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Wood Floor & Stair Refinishing

Give your home a refreshed look and feel with a refinish.

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New Wood Floor Installation

Hardwood flooring creates a warm, welcoming environment for your home.

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Hardwood Floor Recoating

Some floors just need a recoating to revitalize their beauty.

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Hardwood Floor Repairs

We can make the new flooring blend in and leave a flawless, uniform finish.

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Wood Floor & Stair Refinishing
New Wood Floor Installation
Hardwood Floor Recoating
Hardwood Floor Repairs

It’s 2019, so what’s the big flooring trend? High quality hardwood of course. And from an interior design standpoint, they are as timeless and trendy as ever. If you’re looking to add value to your home, make an environmentally friendly flooring decision or create a warm environment, hardwood flooring might be the best option out there.

Want to know more about why, click here! 

Here are some of the hottest hardwood trends you can expect in 2019

#1. Let’s get wide!


Over the past ten or so years, people are getting wide and funky with their hardwood. Wide hardwood width trends include planks up to 7 inches wide. Yep, you heard that right, 7 inches wide. And honestly, the outcome looks pretty darn trendy. 

And guess what? It’s making a big comeback this year! These wide planks make your space appear and feel more spacious so if you’re wanting to make a space look bigger, wide is the way.               




#2. Not into wide, what about mixed width wood floors?

Looking to make a unique statement with your floors? Well, mixed width wood is a great way to do that. 

Talk about a conversation starter?

I’m not sure about you, but I haven’t seen these floors in a lot of people’s homes, but they are starting to really make their mark. 

And another really neat thing about mixed width?

It was originally created to utilize all the cuts of the entire tree in the most efficient way so there is less waste. Plus you get an authentic and natural feel with the added benefit of being environmentally conscious. 

Sounds like a great way to go to me! 

#3. A new day for GREY! 

Grey refinishing gives your hardwood a fresh, clean and modern take on traditional hardwood. 

Grey may be one of the hottest trending hardwood colors right now. However, it’s not the easiest to create. So make sure you take the time and research flooring professionals who specialize in this. Click here, for an article to guide you the right direction.  








#4. White Wash more than your denim

 White washing is back in! You see this trend everywhere from your jeans to your floors. Taking it back to the 80’s–  with some upgrades. This trend is extreme to some, but for those looking for something different or that “beachy” vibe, white wash is a great option. It’s also versatile and can look classy, but also edgy at the same time. For more white wash inspiration check these out!







#5. Environmentally conscious decisions are trending! 


There are a lot of options when it comes to environmentally conscious flooring. Sealing or finishing your hardwood floors with something like polyurethanes is a quickly evolving trend of using natural oils, and it gives you all the environmentally friendly options you could want. 

For example oils such as soy, sunflower, hemp or safflower oil combined with resin waxes such as bees or carnuba wax can have a positive environmental effect, making your floors more durable with a duller finish, while leaving the texture and color untainted. Plus they look fab. For more on oil finishes check this out! 


#6. Wire brushing – the modern distressed look.

 Wire brushing is a modern technique that is just what it sounds like. A wire brush will be brushed over the wood which enhances its natural character and exposing the growth rings, making it easy to conceal damage throughout the life of the floor. Pretty cool, huh?

While the old school style of distressed wood was a bit rougher – bumpy with lots of grooves. Wire brushing leaves a smoother finish while maintaining some of that oh-so-wanted texture. 

Why wire brushing? Well besides its unique look, it also brushes away any soft wood, leaving behind only the hardest wood. So you can expect durable and trendy, European-style flooring for years to come.


#7. Finish on site


On-site prefinishing is proving to be the popular preference these days. It gives a cleaner more seamless look compared to the pre-finished floors which can often leave behind drips, streaks, and stripes from the wood stain. 

And no one has time for that. 

Factory finished hardwoods often leave behind less than desirable imperfections. Keep this in mind when browsing options. You may not be able to note the difference when holding a single plank in your hand, however it will be obvious once the hardwood is laid across your floor. 







#8. Matte and Satin finish for a natural look 

Glimmer and gloss are out while satin and matte finishes are trending. These finishes are both in fashion and functional. They are also easier to clean and look newer longer, as opposed to a semi-gloss or glossy finish which doesn’t stand a chance against dust and scratches.

But for some, matte floors can look a little too dull. 

But not to worry because a satin finish will give you that perfect balance of matte and semi-gloss. 

Feel free to drool over the below picture of stunning Walnut hardwood with no stain and a satin finish!







#9. Contrast is trending – Dark & Light 

On one side of the spectrum, dark wood floors are trending for esthetic reasons.Hardwood floor stain color trends have been going darker and darker over the years. But…We are also seeing a rise in light flooring as well. The stark contrast of light, almost white, hardwood is really upping its game for its functional benefit of being easier to keep clean and maintain. So will you join the dark side or the light side? Both will look sharp! Your choice. 







#10. Choose floors that last a lifetime 

Solid hardwood is trending on the 2019 flooring scene. Not only is it the popular choice, but it’s also a smart one. While there are cheaper alternative choices, none of them offer the lasting durability of 100+ years that solid hardwood does. 

Who doesn’t want floors that will last a lifetime?         

And another benefit of going with solid hardwood is that they allow for you to sand refinish and make color changes as much you desire. Seeing that these floors will likely be with you for a long time, you might want to make some changes as your style and trends change. And with solid hardwood that’s never an issue. They make it possible to shift with the times and cater to your preferences. 

Durable, long-lasting and always customizable? Sounds like a winner to me. 






 11. Keep it simple, stay on trend. 

Current design trends in hardwood floors offer a simple aesthetic. Sticking to same size planks all laid in the same direction versus pattern lays or multi-sized cuts. Clean and sleek is the intention behind this current trend in hardwood. 

Simpler floors allow for an aesthetically cleaner and less distracted space, allowing you to get more creative with the rest of your decor. 

Funky floor patterns are fun but can also be distracting and even make a room look and feel cluttered. Perhaps it is best to leave the funk for your throw pillows and curtains, as those are a bit easier to change. 









12. White Oak is in for hardwood floor trends 2019

So just a quick note here, White Oak is actually a little bit darker with more brown and yellow undertones, while Red Oak is a little lighter with more pink undertones. 

