Your Hardwood Flooring FAQs

Here are some hardwood flooring FAQs. If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask using the contact form and not only will your question be answered, but there is a chance that they will be added to the Hardwood Flooring FAQs page.

How long does it take to sand and refinish wood floors?

Typically, sanding and refinishing a room will take a few hours. However, various factors can increase the time it takes. Sanding time will depend on the condition of the floor. Removing scratches, stains, and the previous finish can require more time. Additionally, the type of finish will increase the time due to drying and additional steps. In most instances, the contractor will be able to give you a better estimate once they inspect the floor.


What is better – water-based or oil based polyurethane?

This is less about what is better and more about what the needs are. Water-based dries much faster and doesn’t smell as strong as oil-based polyurethane. However, oil-based polyurethane lasts longer than water-based and will not require as many coats.

Most people opt for oil-based polyurethane by default. However, if you feel you have a use case where water-based might be the best option, I suggest doing research and speaking to your contractor.


How long does it take polyurethane to dry?

Oil-based polyurethane will take about 24 hours to dry to the point of walking. However, the floor will take days and even weeks to fully cure. During this time, It is best not to wear hard-soled shoes on the floor or drag feet or furniture. After a few days, furniture can be put back in place by lifting, not dragging.

Water-based polyurethane will dry in a matter of hours. It is still recommended that you walk on this surface carefully and that all furniture gets lifted and placed. Be particularly careful with chairs!


Should I get satin or glossy polyurethane?

This is strictly a matter of preference. Lately, the trend has been more towards satin, but glossy has stayed around. Factors to consider include lighting, location, furniture, and room type. You really can’t go wrong.


What is a screen and re-coat?

A screen and recoat is a process that involves the removing or screening the top layer of polyurethane and recoating it will a new layer of polyurethane. This is a good option when 1) the finish might have worn out and have surface marks 2) minimal scratches, and 3) the existing color will be used.


How many coats of polyurethane should I get?

Most people are satisfied with one thick coat of polyurethane with the exception being two. In only rare, high traffic areas would more than two coats be recommended.

Here are some additional hardwood flooring FAQs. If you have any additional questions, please use the contact form. Thanks!


Should I get solid or engineered wood flooring?

Both flooring types have their pros and cons. Solid has the benefit of being able to last for years and being sanded for the duration of the home with no worry of it being sanded too much. A major con with solid flooring is how it handles water and humidity. Solid wood grows and shrinks with the rise and decrease of humidity. A fundamental fact is that wood and moisture do not mix.

With engineered wood flooring things are a little different. While still wood, the engineering process has made it less susceptible to moisture issues. It also works well on concrete which is something that can’t be said about solid wood. On the other hand, engineered flooring cannot be sanded as many times as solid wood. Also, engineered flooring may emit gases and odors from the glue used to make them.

The choice really comes down to where the floors will be used, the environment, and preference. Both are beautiful and will last for years to come.


How long do I have to wait to put furniture on the floors?

It is best to wait at least a few days to put furniture back in place. When putting your furniture, be sure to lift and place everything. Do not drag!


What is the best way to clean my floors?

In most cases a dust mop or slightly damp mop will work. There are solutions that can be recommended such as Bona Hardwood Care. Find more cleaning products on the recommended hardwood flooring products page.


How do I remove a scratch from my floors?

There are different levels of scratches. Here is a quick overview:

For surface and minor scratches, use a high grade steel wool or fine sandpaper. Lightly sand the area going with the grain. Clean the area using mineral spirits. Use a foam brush to apply polyurethane.

For multiple, deep scratches, it is best to contact a flooring professional.


Should I install hardwood floors in the basement?

I would not recommend installing hardwood flooring in the basement. Moisture issues in the basement combined with the concrete floor can create a lot of issues with the wood. For basements, it is best to look into tile, laminate, and carpet.