This is a question I hear a lot from clients. Most of the time people are worried about refinishing being a dusty, smelly and toxic project in their home. There’s been many stories from the past of clouds of dust filling your home. Smelly toxic finishes being applied that fill your home with noxious fumes and force you out of your home. Also because of the off gassing these finishes were known to make you stay out of your home for long stretches of time so you couldn’t move back in for a week after. These are all a thing of the past.
Let’s talk about some advancements made in floor refinishing.
A vacuum is attached to every sander that will be on your floor. These catch 95%-98% of the dust
We vacuum the floor multiple times throughout the day
While vacuum systems are becoming more standard, what isn’t as well known is how well they work. They capture about 95% to 98% of the dust created from the sanders. Of course that means they do not catch 100% of the dust. So we vacuum the floors multiple times a day to capture any dust left on the floor. We can also put up some plastic around some sensitive sections, although this practice is hardly needed anymore. So those dust storms from refinishing you may have heard about are a thing of the past. We also do a final clean up and wipe down of any excessive dust from the project.
Advanced floor finishes
Non toxic, no more nasty fumes
The industry has definitely heard the client loud and clear and non toxic durable finishes are at the forefront. There are many options to choose from but it seems the standard now a days is water based finishes. You can get single component are two component finish if extreme durability is your need. These are all low VOC, non toxic and low odor. Also since they are water based they dry and cure much faster than finishes from the past.
So what you get are finishes that won’t stink up your home for a long amount of time and you can move your furniture back into place much quicker.
So through a few meaningful changes there has been a lot of progress made. The clouds of dust that find their way into every nook and cranny of your home are non existent nowadays. Your home being filled toxic fumes and not being able to be in your home for a week are long gone.
The truth is that with vacuum systems and water based finishes, you can live in home through out the whole project. Like any renovation project it will be nosy and somewhat inconvenient, so you may choose to leave your home but I never tell my clients that they have to leave. At the end your floors will look like new and you’ll have made a good investment into your home.
Hardwood flooring never goes out of style. Since 1885, it continues to flourish in designing homes and establishments!
There are millions of reasons why you definitely want to choose hardwood flooring. First, they add elegance, charm and classic vibes in your home interiors. The natural colors and beautiful marks on the wood planks create this unique and inviting appeal to the eyes. Second, it requires low maintenance. Because hardwood floors are sealed with protective layers of finish, they are more stain resistant. Cleaning will never be easier! Third, they are sustainable. What better way of helping the environment than to cut emissions and support sustainable development? Wood flooring uses less water and are fit for recycling when being replaced. It definitely steps up the fight towards a greener environment.
While there is a great number of reasons why we prefer hardwood floors, there is also a great number of health benefits in choosing it!
They improve indoor air quality.
Hardwood floors are carbon-neutral products. They are designed to take action in removing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Increasing carbon dioxide emissions is one of the rising human problems today. It continues to intensify as fossil fuel and other modern industries continue to flourish. With this detrimental problem, we humans can do something.
Even if hardwood floors are already manufactured, they continue to store up carbon during their service lives. Products which absorbs carbon from the air is a great help to maintain the balance between carbon and oxygen in the atmosphere. This can help in creating a good air quality. Instead of investing in carpets and other types of flooring which adds up to carbon emissions and bad air quality, wise buyers can lean on to hardwood flooring.
Research also shows that hardwood flooring greatly reduce the accumulation of toxins that improves indoor air quality. You are not only investing into a sound home, you are also investing to a greener environment. Cheers to going green and quality indoor air!
Hardwood flooring do not harbor allergens and microorganisms.
Allergens and harmful substances are found everywhere. They exist outdoors and indoors, affecting many people every day. While we can’t totally control allergens existing outdoors, we can minimize the presence of indoor allergens. Choosing hardwood floors is one of the best options. Wood floors decrease the accumulation of allergens over time because of the absence of fibers that traps substances. That’s why they’re known as “hypoallergenic”. This type of flooring can play a significant part in the lives of people who are infected with allergies and asthma.
According to Asthma UK, there are 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK, which means asthma affects one in every 11 people and one in five households. Every 10 seconds someone is having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack in the UK. Every day, the lives of three families are devastated by the death of a loved one due to an asthma attack. The situation is dire indeed but two thirds of these deaths are preventable.
On the other hand, asthma affects more than 24 million people in the U.S. – including more than 6 million children as reported by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
See, if we create better decisions in designing our homes, we can get away with severe and infuriating illnesses. So if you have thought of carpets as the best type of flooring, it is advisable to think again.
It attracts less dust and bacteria.
Researchers and scientists report that the exposure of children to microbes in the outdoors establishes stronger and more robust immune system in young children. A lot of people actually believe in this but what they tend to overlook is that overexposure to germs and bacteria will cost the health of a young one. Still and all, overexposure to bacteria and germs can lead to infections and diseases.
As much as we love to keep track of our kid’s hygiene, we also need to keep track of their environment. Creating a healthy and safe home is one secret to a healthy and happy family. This is supported by the fact that hardwood flooring does not collect huge pack of dusts and bacteria unlike carpets and other types of flooring.
When you have kids at home, it is very important to invest in a good type of flooring. Kids being kids, crawl their way out to anywhere. Kids also like to play in wide spaces like floors and backyards. Hence, they are exposed to a multifold number of dusts, bacteria, and irritants. Kids also like to suck their thumbs. Think of all those germs and bacteria being sucked by kids. They are literally covered with microbes when playing.