But either way, it seems more consumers are preferring the refined and more modern look of White Oak over the former popular option of Red Oak. And for good reason. Not only does it look stellar but White Oak is more water resistant. YAY! No need to worry about spills. 

Also, going with White Oak also allows for a wider spectrum of staining options. Greys and white washes will take quite well to White Oak. 

Check out this beautiful light-washed White Oak floor. 

 And White Oak is a 1360 on the Janka hardness scale versus Red Oak being a 1290, which makes it a bit more resilient when it comes to wear, dings or dents.


#13. Hardwood everywhere, every room – that is what’s trending in hardwood flooring!

Over the past ten or so years the use of hardwood has spilled over all areas of the house. And this is trending because, well, it’s stylish and looks chic! 

Long gone are the days of tile and other common flooring options. 

Plus hardwood is durable, cost-effective and will open up your space. Why would you not want that in every room of your home?  So you want hardwood in every space in your home?No problem! Hardwood in hallways is also trending. Allowing the hardwood to spill into the hallway as well as other rooms creates a much sought-after uniform feel for your flooring, as well as making upkeep seamless and faster. 


Think about it…Less time plus easy cleaning! No need to have a closet full of different cleaning gadgets and products. Having hardwood floors throughout your house makes it a one-and-done process.









#14. High Variation Wood Floors

One of my favorite trends of 2019….

I give you high variation hardwood. As you can see, it’s stunning but also unique. 

The trend comes from wanting a high variation in color like we see in nature. In nature, no two pieces of wood look the same, so now you can replicate that natural variation with your floors. 

But the really cool part? There are different types of high variation floors. 

While most high variation hardwood stick with similar color palettes, some are now starting to mix different colors and hues together. 

I personally love the beautiful photo below of high variation floors with a mix of light and grey color wood. 

It gives you a modem, yet rustic look. 

So if you are looking for something a little different, then check into high variation. They are beautiful and versatile– the perfect combo. 









#15 So what’s the latest trend in hardwood floors? – The educated consumer! 

Which cut is best, or what grade do I want?

Nowadays with the wealth of information available online, consumers know that want and how to ask for it. Back in the day, most people didn’t know how to research and make informed decisions about hardwood floors without going into a store to talk to someone. 

So what’s trendy now? 

Doing your research and educating yourself, while consulting your local hardwood flooring guru.

Check out the photo below to learn about different cuts of hardwood and click here to learn more about different grades of hardwood. 

Now that you are in the know with the hottest hardwood flooring trends of 2019. You are ready to make decisions for every room. Taking the warmth of hardwood from your kitchen, through the hallway, into the living room and in any or every area of your house. Open it up with wider planks, get funky with white wash, or  keep it clean with lighter stains. 




Your options are endless – happy flooring! 



I don’t know if you’re like me, but when it comes to hiring someone to have work done on my house, I do a lot of research to see  if I can answer some of my own questions before having them start the project. Having your engineered or solid hardwood floors refinished can be quite the undertaking. We want to help you make this process a little easier by answering some of your questions that we’ve heard over the last 10 years. Here are our top 11 questions answered about having your hardwood floors refinished!

What does it cost to have my floors refinished?

Having your floors refinished is time consuming. No matter if it’s a couple hundred feet or a few thousand. It requires the same amount of  equipment. You also can’t speed up dry times. With taking that all into place we start out at a minimum of $1,600 and go up from there based on the size of the job. To find out more about the cost you can read more here.

How long does the average refinish take?

Our average refinish takes 3-5 days from start to finish. A lot of this depends on what type of wood, condition of the floor, layout of the house, and whether the floor is getting stained. All of these factors play into the estimated time it takes to complete your job.

Will I have to leave my house during the refinishing process?

During the hardwood refinishing process you don’t have to leave your house. We work with you to let you know of times when you may not be able to walk on the floors (generally only a couple of hours). However, once the final coat is applied, in most cases you’ll need to wait overnight before you can walk on the floors. After the final coat has dried, you will be able to walk on the floor, but only with socks for a couple of days, as the floor is still curing. The alternative would be to choose our UV finish which is fully cured right away via our machine that uses UV light to cure the finish. This allows you to move furniture back into your space and walk on the floor after the curing process.

How dusty will my house be from having my floors refinished?

You’ll barely know that we were there refinishing your floors. We have invested in some of the best dust-containment equipment around. Take a look at this video to see how little airborne dust there is.   

Will my house smell from having my floors refinished?

  Generally the smell is very minimal as we try to use low VOC products (Volatile Organic Compounds). Typically speaking, the higher the level of VOC’s in a product, the more odors you will have. While we use low VOC products whenever possible, some of the stains we use do have a bit of a smell to them. However, once the stains have dried the smell from them starts to go away.

What colors can you make my wood floors?

The sky’s the limit when it comes to what color you want your wood floors to be. From bleaching a floor to remove color pigments, to using reactive stains to create a unique grey color, there are so many choices it can make your head spin! Not to worry, during our consult with clients we help them look at their floors as a part of the whole and not a separate entity. We can help you choose the right color for your home that will help tie together your new floor with your current decor.



What finish is best for my hardwood floors?

Choosing the right type and quality of hardwood floor finishes can be kinda tricky. Let’s go through a few things to help make the choices of finish a little clearer. One thing that always comes up is, “what is the most durable finish?”. Durability of finishes can vary so much and depend on different things. However, the biggest single factor in the durability and longevity of your finish is how well you maintain your floors. 

Water-Based Polyurethane Finishes

We offer a few different water based polyurethane finishes with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) along with hard-wax finishes. These finishes range from a single component finish all the way up to on-site UV cured finish. These coatings protect from above creating a film over top of the wood.  


Hardwax Oil Finish

Hardwax oil finishes are a little different in how they protect the floor. The oil not only soaks into the grain of the wood and protects within, it also protects from above by molecular bonding to the fibers of the wood. Hardwax oil finishes also typically tend to have a more matte look .


Which of these finishes is best for you?

There are many factors in choosing the right finish for your floors, but both will perform well. Selecting the proper finish really depends on what your expectations are for the floor and how much maintenance you are willing to do.

Do I have to move my appliances?

