Nearly every home we clean has some amount of hardwood installed. A hardwood floor is a beautiful choice for high traffic areas such as hallways, kitchens, and entryways. Hardwood floors stand up well to dirt, grime, and animals. The urethane finish on wood floors protects the wood while giving it a beautiful shine. It is also generally easy to clean on a day-to-day basis, requiring only vacuuming and a light mopping.
Until fairly recently, the only way to repair scratches in the finish was to have the floor completely resanded and refinished. This process is not only costly but also inconvenient because it usually takes 3 to 4 days to complete, depending on the size of the job. Most companies charge between $5 to $7 per square foot for this service, which is close to the initial price of the wood floor installation.
We offer two services of professional hardwood floor care. The first is hardwood floor cleaning, the second is hardwood floor refinishing. Professional cleaning will surface marks and imbedded soil. Resurfacing will repair pits and all scratches in the wood finish. Unless the floor has been severely abused, or is sun-discolored, resurfacing is the best choice to bring back the original luster.
Hardwood Floor Cleaning
We use a mildly alkaline floor cleaning solution specifically made for hardwood floors. We agitate the surface using a low-speed buffer machine with a polishing pad to remove soil, paint, and scuffs from the surface. We finish the process using cotton bonnets. This is an excellent way to maintain the floor's shine. We recommend that this process be done on an annual basis. We offer this service for only $0.50 per sq foot of wood flooring.
Hardwood Floor Polish
An inexpensive way to bring back the original shine of your floors after cleaning is by having a polish applied. This will cost an additional $0.25 per sq foot. A very thin coat of polish is applied to the floor and dries in one hour. Rugs can be put down 24 hours later. This is something that can be done annually. Keep in mind that this option is limited to floors that have their polyurethane coating intact. If the finish has worn off, the polish will not be able to produce a shine.
Hardwood Floor Topcoating
A step up from basic cleaning is topcoating. With this process, we apply a layer of oil-based polyurethane to the floor, the same finish used when your floor was installed. The polyurethane finish is extremely durable. Unless the floor is abused, the finish will easily last 10 to 15 years. This process is done to restore the look of hardwood floors that are dull and scratched. We prepare the floor by thoroughly vacuuming and cleaning the floor to remove debris. We then screen the floor to remove the top coat of the existing finish, preparing it for the adhesion of an additional coat. Again, we thoroughly clean and dry the floor. We then apply the polyurethane finish. The finish we use produces little to no fumes, so you will be able to stay in the house that night.
Customers can choose between three types of finish: satin, semi-gloss, or gloss. Some prefer the high shine of the gloss, while others prefer the toned-down look of the satin. Semi-gloss, the happy medium, is the most popular finish.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. We offer the topcoating service for $1 - $1.50 per square foot. Compare this to cost of resanding and refinishing, and you can see why this is truly a great service.
Q. How long does the job take? When can we use the floors?
A. The entire process usually takes two to three hours per room. Once the finish is applied, it dries in approximately 5 to 6 hours. As with new or refinished floors, it will take up to three days for the floor to cure enough to lay rugs down and move furniture back onto it.
Q. Can you wax my hardwood floors as well?
A. While some people do wax their hardwood floors, we do not offer the service because it is not recommended for wood floors. Once the floor is waxed, it will always need to be waxed. Removal of accumulated wax may be impossible since it may cause damage to the wood.
Q. When should my wood floor be sanded and refinished?
A. We often encounter wood floors that have discolored areas from water damage or excess wear. In these areas, the original urethane coating has worn away, exposing bare wood, which quickly darkens from soil absorption. In other homes we find badly damaged wood floors, with pock marks and gouges. In these cases we recommend a complete sand and refinish process. We work with very competent contractors who use “dustless” sanding methods and low VOC floor finishes to provide this service. We can offer this service for $3 to $4 per square foot. Many of our customers have even had their wood floors stained darker to completely change the look of the home. We would be happy to discuss with you your options.