off; as there can be no draft across the floor. Temperature must remain at 68 degrees or above for the entire process. After about 2 hours it is generally ok to open outlying windows for ventilation. Do not walk across the floor until the finish is dry to the touch.  Then you may walk in stocking feet and open all windows as needed. (Water based finishes dry in about 3-6 hours, oil based finishes dry in approximately 8-12 hours.) Some species of wood do not take stain evenly and you may notice areas that are blotched and streaked; this is natural and not a defect. We do not recommend staining a floor to match an aged natural floor. The natural maturing process should be allowed to take place.

Color Variations – Color variations occur naturally in wood. Some species of wood darken significantly as they age, and other species are prone to fading/yellowing from sunlight. We recommend keeping rugs and objects with a large surface area off the floor for at least a month. Some wood species, such as cherry, are very photosensitive, and we recommend leaving the floor as exposed as possible for up to a year to avoid distinct fade lines.

Wood indenting – Some species of hardwood floors are prone to denting by high heels, cleat type shoes, and many heavier objects. Small rollers on pianos, refrigerators, and heavy furniture can also damage your floors. Please be aware of this and take precaution when moving heavy objects across your floor. Wood finish is a different animal than paint, and is very difficult to touch up.

Sub‐floor  – Your estimate was written in good faith. Issues hidden by the existing flooring will be addressed should they arise. Extra work may be needed if the subfloor is uneven. Cost of this is determined on a case by case basis. Structural integrity may or may not be obvious to us and we are not certified in that area. If we find the integrity of the subfloor to be in question we will discontinue installation until the problem has been addressed. Structural subfloor issues are the responsibility of the homeowner or contractor.

Scheduling  – We do  everything  we can  to  keep your  job  on  schedule.  During the estimate some jobs do not appear as time consuming or complex as they turn out to be. Should we have to move the start time or day we will notify you as soon as possible and work with you to accommodate you in rescheduling. Wood Wise is not responsible for costs incurred due to any overnight stays, meals, or boarding of animals. Wood Wise reserves the right to bill additional charges at an hourly rate for time we are unable to work due to poor planning and preparation on the customer’s side.

Toilets/Pedestal Sink  – Please hire a plumber to remove and replace  these items when necessary (when getting new wood installed). Wood Wise can remove your toilet if included in the estimate; however reinstallation is always the responsibility of the homeowner or contractor. Chips, cracks, or leaking lines are the responsibility of the homeowner or contractor.

Appliances – We do not move appliances, unless noted on the estimate. If it has been arranged for Woodwise to   move them. Woodwise will not turn off any water supply, disconnect nor reconnect water lines or gas lines.  It is the responsibility of the homeowner or contractor to prepare the appliances to be moved out.  **Wood Wise is not a moving company, and although we take much care, we  are  not  responsible  for  dings,  dents,  or  other  damage  that  may  occur  to  the appliances or walls while moving them out.

Furniture - Wood Wise is not insured nor trained to move furniture. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to have all furniture removed from the areas that we are working in. Wood Wise is not to be held liable if items are damaged because they were placed too closely to the work area. It is up to our discretion to move any items left in the work area.  If items are moved by Wood Wise, we are not in any way held liable if damage occurs.

Pets – Being focused on our work, and considering that we are continually moving in and of the house, we cannot be responsible for your pet’s welfare. We frequently have to open doors to others rooms of the house to install and sand, and cannot be held liable if your pet escapes.

Breakable Items - Hanging light fixtures, pictures and mirrors, etc. should be removed from the work area. We cannot be held liable if something is damaged because it is in the way or because we had to move it. Occasionally, ceramic tile from a fireplace or on the floor will be cracked or chipped; this can easily be repaired by your tile contractor and is the responsibility or the homeowner or contractor.

Crawl Spaces- If you have a crawlspace under or near your hardwood floor, you may experience large moisture swings due to changes in ground temperature and saturation. A moisture barrier should be installed between the subfloor and your hardwood floor. Using this application, we still cannot guarantee minimized floor board contraction. We also recommend installing a vapor barrier to the underside of the subfloor.

Baseboards – When sanding and applying stain/finish, we are working right next to the existing baseboards. We always recommend re-painting baseboards or door jams after the stain application. We will remove and re-install if included in the estimate. We are always careful but depending on the condition of the base it may split or break. All painting and caulking is recommended to be completed by a painter.

Dust Free Environment – We do not guarantee a 100% dust free environment. We use the best equipment available on the market, and our sanders have powerful vacuums attached to collect dust from the floor. Sanding an entire floor creates a large amount of dust, and though most of it will be trapped in our vacuums, some will escape into the room. Sealing with plastic can help and it must be noted on the estimate if you want Wood Wise to provide this service. The plastic needs to be removed between the second and final coats. 

Re‐coating – This can be a less invasive and cost effective way of extending the life of your hardwood floors. The process simply adds and additional coat of finish, which improves longevity, but will leave the appearance largely unaltered. However because of oils, waxes, and lotions found in the home that may be transposed to the floor there can be bubbling or cratering. Oils and waxes are commonly found in cleaners marketed as “restorers” or “refreshers”, such as Murphy’s Oil Soap or Swiffer Cleaners. (Woodwise strongly recommends against using these products) We cannot tell by looking at the floor if there is wax or oil built up on it. Because of this, proper adhesion of the recoat cannot be guaranteed and a waiver must be signed. If you can find out what type of finish was used on your floor previously, this can drastically reduce the risk involved in a recoat.

Finish - Because we are not working in a sterile environment, we cannot guarantee a “table top” finish. Irregularities may be noticeable but should not be prominent. Glare from windows can magnify any irregularities and should not determine acceptance. As the floor is walked/lived on it will become smooth to the feel.