A lot of times it is best to move your stove and refrigerator when you are having your hardwood floors refinished. This allows us to refinish the entire floor, so if you ever change out your appliances to newer ones you won’t have to worry that its not the same size and that there will be an ugly spot that isn’t covered by the slightly smaller appliance.


Do I have to remove my baseboards when I get my floors refinished?

This is a very common misconception people have. They think that the machines wouldn’t be able to get up close to the base boards, and that there would be flooring that was unfinished. The machine we use to remove the old finish around the room where our belt sanding machine can’t go is called an edger. The edger gets nice and close to the base without damaging it so you don’t have to remove the base. The only time we recommend removing the base is if the floor is cupped and the base isn’t sitting flat on the floor, or the wood has been sanded a few times and there is a build up of wood showing under the base.  



How long after my wood floors are refinished can I move furniture back?

Typically, about two days after the final coat of finish is applied the floor is about 80-90% cured and you can move your furniture back on your wood floors. Now, there are a few a few exceptions to this. If you go with UV cured finish, you don’t have to wait to move furniture or rugs back on the floor. The reason for this is that the UV machine instantly cures the finish and it’s as hard as it’s going to get. Another exception is Hardwax Oil. With this type of finish you only need to wait 24-36 hrs after the oil is applied to move furniture back on. We suggest running your whole house fan on your furnace to help with the curing process of both the hardwax oil and the water based finishes.  



When Can I Put Rugs Back On My Wood Floors?

Putting rugs back onto your newly refinished hardwood floors depends on what type of finish was applied. Lets say it was an oil based polyurethane that was applied to your floor, because it takes almost a month for the oil based poly to cure you need to wait a minimum of 2 weeks before putting your rugs back down. With hardwax oils and water based finishes you need to wait 1 week, but with UV finish there is no waiting period before placing your rugs back in place.

red rug on wood floor



We hope we were able to answer any questions you may have regarding your floor refinishing project. If you’d like to see more refinishing jobs we’ve done take a look at these 5 amazing transformations! 

We received a call from some clients in Appleton who were looking to have hardwood flooring installed in their home. They were hoping to have Brazilian Tigerwood installed as their flooring choice, so we set up a consultation to discuss exactly what they were looking for, as well as get an idea of the space that it would be installed in.  


The Consult

During our consultation process with the clients, our first step was to listen to the client to find out what their dream is and what they are looking for in a finished product. Often times, because clients are unaware of all of the possibilities with hardwood, we display previous jobs we have done, in addition to the various species of hardwood that are available and color options. The other part of the consult is identifying any external factors that might affect how the final product performs. A few examples of external factors would be moisture content in the house, number of people in the household, and whether or not there are pets. All of these things can play a role in how the hardwood performs, and based on our findings, we may make suggestions to the client so that they get the best use out of their investment and are able to protect it for years to come.


The Decision

After we had spoken with the client during the consult, we found out that the reason they loved Brazilian Tigerwood was due to its unique grain patterns. However, there was one slight problem…the natural red pigmentation of Brazilian Tigerwood clashed with their current decor. Now, had this been a refinish job where they just didn’t like the red tone of the wood, a possible option would have been to bleach the floor like we did in a previous project in Green Bay,WI. However, since this was a new install, it was much more cost and labor effective to select a different species of hardwood. The client needed a wood that would hold up well to the couple of dogs that they had, while still having a unique grain pattern and the ability to stain the floor to match their decor. After taking all of these things into consideration, and showing the clients pictures of previous jobs, they decided to go with hickory as the wood species for their floors. Hickory wood flooring is a hard, dense wood that I have found to perform well with dogs. It also has more of the rustic feel and unique grain patterns which is what they were looking for. We then set a date for the project, and got ready to install another beautiful hickory floor.


The Process

The first part of the hardwood installation process is to bring the wood inside of the client’s home so that it can acclimate to the temperature and moisture content. After this, we prepped the subfloor, which you can read more about here.

liquid moisture barrier to subfloor

Applying a moisture barrier to the subfloor

Subfloor prep is essential as it creates the foundation for the install. After the hickory flooring had been installed, it was time to start the sanding process to get the floor ready for staining.


Now hickory has a is a much denser wood than oak, and has a tight grain pattern and structure. Because of this, when we  stain hickory it requires a lot of detailed sanding, especially when staining, to make sure that there are no scratches in the wood from the main sanding of the floor. After the detail sanding was completed, we then applied stain to the floor a color that the clients had selected that complimented the wall color, trim, and decor. One of the reasons to apply a wood stain to the floor is to cut down on the color variations of the hickory.



The Finishing Touch

After the staining process was complete, we applied the first coat of finish to the floor. Once the finish had dried, we re-installed the base board and added base shoe as well to cover the gap between the flooring and the wall which we needed to

finish applied on hickory floor

Freshly applied finish

leave so that the floor could expand during the warmer more humid months. After the baseboard and base shoe had been installed, we buffed the floor down to smooth out any raised grain, and then applied the final coat of commercial finish.






With the curing process completed, the clients were able to move their furniture back in place and start enjoying their new hickory floor. Our clients agreed to let us come back and take some photos of the finished project, so we had Rachel from Elegant Exposures come in and take some awesome photos of this job.


5″ stained hickory flooring


Love how the wood floors make the space cozy

Here is what our clients had to say about the job we did for them:

clients online review of signature custom flooring

If you love these hickory hardwood floors, or want to know how we could transform your space by installing hardwood flooring,  contact us.


What is Rubio Monocoat?

Rubio Monocoat is a hardwax oil that contains a unique blend of natural plant oils that molecularly bonds to the wood fibers and protects the hardwood. This not only protects the inside of the wood, but it also remains on top of the wood to add a second layer of protection. This is main difference with hardwax oils and penetrating oils. Penetrating oils only protect from within but don’t sit on top of the hardwood. However, with Rubio’s technologies it creates a dual protection for the wood flooring.


Creating a Unique Look

Having the ability to create something unique that will compliment your style and decor is always an added benefit. This is one of the main reasons that we love using Rubio Monocoat. The ability to mix and match different colors or layer them to create a field of depth is unique to this product. This allows us to color match or create a custom color regardless of the species of wood. The following projects in Neenah, WI were all custom color projects that we were able to create to match the client’s desired look.


