Will sanding my floors make my home a mess?


We say that we take 99% of the dust we create with us. The edger sander and the buffer (the two main culprits of uncollected dust) are hooked up to powerful vacuums that collect the dust they create on every job. There is no "up-charge" for this service. We understand that you don't want a dusty house and we don't want to work in dust. Some floor sanders want to 'see their dust' while buffing a floor so they know if the sandpaper is still sharp- Modern Hardwood Floor Service sander's know how sharp paper feels through the machine and don't need to fill a customer's home with dust to know if it's time to change paper.




Can I stay in my home during the process?


For the most part, yes. But be prepared, the process is loud and there's the possibility of fumes from stains and/or finishes. Oil base finishes have a strong chemical odor, while water based finishes have much less odor. The water based finishes Modern Hardwood Floor Service uses are Greenguard certified for indoor air quality. There will also be dry times where you cannot cross the wood floors, oil based finishes take up to 6-8 hours to dry and water base finishes dry within a few hours. It is ultimately a personal preference whether you want to be in your home throughout the process.




Which finish should I choose, water based finish or oil polyurethane?


Finish selection is a fairly complicated process. There are a lot of different options and grades of finishes, Modern Hardwood Floor Service only uses quality finishes. In almost all cases we use Lenmar or Polopaz oil based polyurethane and Bona brand water based finishes. The most economical choice is oil based polyurethane. It is a traditional finish that wears well, provides a traditional amber color to the floor and a nice build. It's downside however, is that it has a strong chemical odor and it takes several hours to dry and weeks to fully cure. Water based finishes can be categorized into two categories- one component and two component. The one component finishes are similiar in durability to an oil based polyurethane. It is more expensive but the benefit is that they dry in a few hours, are very low odor, and only take a week to fully cure. They tend to be clear in color although there are options availale that will provide the traditional amber color. The two component water based finishes are commercial grade and extremely durable. They also dry and cure quickly, getting you back onto your floors sooner. With quality though comes a price. they are more expensive than the one component water based finishes. Modern Hardwood Floor Service recommends if you have children, dogs, or expect a lot of traffic on your floors that it is worth the investment for the two component finish.




Should I paint before or after I have my floors sanded?


For the most part, it doesn't matter. Our process is clean with little dust left behind. Modern Hardwood Floor Service does our best to not damage the paintwork in the homes we work in. However the machinery is oversized and everyone is capable of bumping a wall or a molding. There is always a possibilty that there will need to be touchups. However it is also a possibility that a painter will spill paint or have some splatter that gets on the floor. In most cases it is easier to touch up paint than it is to get paint off the floor. The exception to this is if we are installing or refinishing stairs. The skirt boards, pickets, risers, and associated paintwork around the staircase should be done after the job is complete. It is likely that we will bump the painted surfaces or get a smudge of stain on the paint- It is a very tight space to work in using aggressive tools and processes to get the stairs ready to stain and finish.




What cleaner should I use/How do I clean my floor?


Modern Hardwood Floor Service recommends Bona Floor Cleaner. First be sure to clean up loose dirt and debris using a suction only vacuum and/or a dry Swiffer. Then spray a mist on the floor and wipe it up with a microfiber cloth. Bona makes a convenient system that has a pole with a swivel head that velcro's to the microfiber cloth. Rinse or change the cloth as needed. Under no circumstances should you use a 'cleaner' or rejuvenator that leaves a residue or shine behind. No Murphy's Oil Soap, Mop and Glo, OrangeGlo, Bona Polish, etc. You are coating your floor with an extremely low quality acrylic product that will collect dirt and leave your floor looking dingy and worn. If you use a cleaning service be sure to supply all the products- rags and other implements. Make sure you're clear that they are only for the hardwood floors. There should be separate set of products for the bathroom and tile areas.




What if someone uses one of these "forbidden" cleaners?


Stop! Then throw it away. That is the first step, then depending on how long it has been used there are a couple paths. If it only happened once, then the cleaner will eventually wear off- using the Bona Cleaner will help remove it slowly. Don't try to strip it by repeatedly cleaning it. It's better for the floor to let time do it's thing. If it has been going on for awhile or you inherited the mess, then there are cleaners, machines and techniques that can remove the product. Sometimes it just needs to be cleaned up and you're good to go. However other times we have to get a little aggressive and lightly sand and put a new coat of quality finish on the floor.




How soon can I move my furniture back?


It is recommended to wait 3 days. Water based finishes are at 90% cure in 3 days, 100% cure at 7 days. Oil based polyurethane is much slower to cure. At 3 days you should be very careful moving furniture back in. It takes 30 days for oil based polyurethane to fully cure. Be sure to wait to replace rug areas until the floor is fully cured.





Modern Hardwood Floor Service

Manassas, VA 

Bona Certified Craftsman
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