Hardwood flooring aside from being easier to clean, is also more resistant to dusts and other particles. It is a more sanitary option compared to other flooring types. So if you care for your kids and their health, hardwood flooring is the best option for you.
They are proven low in VOC finishes and adhesives.
Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are gases that are harmful to humans. Some health effects include eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination and nausea. They are found in paints, sprays, supplies, preservatives and many more manufactured products. These pose danger to human health.
The good news is that hardwood flooring is proven low in VOC finishes and adhesives. Hardwood flooring compared to other types of flooring like carpets, linoleum and vinyl flooring was found to have very minimal amounts of volatile organic compounds. It does not only prevent you from acquiring adverse illnesses, low VOC content also aids in creating better indoor air quality.
Protect your family with a health-friendly flooring!
“Design is a private, intimate process and you have to embrace the many twists and turns it takes to create an exciting, inspiring, but ultimately livable space”
– Kit Kemp
A good-looking home without proper home interiors is a lost in the long run. Choosing Hardwood flooring can assure a happy and healthy home for you and your loved ones!
Just imagine that you have decided to rip out the old carpet or laminate in your home and install some nice hardwood floors. You go through the process of finding and choosing a floor that you like. Then you go through another process of choosing someone to install the floor. Now you are really looking forward to the finished product!
But you look around and notice a few mistakes in the install, some attempts to hide them, and then a few more and what is with that big hump in the middle of the living room! Uh oh!
Recently I had the (dis)pleaseasure of taking a look at a floor just like I’m describing, it was clearly not done by professionals.
I’ll show you some pictures from the floor and describe what you are seeing.
Here they used filler to “hide” some gaps. Hardwood floors need expansion gaps all around the walls as the hardwood will move. It expands and contracts as it takes in and releases moisture. Not enough gaps will cause problems.
BUT these gaps should be covered by baseboard or mouldings. This was not done here. They should have taken the extra time to remove the baseboards and undercut the doorway. This would hide the needed expansion gaps and leave a clean install.
Some don’t remove the baseboards and this is perfectly fine if the flooring is installed properly. Then the EVEN gaps are covered by a moulding.
They tried to do that here BUT just on this one wall. This must be done throughout the house, and the expansion gaps should be fairly even, usually around 1/4″, for it too look good. What was done here was to hide some imperfections with moulding and then some with filler. So this one wall with a shoe moulding really stood out, in a bad way.
A hardwood flooring install should be seamless. Meaning there is no need for transitions, unless the hardwood is meeting another material, such as tile or carpet. The flooring should have just continued on here, through the doorway. Perhaps they added hardwood to this bedroom at a later date. The solution for this would be to lace in new flooring into the existing, leaving a seamless transition. To be honest, I have no idea what anyone was thinking in the picture below.
While it is hard to see in the picture, there was a very noticeable hump in this living room. You may be able to tell with the light and shadows.
This was due to not doing any sub floor prep. That would mean making sure the sub floor is flat and clean. Sub floor prep can make a huge improvement to any flooring installation. Imagine walking over your newly installed floor and drastically dips into the corner of a room. We would discuss any needed sub floor prep with you, and go over your options.
So while these examples are some of the worst work I’ve ever seen, it does highlight that fact that it is always good value to hire a pro. Make sure that anyone you are hiring is a professional at what they do. Flooring seems to get lumped in to a “so easy anyone can do it” category, but this post and other installs I’ve seen prove that having a professional handling your hardwood flooring project is well worth it.
So how do you do find a reputable professional? Search online for reviews, pictures of their work, and meet with them. Ask questions, they should be happy to answer questions you may have.
This will ensure that the work is done properly, and that it will look good for a long time. Your floors should last as long as your home is standing.
Recently I refinished a hardwood floor that previously had moisture issues that were not corrected properly, and it got me thinking about this subject.
The floor in question was crowned, where the center of every board bulges up.
When the house was first built there was a moisture issue of some kind. The floor then cupped, because the boards would swell from the intake of moisture, and then edges push against each other. So the builder fixed the moisture issue and got the floor refinished, soon after.
Where I believe the issue happened was that the floor was refinished too soon. The floor didn’t have time to stabilize the moisture content and lay back down. So when they sanded it, it looked flat, but when the moisture stabilized later, the process of sanding had taken too much wood off the edges, so now the centers of the hardwood floor had more material and was crowned.
If they had left it longer and let the wood stabilize more, then refinished it, it would have been a flat floor.
This is not the only way your hardwood floor can get crowned. If there is a difference in moisture within the board, this can happen as well.
Since this moisture issue was well in the past and the it had been stable for a long time, with our refinishing we were able to get the floor nice and flat.
This was not the only reason the homeowner decided to get their floors refinished, as it was worn and due for an update. We were able to get a nice bright custom stain colour that opened up the space and that homeowners were very happy with.
The proper steps must be followed so the issues can be corrected once and for all. This starts even before install, with proper moisture readings of the space and of the wood. Allowing the floor to acclimate to the new environment is key. Proper moisture control during and after install is very important as well.
So this was a good reminder that care needs to be taken with all aspects of a hardwood floor install and refinish. From proper acclimatization, and knowing the full history of the floor.
If you want anymore info on our services, contact Evergreen Hardwood Floors today.
I wanted to provide a little insight into my trade after going to see a client who tried to refinish his own floors with some rented equipment. Some things are fairly DIY safe but some are a little more complicated. I liken it to car maintenance. I have no formal training, but I do have wrenches, screwdrivers, and Youtube, so I can do oil changes and basic maintenance but should I take apart my transmission? That is a recipe for disaster, trust me.