Rubio Monocoat Refinishes in Neenah

Not only do we do refinishes in Neenah but all of the Fox Valley. Today we are going to show you 3 hardwood floor refinishers in Neenah. These floors were all black walnut, which is one of my favorite wood species, as it has such a unique and beautiful grain pattern. These three refinishes where all unique, not only in color, but also included the layout, pattern of the wood and how it was laid out.


Intriguing Brown Grey Walnut   


This walnut floor was previously coated with a film finish, and while it looked good to most people, we knew that we could make this black walnut floor stand out. The current finish on the floor was hiding its beauty instead of putting it on display. We knew that this floor was in need of Rubio Monocoat to display its full potential, so we started prepping the floor to be refinished. As we started sanding the floor to remove the old finish, we noticed that the floor had suffered from cupping due to the higher humidity in the house. This particular house was a lakefront property, which added to the challenge of maintaining proper humidity to keep the floor in its best shape, but we will cover this in another article. With a little bit of extra work, we were able to get the floor smooth and flat. We then recoated the floor with Rubio Monocoat and revealed the amazing floor that we knew was there all along.

Hardwood Flooring Company in WI

Cool grey brown color on Black Walnut floor







New Kitchen with Warm Brown Tones

This project was a really fun one to work on. We got to see how the space was transformed from multiple rooms into one beautiful open space. After the remodeler had removed all the walls in the kitchen, re-drywalled, and painted the space, it was time for us to install the walnut flooring. To read more about the process of this cool project read more here . Once we had finished installing the floor the remodelers came back and finished installing all the cabinets and other things. When we refinish a floor in a home remodel, we like the hardwood floor refinishing part to be one of the last things to be completed. The reason for this, is that while other people are working in your home, such as contractors, painters etc, there is a good chance that your floors could get scratched or dented in the process. If we refinish the floors last, we are able to take out any minor imperfections that may have been caused by the others working on your remodel project. With this particular project, we refinished the floor, and then applied a warm brown Rubio Monocoat color to the floor. The final product was a warm inviting color that enriched the grain tone and overall look of the floor. having to work in your house and on your floors there’s chances of things happening to the floor.

White cabinets with tile backsplash and wood floors

Walnut floors gracing this new kitchen







Historic House with Parquet Floor  

This historic house is located in the city of Neenah,WI. It has some of the coolest rooms I’ve seen. My inner designer self was geeking out over all the architectural details that were in this space. From the fireplace with built in bookcases surrounding it, to the expansive space of the room. We knew that changing the color of the walnut floor to a more modern color along with the unique look of Rubio Monocoat would really set this grand space apart! Now there had been some movement in these floors in how they were installed over seventy years ago. Back then, they would install the floor using a tar like substance to adhere the floor to the subfloor. Along with the glue loosening up over time, foundational shifts and not keeping the temperature and humidity consistent cause the wood to move. This had caused there to be gaps in the floor, however, due to the age of the house it really just added to its character. Parquet flooring adds another level of challenge when sanding the floor because of the orientation of the wood. Each section of parquet flooring has a different orientation than the section next to it, which creates cross sanding when refinishing the floor. This requires another sanding technique to remove all cross sanding marks from each parquet section. Once we had completed the sanding process, we applied the custom color to the walnut parquet floor. You can see how each tile of parquet flooring glimmers as you look at it.

Rubio Monocoat applied Walnut floor

Glimmering walnut floor









As you can see these walnut floors really enhanced the warmth and beauty of these rooms. It is not only due to the the fact that they have walnut floors in theses spaces, but also the color choices makes a vast difference too. Not only are we capable of refinishing walnut flooring but many different wood species. To see some of the other wood species we’ve worked on check out these floors!    


Few things can ruin the appearance of your hardwood floor as easily as scuff marks. Unfortunately, these marks are common if you have furniture legs directly on your floor or allow guests to keep their shoes on when entering your home.

Left alone for too long, these marks can become more difficult to remove from your floor, so it’s best to attack the problem as early as possible.

So, how do you remove these annoying marks from your floor?

Fortunately, you don’t need to buy expensive cleaning products to get the job done without damaging your floor. Take a look at these 5 effective techniques that make use of common household items with step-by-step instructions on how to apply each one.

5 Ways to Remove Scuff Marks from Your Hardwood Floor


1. Use a sponge and water

For marks that have been on the wood floor for awhile, or are more stubborn, this method won’t work.

However, if you know that the mark on your floor is fresh, this simple technique can be used to get those annoying marks up without much effort.

Simply dip the sponge in some warm water, and gently wipe away at the mark until it’s gone.


2. Scrub them with baking soda

Baking soda has more than 50 uses. One of which, thankfully, is removing nasty marks from your floor!

This is one of the more effective methods at removing difficult marks. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Mix about 2 tablespoons of baking soda with warm water until you have a smooth (not runny) paste.
  2. Next, use a soft cloth to scrub the marks away with the paste.
  3. Finally, wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth, and then wipe it dry.

3. Erase it

Pencil erasers aren’t just great for fixing homework mistakes. For small marks that require a gentle, controlled amount of pressure that won’t damage your floor, an eraser is the perfect tool for the job.

  1. Rub the scuff marks firmly with the eraser until they come up.
  2. Sweep up the remaining eraser shavings to avoid any unwanted stains they may cause.


4. Use your tennis shoe

Yes, shoes may have caused the scuff mark, but they can also be great at removing them!

  1. Grab a shoe with a rubber sole – like a tennis shoe.
  2. Using your hand or foot, simply rub the heel of the shoe firmly against the mark in a circular, grinding motion until it’s gone.

5. Grab a tennis ball

This method is effective for the largest, toughest scuff marks. Make sure the tennis ball is clean. If you use a dirty one, it can easily scratch or stain the floor.

Essentially, you’re going to cut a hole into a tennis ball, stick it on the end of a broom handle, and use your leverage to rub away at the mark until it’s gone.

Here’s exactly how to do it:

  1. Cut a small, ¼” X into the tennis ball. To avoid cutting yourself, make sure you place it on a firm surface instead of holding it in your hand.
  2. Insert the top of a broom handle into the X.
  3. Using the end of the broom with the tennis ball on it, firmly rub away the marks.

If all else fails, try Goo Gone

If none of the above ideas are working for you due to extremely aggressive marks, you may need to seek out a product that’s specifically designed to remove these types of markings (test in an inconspicuous area first).

