QUESTIONS... and detailed answers
This page is a collection of the most common questions we are asked. We’ve done our best to put them in easy to find categories for you so you can find your answers as fast as possible…
The Biggest Questions
Some subjects need a more detailed explanation to answer your question properly. Below are the 3 most important and common questions we're asked. We've compiled them into detailed downloadable PDF articles for you…
Sanding and Refinishing Questions
This depends. Don’t you hate answers like that. But it really does depend on how big your project is. An average size home in New Jersey has a living and dining room, an entry and hallway and 3 or 4 bedrooms with hardwood floors. If your floors are in ok shape and you don’t require repairs or extending flooring into another room, you’re looking at an average time frame of 3 days.
Larger homes and complicated layouts, like lots of small hallways, closets and rooms etc. will obviously add some time to the project. Extras like restoring stairs, removing carpet and doing repairs will add some time too. If you add staining or a pre-treatment it will add a day. But most jobs will be 3 to 4 days from start to finish.
This is an important question to ask any floor refinishing business. If a strong off gassing finish is applied to your floors, the smell could linger for weeks, making it very uncomfortable to live there. Not to mention the health concerns.
In our free guide: Which Finish System Should You Choose? it goes through all the different types of finish systems that are available. On page 4 there is a chart that lists the finishes that have the worst fumes and smell. It would be worth having a read so you’re aware of what finishes you don’t want the business you choose to work with to use.
We specialize in three types of finish systems: oil based, water based and hardwax/penetrating oils.
Out of those three, the oil based finish is the strongest smelling. As it dries and cures, the solvents will evaporate and cause the smelly fumes. On a scale of 1-5… 5 being the least smelly and 1 the worst… the oil based finish we use is a 3. If you have good airflow and can keep some windows open as it dries, it cuts down the off gassing/fume period substantially. This is ok if your floors are restored in the summer. In the winter, it’s obviously more difficult to have open windows. Usually the smell will last a few days to a week as the floor cures. This finish system is the most affordable so you will need to factor in what you can put up with verses the investment needed for a finish without this issue.
If smell, VOCs and fumes are going to be a problem in your home because of kids, pets and other health or environmental issues, then we strongly recommend one of the other two systems: water based or hardwax/penetrating oil.
Both have very minimal smells. On the scale of 1-5 they score at the top with a solid 5. With water based finishes, as they dry and cure, it’s water evaporating, not harmful eye watering, headache inducing solvents. Yes, they have a distinct odor to them, but it is very light and will dissipate quickly because these finishes dry and cure rapidly.
One of the hardwax oils we use, WOCA Diamond Oil, has a incredibly low 6g of VOCs. The smell is similar to cooking oil. Again, it will only linger for a short time as these finishes dry and cure very quickly too.
We have put together a PDF guide for you that answers this question in detail. You can download the article called Which Finish System Should You Choose? at the top of this page.
Short answer is "it depends on the type of floor you have".
The long answer is: All things made from wood will expand and contract because of humidity changes from season to season during the year. Especially here in New Jersey where we have big changes between seasons. This is what causes cracks and gaps in your floors, especially if you have wide plank floors.
In the colder months when you turn the heating system on, the humidity in your home will drop quite a lot. When this happens, everything made from wood, including your floors will contract and shrink a little. In the summer, humidity rises and wood expands. This is why your doors may be fine one season and hard to open the next. If there was filler in the gaps between your floors, it would move with the seasons and eventually loosen and come out in chunks… looking worse than if there was no filler in the first place. Not to mention it getting ground into the finish as it comes up.
For these reasons, we don’t put any filler in older pine floors.
If you have 5/16 oak flooring and the gaps are not too big, then there is a possibility we can fill them. Please note though that it's not a perfect fix and there will always be some gapping either way. That's just how wood reacts with the seasons.
This is either a yes or no answer depending on several factors:
1) How is it installed? If it is a floating floor, then unfortunately no. If it has been securely glued or nailed to a flat sub-floor, then possibly. It will depend on…
2) What size wear layer does it have? Many engineered floors have a very thin top layer of wood. If it’s less than 5/16”, then most likely the answer will be no. The chance our machines will cut through the top layer and into the base layers is far too high a risk to take. If it’s at least 5/16” thick or thicker then yes, it’s a possibility.
If you’re not sure how thick your top layer is, get us to come over and take a look for you.
When we sand a floor, we try to preserve as much of the wear layer as possible. That way you will have the option of sanding it again way down the road if need be.
So, if you have areas with very deep scratches and gouges, then depending on how big they are, it may be best to replace the wood in these sections. It’s better to build those sections up, rather than remove a ton of wood (and life) from your floor to bring everything down to the level of the damage.
We can sand deeper in these areas if you really want us too, but it’s important to remember your floors can only be sanded 3 to 5 times at most and excess sanding will reduce this greatly.
Pet stains and water damage from plant pots are common, and yes, there is usually no issue in repairing these areas. Most of the time we will need to replace the damaged section of boards as these types of stains don’t usually sand out.
During our visit, we’ll have a look at the damage and include the price of the repair in the quote. In some cases, you may have carpet covering the floor during our visit. In this case, when we rip out the carpet and see it, we’ll inform you immediately and come to a decision together on how to proceed.
Before the Project Starts Questions
Yes, it is possible but you need to be aware of a couple of limitations. Once we start applying the finish coats, you will need to stay off them for at least 2 to 8 hours, depending on the finish system used. If the entire home is being refinished, you could have access issues for a time.
Towards the end of the job, while the finishes are being applied and are drying, you won’t have access to those areas for at least 4 hours. For the finish coat we like to keep everyone off it for 24 hours to ensure a top-quality job without any contaminants. This can be a hassle if you are having your entire house refinished or main access hallways etc. It may be best to stay somewhere else for a few nights if this is the case.
