Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the content below for answers to frequently asked questions about wood floors, care, and maintenance.

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Q: What type of finishes are best for a wood floor?

A: Both oil and water base finishes are comparable in durability. Water base is a good option if you’re living in the space while the flooring project occurs because there are less fumes. Water base also reaches its cure point faster than oil base finishes - meaning it dries faster, hardens faster, and is ready to live on faster. For those concerned with having a ‘green’ floor, Andersen Wood Floors can provide the option of a low VOC finish. Contact Andersen Wood floors to learn more about finish options, and how to care for them.

Q: What can I expect during the installation/refinishing process?

A: Once you've decided to install or refinish a wood floor, knowing what to expect before, during, and after the work takes place will help ensure a high-quality job and your satisfaction.

Before work begins, remove all furnishings, rugs, draperies, paintings, and other items from the room. If your floors are being sanded, finished or refinished, be prepared for some noise, dust, 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.

Q: How can I prevent scratches and damage to my wood floors?

A: Here are some ways to prevent the most common types of damage to wood floors, including:
Discoloration caused by overexposure to sunlight
Scratches from furniture or high heels without pads, and
Cupping and gapping due to inconsistent humidity levels in your home

UV exposure: As your floor ages, some color change can occur. This is normal, but can be minimized by limiting exposure to direct sunlight. Prevent UV damage and discoloration by keeping blinds closed, and periodically moving furniture and rugs.

Scratches: To prevent scratches and gouges, place felt furniture pads under the feet of all couches, chairs, table, bookcases, cabinets, and other furniture so that it slides easily when moved, and will not scratch the floor. Use felt pads on the underside of hampers, plastic clothes baskets and coolers too. Don’t walk on the floor in shoes that have heels in disrepair, as the broken heels can cause gouges. Place mats and throw rugs at doorways and heavy traffic areas to help protect wood floors from grit, dirt, and sand, and vacuum or dust your wood floor regularly.

Humidity: Gaps between floor boards are normal as well, and may appear and disappear during seasons of high and low humidity. Generally, anything less than the width of a dime is considered normal, and will correct itself as seasons change. Installing or adjusting a home humidifier can help protect your floor from damage caused by too much humidity, or dryness.

Q: Why do the humidity levels in my home affect my wood floor?

A: Wood is an organic material that reacts to its environment. It is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs and loses moisture in reaction to its surrounding environment. In humid environments, wood gains moisture and swells. In dry environments, wood loses moisture and shrinks. This is completely normal, but if your wood floor gains or loses too much moisture, problems can occur. Maintaining a consistent environment and humidity in your home throughout the entire year offers the best protection for your wood floor. Consistent humidity levels are especially important for new floors.

Too much humidity or moisture can cause cupping, where the long edges of each floor board become raised. Wood that loses too much moisture can gap, which occurs between the floor boards. Gaps normally appear and disappear during seasonal changes in humidity, and are usually smaller than the width of a dime. However, if gaps are larger or do not close during more-humid months, it is a sign of too little moisture in your home. Both of these issues can be minimized by maintaining an environment that is consistently between 60-80 degrees, and 30-50% humidity. Significant fluctuations outside these ranges can result in cupping or gaps. Installing a home humidifier system may help you keep a consistent environment that will extend the life of your wood floors.