In my experience, the best product for this is Goo Gone. I’ve personally used this to remove difficult scuff marks from floors, walls, and even some places in my car. It works exceptionally well on almost anything and makes removing the marks very easy.



 We hope these tips helped you remove any scuff marks that you may have found on your wood floors. If you have any other questions feel free to contact us or comment below. 


Think about it, flooring is important. It is what you will walk on, clean, and dance across for years to come. It’s one of the first impressions of your home. If you are on the journey of deciding what kind of options would be the best for your space, I’m sure you have already noticed there is a world of options. Feeling a little overwhelmed by it all? Those feelings are totally justifiable. However, none of the options are quite as versatile or stand the test of time like real wood floors. 

After some serious cyber legwork, we have gathered all the information you need to know about everything hardwood. 

And we know researching is daunting and can be overwhelming, which is why we have put together our comprehensive guide to hardwood flooring. 

So here are the top 10 reasons why real hardwood is the way to go!



Green earth with plant wrapping around it

Being eco friendly to the earth is important

 Environmentally speaking, hardwood is your best option. The minimal usage of raw materials, natural resources, and energy used in the production of hardwood makes it one of the most earth-friendly options. Hardwood is also a natural insulator which helps you save on your electric bill. An environmentally conscious act plus saving money? YES, please!




  2.  Longevity of a Real Wood Floor

“Floors like this are built to last!” Now that’s something you want to hear when making your flooring investment. Built to last is exactly what you will get when you go with real hardwood flooring for your space. Classic hardwood is so durable that it’s most likely to last longer than you will live, as some can last for up to hundreds of years. What about those that don’t last for 100’s of years? Well depending on the thickness and kind of wood, they can last for 20-80 years, giving you decades of warm, beautiful floors. That being said, accidents happen. And if they do, it’s good to know that hardwood floors are quite resilient and the repairs are usually easy and manageable. To keep your floors in mint condition for as long as possible, it is recommended to do a “maintenance coat” every five to seven years (in some cases it may be sooner). This will keep you from having to sand them or mess with them more often than you need to. 

Here are some great tips on how to protect your hardwood flooring.


3. The Strength and Durability of Hardwood Floors

Dancing on wood floors elegantly

Durability of hardwood flooring

Let’s face it, we all can’t be as delicate as a flower or move as gracefully as a ballerina. But not to worry because this isn’t an issue when you have quality wood flooring. These floors can handle your heavy footed steps, your kid’s stomping tantrums and the, not-so-carefully moved furniture when you get into rearranging mode. Other floors do not have the same high-density level of hardwoods. This naturally durable material allows you to rid yourself of worrying about dings and dents. Some of the hardest wood flooring options include: Hickory, Brazilian, and Kempas wood. Check this out for more on different kind of wood and hardness ratings. 






4.  Keep it clean! Go with hardwood for easy maintenance. 

With hardwood floors, keeping it clean is a breeze. The last thing you want is complicated and laborious chores added to your to-do list. And these days there’s a whole world of mops and cleaning products out there to keep your wood floors in tip-top shape. To keep your hardwood floors clean all you need is a daily sweep to get all the dirt and grit off, and then a deep cleaning with a good wood cleaner every week or so. Or perhaps you are more of a vacuum person, in which case check out these options. Just be prepared for unforeseen messes and spills that you may have to clean up more often. 

Also, maintenance for hardwood is pretty simple as well.  Over time the floors may begin to look a bit dulled out. But not to worry. It’s nothing a fresh coat of wood floor finish can’t fix. Easy peasy! 


 5.  Hardwood Flooring is Stylish and Versatile 

Choosing styles can be challenging

Different styles and selections

Hardwood flooring can be classic, but they are also stylish and versatile. And there are so many options out there for you to express yourself through the many styles and options of flooring. I say “many styles”, but really that is an understatement. There are literally hundreds of options to choose from whether you are putting in fresh floors, or refinishing old ones. And now there are more color options than ever before. You can completely change the style of your home just by slapping a new stain on old floors for an affordable facelift to any room in the house. Colors aside, there are a slew of options when it comes to types of wood, densities, and cuts as well. There are even options for the eco-conscious consumer with the ability to use reclaimed hardwood. Pretty cool, huh? There are so many options to choose from. 


6.  Hardwood Flooring is Classic and Ageless

You know that warm, homey feeling you get when you walk into a space with hardwood flooring? Yeah, that feeling does not expire. Imagine beautiful hardwood flooring with a nice rug right in front of the fireplace. How much more cozy can you get? 

Plus hardwood floors add a notable and classic feel to any home or space. You just don’t get the same level of class and longevity with carpet, laminate flooring, vinyl planks or other flooring options. Think about it, carpet that has been worn out and needs to be torn up, or vinyl flooring that has been dented and battered and needs to be replaced. Dings and dents in hardwood flooring tend to simply add a welcoming and homey feel. However, if that isn’t your style, those blemishes can be sanded and refinished time and time again. No need to tear up a carpet or install a whole new floor. Check out this beautiful classic home and see for yourself the timeless appeal of hardwood floors. 


 7. Hardwood is here to stay

Hardwood never goes out of style. But do you know what kind of flooring did? Almost every other kind! Let’s get real, that shag carpeting was groovy, but it’s time passed.

Old style carpeting goes out of style

This used to be in style

Hardwood flooring became an option in 1885 with the invention of the side matcher. But it has been a flooring staple since the early 1900s when it first became popular. So I think it is safe to say that hardwood floors are not just a fad, but they are here to stay. Click here, to see the styles that are trending now in the world of hardwood. 




 8. You will never be bored with your flooring again

It’s not tile, it’s better! Unlike other kinds of flooring, hardwood floors do not have to be a one and done scenario. You can lay down fresh floors, take them for a spin for a couple years and then start over on a blank canvas by sanding the floors down. This allows you to start fresh, redesign and customize as often as you want. And now there are infinite color palette options, meaning you can have a whole new floor without having to pull up or reinstall anything. It’s one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get the look of a new flooring– without actually having to get new flooring. 


9. Hardwood Flooring is a Practical Investment

Hardwood flooring is a great choice for more than these reasons. According to the (NWFA), the National Wood Flooring Association, U.S. real estate agents agree that hardwood floors are the way to go. Stating that 99% of agents say a home with hardwood floors is easier to sell.

