Staining Wood Floors

Staining wood floors to change or enhance the color of wood has become more popular in recent years. First thing to consider is the species of wood that is being stained and whether that species stains uniformily. Some species, such as Maple ar not conducive to site staining due to the blotchy and uneveness that stain reacts to raw maple. If a stained Maple is desired a factory prefinished product is the best alternative due to a cascade application process that can be applied to the individual boards that applies the stain in a “waterfall” method to apply evenly and uniformily to the wood. Another common species that takes some stain colors irregularly is Pine. Darker colors especially those with red tones react better to Pine. In choosing the right color, things to consider are the colors of your walls, cabinets and trim. Darker colors have become very popular recently and there are some very unique colors to choose from such as black, grey, and blue. Things to consider in choosing a dark color is the size of the space as dark floors and dark walls will make the room appear smaller. Also dark floors show dust and foot prints more than a lighter floor. Older floors that have stains in the floor from water or pet damage can benifit from sanding and stain to reduce the visibilty of the water and pet damage. A darker color stain in this case especially those colors with red tint do well in making the damaged areas less prominent. Site staining will usually add an additional day of sanding, detail and stain application. Not all stains are created equal. Consider a quality stain as it will make a marked difference in the final product. We prefer to use the Duraseal and Bona line of stains. Both are quality companies and have been making stains specifically for the flooring industry.

Repairing Discontinued Products

Repaired Discontinued products can be challenging. The flooring industry rapidly changes product lines with can make future repairs or additional room installations a challenge. When installing a new product make sure to order an additional box or two to do future repairs with. If no matching product is available then it can be challenging to match a floor repair. This past week a 3 strip Beech wood floor had water damaged areas from a window that was leaking along with several overwatered plants. First of all the window needed to be repaired first or any repairs to the floor would just become re-damaged.  After extensively exhausting all the resources locally and nationally for the product only to find out that the product has been discontinued and no inventory available, the next step was to determine if we could come up with a 3 strip board to match. Beech wood is no longer produced as a flooring product by the major manufacturers of hardwood flooring.  We have not been able to get any dimension of Beech wood for several years. One option is to remove some flooring from a closet and replace the closet with a different product while using the reclaimed wood for the repair. This floor did not offer that option since there were no closets that contained any wood flooring. Our next option was to custom fabricate a board that had a similar layout as to the existing floor. This is a labor intensive process and costly as well. Another option is to replace the damaged boards with a different but similar styled grain and tone of wood. Sand and refinish with a coat of stain to match the floors. The final option was what the client decided to go with and the repair came out beautifully, an effective solution to conserve the floor and avoid removing over fifteen thousand dollars of flooring and replace it with another wood floor. Some engineered floors cannot be refinished due to the thinness of the wood veneer. Others can be sanded once or twice. Once a floor is at its last resurfacing stage it is crucial to seal the floor with the maximum number of coats of sealer and re-coat every couple of years to build up the protection on the floor. In order to allow the option of re-coats it is imperative that no mineral oil based products or wax be applied. Once a mineral oil based product or wax is applied then the finish is not suitable for a screen and re-coat, due to the film that the wax or mineral oil leaves on the polyurethane and preventing a bonding surface for the next coat of polyurethane. If mineral oil or wax is used then a chemical bonding agent is needed to allow a chemical bonding surface.