We are fully licensed and insured in the state of New Jersey.
It’s very important that you check whoever you hire to work in your home is properly licensed. You can easily check the status of a business on the New Jersey Consumer Affairs website here:
Here is our New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor License number: 13VH03306500
We also have a $1 million liability policy and full Workers Compensation coverage for all our staff.
It’s very important that any floor restoration business you hire is properly covered. Contractors will be in your home, with the potential for accidents, no matter how rare they may be. You don’t want to find yourself liable because the company you hire isn’t properly covered. It’s way too much risk to take on, especially with the possibility of highly flammable products being used by a lot of cheaper floor businesses. Please feel free to ask for our policy numbers, we would be more than happy to share them with you.
Yes, we’re happy to remove any carpet, underlay and tack strips for you. We will put them into bundles ready for you to put them out for collection on garbage day. If you would like us to dispose of your old carpet, please ask for the option to be added to your quote.
No, it’s not necessary in most cases. We can sand up very close to them with our sanders and then use a hand scraper to remove the rest of the finish. Of course, if they are damaged and you want to replace them then yes, that would be a good idea.
Yes. If you’re handy you could remove and dispose of the carpet, underlay, tack strips, staples and any baseboards or base shoe you want removed. If you’re super handy you could also tackle any needed repairs. We will be more than happy to provide some advice on how to do this correctly.
If you have a few small pieces you need assistance with, we’d be more than happy to help you move them at the start of your project. You will need to sort out some help on the other end when you move back in though.
As far as moving more than that, unfortunately the answer is no. We’re not professional movers so our insurance won’t cover us for any damage done to your furniture if something goes wrong. There’s a good chance we won’t be covered if we are injured moving something too heavy or too large.
But… we can provide you with the name and number of a professional moving company our clients have been more than happy with. They’ll do a great job of carefully packing and removing your furniture before we show up and then they will carefully put it back for you once the finish is dry.
Yes, we do. Probably the easiest way to see some of our glowing feedback is to read the reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp and other sites. I can assure you that they are all 100% genuine customers we have worked for.
We’re also not afraid to give you the number of the customer we’re working with right now, or the project we just completed last week (providing they agree of course, some people are very private and we want to respect that).
You can also see some completed hardwood floor refinishing projects we have on our website to see the quality of our work.
Good question and a very important one. You will want to make sure you know who is going to have access to your home no matter what flooring business you hire.
The owner, Brian, will be there for every project along with his employees. We never hire sub-contractors. All employees are professionally trained in the trade and we’re constantly going to school and classes to keep up-to-date with new industry standards. No employee will smoke, swear or play load music in your home. This is company policy and strictly enforced. Anyone caught doing any of these things, including snooping through customer’s items (yes it happens), will be fired on the spot.
Because of our strict rules, we have attracted a great team of skilled guys. We know you will love having any of them in your home.
The main areas we work in are Camden County, Burlington County and Gloucester County... including the towns around our showroom in Collingswood NJ, such as Oaklyn, Cherry Hill, Haddon Township, Haddon Heights, Haddonfield, Tavistock, Marlton, Voorhees, Mount Laurel, Audubon, Merchantville, Cinnaminson, Moorestown, Medford, Medford Lakes, Hainesport, Shamong, Palmyra, Somerdale, Magnolia, Evesham, Westampton, Lumberton, Riverton, Delran, Washington Township, Wenonah, Woodbury and Woodbury Heights NJ.
End of Project Questions
If we had our way, we would tell you that you need to wait a full week before even walking on your new floors so they can properly cure. Practically, we know that is impossible.
We offer 3 types of finishes: Oil Based, Water Based and Hardwax/Penetrating Oils. Each of them have different cure and dry times. Most finishes we use are 70 – 80% cured after two days. We strongly suggest you wait for at least those two days before moving furniture back in, regardless of the finish system you choose. 3 days are strongly recommended if you choose Oil Based finish. If you can wait longer, great. But if you can’t, make sure you’re extra careful until they fully cure. We’ll make sure to give you cure and dry times for the finish you have chosen so you can make an educated decision.
When you move your furniture back, please be sure to use felt pads under your furniture.
With area rugs, we strongly advise you give your hardwood floor at least two weeks to cure before putting them back.
This will depend on several things including the finish you choose and what preventative measures you put in place.
Oil modified finish will change color in sunlight quite quickly. Whereas high-end water based finishes have UV inhibitors in them to slow this process down. If you have area rugs covering the floor in an location that gets daily sunlight, you’ll especially notice the color change with an oil modified finish.
The traditional suggestion is to move your rugs around from time to time or keep your blinds closed during the sunniest parts of the day. Either one isn’t very practical. That’s why we suggest using a higher grade of finish if your floor is constantly in direct sunlight.
We also suggest installing window shades and awnings or applying window tinting film to cut down the ultra violet rays entering in the first place.
This will depend on a few things. Do you wear dirty shoes inside? Do you have an inside dog? Are their nails trimmed regularly? Do they have full access to run around uncontrollably? Are you able to stay on top of sweeping and cleaning? Do you have good mats at all entrance doors? Are you willing to use felt pads under chairs and tables? Will you use runners and area rugs?
As you can see, how you answer each question above will affect your floors performance either positively or negatively. If you take good care of them, you could get 20+ years out of them. On the other hand, the very same floor treated poorly could need recoating after only 2 years. A lot will be up to you.
It’s impossible for us to know how you are going to care for your floors. We encourage you to read and apply the tips in the Cleaning Guide we provide you at the end of the project. Following them will ensure your floors look terrific for many, many years.