As a Realtor, I love wood floors! Especially refinished old or reclaimed hardwood. In my opinion, there is no other flooring choice more beautiful. Hardwood floors not only add a touch of elegance to your home, but a great deal of warmth and character. They also add value to your home. It is a great investment and can actually become a strong resale argument, exceeding the initial installation cost of the floors. It also enables a faster sale and brings higher prices at the time of resale. When it comes time for you to sell your home, buyers will pay more for a house with hardwood. Many home buyers don’t want somebody else’s carpet. They see used carpet as a petri dish that is going to provoke their allergy symptoms or have bad smells associated with pets. Most buyers would plan on replacing carpets, which is why they will pay more for a house that already has hardwood floors. Because it’s a feature sought out, wood flooring may even help sell your house faster. Also, one of the primary benefits of wood flooring is its versatility to adapt to almost every interior design theme in your home. No matter how often you are inspired to change the decor, the floors will always look great and fit your desired theme. It’s hard to go wrong with this flooring choice.

 –Daniel Wessel Coldwell Banker
“Most of the buyers I work with in today’s market are looking to see if there are wood floors under carpets in older homes and are willing to pay more for a home that has wood floors, unless they’re in poor condition.  My advice to Seller’s when listing, regardless of the age of their home, is that in order to maximize their net proceeds on a sale, they have to tackle buyer objections and provide the WOW factor up front.  You only get one chance at making a first impression, so offering flooring allowances or putting your home on the market without addressing wood floors needing a little love will most certainly mean several thousand dollars less in your pocket at closing.  The return on investment for this type of updating prior to listing is one of the highest for sellers.  Refinished or replacing worn carpet with new hardwoods is as profitable in the end as replacing appliances, refreshing rooms with paint, and tweaking kitchens and bathrooms with some modern updates.” – Lora Bladow, REALTOR®, RE/MAX Excel

 Also, one of the primary benefits of wood flooring is its versatility to adapt to almost every interior design theme in your home. No matter how often you are inspired to change the decor, the floors will always look great and fit your desired theme. It’s hard to go wrong with this flooring choice.

But if you are looking for your forever home, hardwood is still a great investment. Inevitably your floors will need to be serviced. But repairs aren’t really an option with flooring such as carpet, laminate, linoleum, tile or vinyl. They will usually need to be ripped up and more often than not, end up in the trash. But you can fix hardwood floors quite easily with some minor repairs and stain, making hardwood a much more sustainable and affordable investment. 


10. Installing Hardwood Flooring Promotes Healthier Living


Eating healthy while enjoying wood floorYour floors make up the largest surface area of your home. That’s a lot of space to accumulate dust, germs and other harmful allergens. Unlike carpeting that traps those harmful pollutants, having hardwood floors help keep the air in your home clean and clear of dust, dirt, pet dander and allergens. Unfortunately, carpeting is problematic if you have pets or suffer from allergies or asthma. In fact, some doctors recommend hardwood for those with allergies or asthma. And let’s get real, you should listen to your doctor!

OK! Now that you are convinced that hardwood floors are the way to go, I bet you are wondering… 



Now you get to dive into the world of options. 

I know this part can be overwhelming, but don’t worry because you won’t have to do all the research alone because we have put together a comprehensive, hardwood quick-guide below just for you. Here we are going to give some information on your options including: 

  • Different types of wood flooring
  • Information on different cuts and grades of hardwood
  • Different wood choices

Different kinds of wood flooring: 

Unfinished Wood: For those who like to start with a blank canvas. Unfinished hardwood lets you start fresh and make it your own. 

Pre-finished: On the contrary, this is the pick and install option for those that are looking for something that is ready to go. Choose your already-finished wood, install, and presto! 

Recycling is being greenReclaimed:

For environmentalist – recycle, reduce, reuse. This wood comes from old flooring, beams and used lumber. 

Solid Wood flooring: One solid strong piece. Each of these boards is made from a piece of lumber. 

Acrylic Impregnated: This is a great choice for a commercial space. One of the more impenetrable options. Due to the acrylic injection, this type of flooring is extremely hard and water resistant. 

Engineered: Engineered wood flooring is made up of a thin slice of hardwood stacked on top of a high-quality piece of plywood. The thickness of engineered wood ranges from about 3/8’’ – 3/4’’ inch.

Distressed: If you like the old time look, but don’t have the time to put in. This is the floor for you. Distressed floors are intentionally dinged, dented and faded. Made to look older and worn in. 

Hand Scraped: Add texture and a worn feel to your floors. These floors are exactly what they sound like. Ridges, lines, and grooves are hand scraped into floors to add a desired effect and feel. 

Bleached: These floors are dyed and lightened in order to achieve sought after colors for your floors. 

For more on hardwood floor finishes, check this out! 

Grades of hardwood: 

Showing what different grades of oak flooring looks like

Red and White Oak grading differences








 Above is a photo showing different grades of wood flooring. When referring to the grade of the hardwood, we are referring to the number of natural hardwood characteristics the wood maintains. 

Characteristics such as knots, mineral streaks, and wood tone variations. It is simply a matter of preference. If you are partial to a more uniform appearance of the wood you might go with the clear grade, whereas the common grade options offer more character and variation in the panels. For more on grades of hardwood check this out! 

Cuts of hardwood:

logs of wood with cutaway, showing different cuts of wood flooring.

4 different wood flooring cuts






  • Plain Sawn  
  • Quarter Sawn
  • Rift Sawn 
  • Live Sawn 

The most common method for cutting wood is the plain sawn method, giving your wood a timeless look. Using the plain sawn method you yield the most product with as little waste as possible.  The quarter sawn is perhaps the most unique method as well as the least common. This method creates a vertical grain pattern that is seldom used in hardwood flooring. In keeping with the rare cuts, rift sawn provides a very minimalistic, modern look to the wood. Lastly, live sawn is one of the oldest methods of sawing lumber. With this method, you see grains from plain, quarter, rift sawn in live sawn techniques. 

Choosing the kind of hardwood for your space: 

Now it’s time to pick the kind of wood you are going to use. There are the two main categories to consider. On one hand you have your classic domestic hardwoods like Oak hardwood and on the other hand, you have exotic hardwoods like Santos. 

