Refinishing: FAQ

Question: Will I have a 'new' floor after getting it refinished?

Answer: Typically, you will have a new and beautiful looking floor.  There can always be pre-existing conditions, whether seen or not, in a floor that may effect the final look of the floor.  Cracked or defective boards, stains, or reactions with the finish due to chemicals (spills) in the wood are some examples of this.

Question: How much dust will there be?

Answer: LRB Hardwood Flooring Inc. uses a man-portable dust containment system that eliminates most air-borne dust.  At most, a light cleaning should be expected.  Although every attempt is made to maintain a clean job site, we are not responsible for any dust that may occur.


Question: What do I have to do prior to the job starting?

Answer: The customer should remove all furniture and appliances from the hardwood floor, as well as provide floor space next to the hardwood floor to place equipment & supplies.  The customer is to provide a clean (vacuumed) floor.   Valuables should be removed from walls and drapes should be removed or hung up away from the floor.  Items must be removed from closets to provide room needed to sand & finish.


Question: Do all the appliances need to be removed from the hardwood floor?

Answer: It is the customer’s discretion if any appliances are to be left on the floor and refinished around.  If the floor is to be finished with a similar colour as the existing, it may be better to leave the appliances in place to avoid possible damage to the floor from moving the appliances.  Please ask how best to move appliances back onto floor without causing damage.  


Question: Are there any special power requirements?

Answer:  Adequate power must be supplied to power numerous 15 amp pieces of equipment at the same time.  Access to 220 volt in the form of a stove or clothes dryer plug must be supplied.  Also, adequate lighting (not on floor) must be available.


Question: Do the baseboards need to be removed?

Answer: In most cases, baseboards do not need to be removed for sanding.  Some marking/marring may occur.  Please note that baseboards, doorways, etc. are not masked off by LRB Hardwood Flooring Inc.  It is the responsibility of the customer to mask off and/or do paint touch ups.


Question: I have an old thin floor.  Can it be refinished?

Answer: Yes, the old 3/8” or 1/2” thick floors can normally be resanded.  Dark spots, stains or dark edges may not sand out.  Most customers realize that an old floor will not look brand new but will look much better and be easier to maintain than the existing floor.  In some rare cases, old floors may not be sandable if there is a large buildup of wax (orange look) or if too thin (nail heads showing, broken grooves or previously sanded may be indicators).


Question: I can see the nail heads in my old floor, is the normal?

Answer: Nail heads should be expected to be seen in old, thin floors, especially after a refinish process.  This is normal indication that the overall floor has loosened up or that the nail heads have migrated up over time due to seasonal changes or that floor is thin due to sanding.  At LRB Hardwood Flooring Inc., we do not “set” the nail heads as this can cause additional problems such as broken tongues or grooves.


Question: I want a dark coloured floor. Are there any drawbacks?

Answer: The darker the floor the more any dust, scratches, etc. will show.  A “natural” floor tends to be easier to maintain.


Question: I have cracks between the boards in my floor, is this normal?

Answer: Seasonal cracks are normal and should be expected if a humidifier is not used in the winter.  Relative humidity should be at 35-50% prior to job start and maintained at the same level year round.  Wood filler is applied but if any comes out during the sanding process, the floor is not filled again as this is an indication the floor is loose and it will just come out at a later date possibly taking finish with it.


Question: During a renovation, when should the floors be refinished?

Answer: The refinishing process should occur near the end of the project, after electrical, plumbing, heating, drywall & painting.  Environmental conditions should be at the 'live in' stage.

Answer: In most cases, your floor will look like a new floor but there can always be pre-existing conditions, whether seen or not, in a floor that may effect the final look of the floor.  Cracked or defective boards, stains, or reactions with the finish due to chemicals (spills) in the wood are some examples of this.

Question: How long before I can walk on the floor?

Answer: It all depends on which type of finish is used, temperature and relative humidity.  We use a water based urethane which allows walking on after 4-6 hours, although it is highly recommended to stay off the floor until all coatings are completed.  Twenty-four hours is the recommended time after final coat before the customer can walk on floor.   No walking is allowed on the floor when the bare, sanded floor reaches a certain stage in the sanding process until after a coat of finish has been applied.


Question: How long before I can put furniture back?

Answer: 72 hours is the recommended time to allow before furniture is placed back on floor.  Customer should install floor protection on all furniture (IE: felt pads) and appliances (IE: glide guards).


Question: What is the difference between oil and water based finishes?

Answer: The main difference between oil & water based finishes is this:

Oil based is becoming a thing of the past due to the damage it causes to the environment. Oil based has toxic vapours, strong odors, flammable,  yellows with time, overnight dry time, full cure is 30 days.

Water based has low odor, most do not yellow with time, dries in 4-6 hours, and full cure is 3-7 days depending upon the product.  At LRB Hardwood Flooring Inc. we use quality water based finishes providing the customer with a strong and durable floor finish.  


Question: How many coats of finish are applied?

Answer: The standard is that 3 coats of finish are applied which includes a sealer coat and two top coats.


Question: How shiny will my floor look after it is refinished?

Answer: The standard sheen level used by LRB Hardwood Flooring Inc. is “satin” as it best hides any dust, dings or scratches.  Other gloss levels may be available upon request but should be discussed in advance.


Question: Do I need to provide parking?

Answer: Yes. Parking for a truck and a cargo trailer must be supplied.  Ideally, on-site parking for the cargo trailer for the duration of the job should be supplied.  In some areas where special permits are required to park, it is the responsibility of the customer to provide an adequate amount of permits.


Question: I live outside of Edmonton. Will you do my floors?

Answer: Yes. While we service the Greater Edmonton area, we will do any job outside of Edmonton but extra charges such as travel, accommodations, meals and any other expenses would apply as required.


Question: How should I maintain my floor?

Answer: You may vacuum with a soft bristle head or clean with a mop designed for hardwood floors.  When cleaning with the mop, please note that “damp mop” means as little water as possible.  Do not use a janitor's mop & bucket or a steam mop.  Only use a cleaning agent that is designed for urethane floors.  It is not recommended to use cleaners such furniture polish, wax, Pine Sol® or Murphy’s Oil Soap® as  products like these can leave a residue that prevents doing a “recoat” process in the future.  Place walk off rugs at all entrances, avoiding those with rubber backs as they can discolor your floor.


Question: My site finished floor is in decent shape with no major damage but is showing signs of wear.  Is it necessary to resand my floor?

Answer: Not always.  If the floor has been maintained properly and the finish has not worn down to bare wood a “recoat” process can be done to extend the life of the floor without doing a complete refinish process.


Question: How do I inspect my floor after it has been refinished?

Answer: The expectation of a “perfect” floor is not realistic.

The following is from the National Wood Flooring Association ( Finishing Hardwood Flooring, Over-all Appearance-What to Expect:

Inspection should be done from a standing position with normal lighting. Glare particularly from large windows, magnifies any irregularity in the floors and should not determine acceptance. A finish similar to that found on fine furniture should not be expected. Trash in the finish, a wavy look along strips, deep swirls or sander marks, and splotchy areas can be indications of inadequate finishing or cleaning. The quality of the finish can be acceptable and still include some of these problems, but they should not appear over the entire floor.   The perimeter and hard to reach areas (i.e. under radiators, around cabinets and cabinet cut-outs, closets, corners, etc.) are most likely to contain these irregularities. Again, when inspected from a standing positions these irregularities may be present but should not be prominent.


If you have a question you would like answered, please send it to INFO@LRBHARDWOOD.COM

updated: 2024