Once you’ve decided to install or refinish a wood floor, you may wonder what will happen next. Knowing what to expect before, during, and after the work takes place will help ensure a high-quality job.
Before work begins, remove all furnishings, draperies, paintings, and other items from the room. For new installations, the wood will need to acclimate, which will vary from two days to two weeks or even longer.
If your floors are being sanded, finished or refinished, be prepared for some noise and disruption. Dust containment systems can minimize debris, but no system is 100% effective, so cover any items that you want to keep dust-free. When the finish is applied, stay off your floors until it has dried. The time required will vary depending on the type of finish used.
After the finish has dried, put felt pads on the bottoms of any furniture to minimize scratches and dents. Place scatter rugs at all entrances, avoiding those with rubber backs, which can discolor your floor. Avoid walking on your floors with cleats or high heels in disrepair.
Keep in mind that no two floor boards will be identical. Variations in appearance are completely normal. As your floor ages, some color change can occur. This also is normal, but can be minimized by limiting exposure to direct sunlight, and periodically moving furniture and rugs. Seasonal humidity change may cause the wood to expand and contract. Cracks are normal and will appear and disappear between floor boards during seasons of high and low humidity. Flooring inspectors recommend inspecting the floor from a standing position in normal lighting to identify irregularities.
Finally, keep your wood floors looking their best by properly maintaining them. Maintain fluctuations in home relative humidity to 10% – 20%. Use a cleaning product recommended for your floors and use it regularly to keep them looking beautiful for years to come.
Reprinted from NWFA