Other options for keeping it classic include:

  • Maple 
  • Walnut
  • Hickory
  • Birch
  • Ash

Go exotic with: 

  • Tigerwood
  • Jatoba
  • Ipe 
  • Acacia 
  • Sapele

Just to name a few… 

Now off you go … 

You now know your options and the reasons why hardwood is a great way to go. You are ready to go have some fun. Play around with your options. 

Do you want solid hardwood floors or engineered hardwood?  What about dark brown or light brown? Do you fancy Oak flooring or something more exotic like Ipe?

Start looking at great resources like this one and make some decisions for your own unique space and style.  

For more answered questions about hardwood flooring, click here

Let the (flooring) magic begin, and cheers to creating memories on your hardwood floors for years to come! 


Having lived in the Fox Valley, there are a couple of places I like to visit when I work in Neenah, One of them is Timshel Cafe. It has this unique feel and a vibe of the old mixed with the new. The exposed brick and high ceilings creates a great atmosphere! Another of my favorite things to do is get out and walk through the parks that are close to the water.  My brother and sister-in-law used to live in the Neenah neighborhood, and we’d enjoy taking their dog for a walk in Riverside Park.  During the summer months in particular, it was such a peaceful setting watching the sun set behind all of the sailboats that were anchored in the marina. Neenah has always been a special place for me, so I was thrilled when I was contacted to refinish floors in a historic house that I used to walk by every time I was in the Neenah area.


The Beauty of Maple is Revealed

These wood floors that we refinished in Neenah were in pretty rough shape. These clients had just bought the house and wanted to give the wood floors a facelift. As you can see, the floors were in really rough shape and worn completely through the finish in places.  After talking with the clients, they told me that previous owners of the house had allowed their kids to skate on the floors and play hockey! The clients wanted the floors to have a rich dark tone to them, so we created a custom color that went well with their decor and tied in with the existing wood color. You can see how having their wood floors refinished transformed this space!


Before old maple floor is refinished


Old Maple floor after its been refinished








Adding New with the Old

These clients had built this house in Neenah 20 years ago and had decided to add on to their existing red oak floors. We ended up removing some of the existing wood flooring so that we could feather, or tooth back, in the new flooring into the old to create a seamless transition between the old and new floor. Once we had all of the hardwood installed, we then sanded the floor and finished it with a natural oil sealer and two coats of a commercial finish. As you can see, there is a seamless transition between the old and new wood.


Preparing to lace in wood flooring


Seamless transition of old and new floors









Worn-out Red Oak Transformed

These worn-out red oak bedroom floors had seen better days. They were in a couple of bedrooms and hadn’t been protected from the furniture sliding around, which had caused some dents and gouges in some of the wood. Once we sanded the floors, we stained and sealed them, completing the transformation. You can see how beautiful the once worn down floors became after they were refinished. So if your red oak floors look worn out, it may be time to have your wood floors refinished.


Lots of worn patterns in this wood floor


Brand new wood floor









Historic House Revived

We had the opportunity to work on this historic house in downtown Neenah. The house had recently been sold and the new owners decided to restore it. Here you can see that the floor had some sanding imperfections and was in need of being refinished. We had done some previous work for one of their friends and they loved the look of her floors. We refinished the floors using Rubio Monocoat, which gave the floors a unique appearance in both look and feel.


Old white oak floor prior to being refinished


Cool brown floor after its been refinished










Worn-out Stairs to a New Clean Look

These stairs were in desperate need of refinishing. As you can see, they were pretty worn out from years of traffic walking up and down them. Now it may not look like a big project, but stairs are very labor intensive. All corners and other areas that the sander can’t reach need to be hand scraped and then sanded by hand. We also had to color match the stairs to the existing trim, which is difficult in and of itself as stain matching is done completely by eye. You can see, once they’re all refinished they look stunning!



Old stairs that where carpeted


The beauty of these stairs revealed
















These are just a few examples of some amazing wood floor transformations in Neenah that we’ve done. If you have a floor that needs to be refinished in the Neenah area, please feel free to contact us. If you live outside of the Neenah area, check out the areas we also service. We would love to transform your space too!  


Having your hardwood floors dyed can add another depth of color. It’s similar to getting your hair dyed at a beauty boutique; it allows you to get layers of color in your hair. This is similar to what dye can do for your hardwood floors.

When would I want my floors dyed?

Some species of hardwood are not very receptive to the staining process due to the properties of the wood and require another step to achieve an even color tone across the entire floor. For example, due to the denseness and grain composition of Maple hardwood, stain by itself often times appears blotchy and uneven over the flooring. This is where dyeing the floor would come into play. Dyeing your floor before applying a stain color gives you a uniform base color to work with, and then the stain adds another layer of color to your hardwood floor.

How does dyeing a floor change the process?

Having your hardwood floors dyed changes the normal process of just having your floors stained. On a normal stain and finish project, the process after sanding is: water pop (applying water to the floor to open the grain), stain, and 2 coats of finish. When a floor is getting dyed the process after sanding is: dye, stain, sealcoat (depending on what type of product is used) and then 2 coats of finish.

I don’t like the red in my floor, What can be done?

This is something we hear all too often. My hardwood floors are red because they are brazilian cherry or mahogany…I don’t want to rip them out but staining doesn’t take care of the red. This is where having your floors dyed or a pre-color would come in to change the color. We have done this on jobs before, similar to the brazilian cherry job in Green Bay, WI. This was a dye and stain to transform it from red to a modern grey color. Remember the sky is the limit when it comes to color.


How much does it cost to dye my hardwood?

There is a lot of skill that goes into dying a wood floor. You have to make sure there’s no lap lines and that everything is feathered out so that you don’t see any stop marks on the floor. The cost of dyeing the hardwood floor also depends upon the product that is being used. Different manufactures have their own type of dyes, or we can make our own. That being said, the cost to dye a wood floor is typically an additional $1-2 per square foot.

This is just one of the many different things that can be done to hardwood flooring. That is one of the beautiful things that I love about it! If you have any questions we would love to chat! Feel free to contact us!


This is a topic that gets asked a lot but hard to find the answers online. So we are going to dive into this a little and give you some baselines of what it cost to have an average hardwood floor refinished. Here at Signature Custom Flooring we currently have a $1,600 minimum charge because it takes the same amount of equipment to sand and refinish 100 square feet as it does 1,000 square feet. Now, there are many different factors that go into the overall cost of having your hardwood floors refinished such as the layout, type of wood, condition of the floor, and the look you want achieved through use of different finishes, stains, dyes, and reactives. We are going to take a look into these factors to give you an idea of the typical cost associated with installing or refinishing a hardwood floor in 2019.   


You may be wondering how the layout of your house could affect the cost of refinishing your floors. If the areas that need to be refinished are small, or have a lot of different angles, we have to use smaller machines such as an edger to sand the areas, or hand scrape to get where the machines can’t. This adds more time and use of product to the job which can lead to higher costs.

Species of Hardwood

The variance in the cost of different species of hardwood has more of an impact on total cost if you are looking to have hardwood flooring installed as opposed to refinished. However, if you are looking at having an existing hardwood floor stained or dyed, certain species of hardwood require additional sanding to prep them for this process.

Condition of the Floor

The condition of an existing hardwood floor can play a big part in what it will cost to have your hardwood floors refinished. If the floor is in relatively good condition there won’t be as much sanding to be done (this will only require more of a normal sanding). Other floors may require a lower grit sandpaper to remove an existing coating, or, if there is glue on the wood floor from old carpet or tile, a special tool is required to remove the adhesive. Depending on the severity and condition of the existing hardwood, this can add an additional $.50-$2 per square foot above normal refinishing costs.

Achieving a Certain Look

Hand Scraping

The beauty of hardwood is that you can create many different looks without having to rip up the wood floors and start over. If you want a distressed look, that can be acheived by hand scraping the floor. This technique is very labour intensive, as it is all manual labor using a scraper to remove wood from the floor to create varying textures throughout the floor. This can add an extra $3-$5 per square foot over the normal price of having your floors refinished

Wire Brushing

Wire brushing a floor is a great way to give the floor a little texture. Now, you can’t do it to every floor, because the species of wood must contain soft grain that can be removed by the wire brushes in order to create the textured effect. This textured effect is created by using a machine that has special brass wires that spin and remove the spring wood (soft grain wood) from the floor. This will cost $1-$1.5 per square foot above the cost to have the floors refinished.

Different Finish Systems

We offer 4 main different finish options, each with their own benefits and price ranges. First, is a single component water based finish. This finish will help protect your floors in normal traffic areas or for people without pets and kids. To have your floors refinished without stain would be $3.25 per square foot.

Our second option is a hardwax oil which definitely has some unique properties to it. Hardwax oil finish actually penetrates into the hardwood instead of sitting on top of the wood like a film finish. It also has a lower sheen to it so it allows you to see more of the natural beauty of the wood. It is also very friendly to work with if future repairs are needed to the flooring as the finish can be blended in and sanding of the entire floor is not required.This finish is very green from an environmental standpoint, and is used in both commercial and residential applications. Cost for this finish without stain ranges from $5-$7 per square foot.

Thirdly, we offer a commercial grade finish. This is by far our most popular finish option choice due to the amazing balance between versatility and affordability. This finish system is great for people that have kids, pets and in high traffic areas due to its higher scratch, and chemical resistance. The cost for this system without stain is $4 square foot.

Fourthly, our newest offering is a UV cured finish. Now this is our top of the line finish and it comes with some unique benefits. Here are a few benefits of UV finish, very low odor, it is a s durable as the commercial grade finish, and there is  no waiting to move furniture or rugs back in the house due to the instant curing by UV light. The cost for this system without stain is $5.50 per square foot.


When staining a floor, it takes a bit more sanding to achieve a consistent look and provide an even color across the entire floor. There is a lot more detailed sanding involved to make sure the floor looks great with stain. All the edges get sanded with a special sander to blend the edges in with the field of the floor. And we also sand the floor with a higher grit to ensure the scratch marks are not visible from a standing upright position. The cost to stain a floor varies depending on the species of wood. It ranges between $1-$1.75 per square foot.


This is a great way to add another layer of color to a floor, or change an existing floor color. That being said, they can be tricky to apply while trying to achieve an uniform color across the floor. However, we have developed a unique way to prep and apply the dye where we have this process down to an art. The cost to have a floor dyed is $1.50 per square foot.


Reactives are a solution that is applied to hardwood to achieve a certain look. It reacts with tannins in wood and changes the color of the wood. It can vary board to board based upon the amount of reaction that happens which can provide a very unique final look. The cost to apply reactives is $1.50 per square foot.

There are many different options that can be done to a hardwood floor to tailor it to your preferences and add your personal touch to it. These are just some of the priced services we offer when you consider having your floors refinished. If you have any questions feel free to contact us!


Growing up as a kid we were never allowed to wear shoes past the entrance area at our house. We would always say “come on mom, I just have to run and get this one thing.” as if taking our shoes off was the end of the world! However, mom never budged ad still made us take off our shoes. Looking back at those events, it now makes complete sense as to why she never let us wear shoes in the house. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that you get from not wearing shoes in the house.

Messy hallway inside the flat with radiator, shoes, broom and the main door

Shoes taken off in the back hall.


Less Debris Tracked Inside

We wear our shoes almost everywhere we go, so you can imagine all of the types of dirt and debris that stick to our shoes. From grass clippings after mowing the grass or weed trimming, to dirt from working in the garden or flower beds, or maybe even that piece of gum that you stepped on in the parking lot. You wouldn’t normally bring dirt in from outside and sprinkle it over your floors, but that is essentially what happens over time when you wear your shoes indoors. This dirt and debris can then end up on your hardwood floors or in your carpet and contribute to dirt and dust allergies.


Less Germs

Where have your shoes gone lately? Just think about that one…. I know my shoes have been all over wisconsin lately. Wearing shoes inside your house not only tracks dirt inside but also tracks all those nasty germs inside your house too! Best practice is to leave both outside.


Your House will Stay Cleaner

Just imagine how much less you’ll have to clean your house if there are no shoes worn in your house tracking in all that dirt from outside. No more muddy shoe prints tracked in from your most recent hike, small rocks stuck in your shoes from your daily walk or run, or sand from the trip you took to the beach. This will cut down on the amount of time you have to spend sweeping, swiffering and cleaning up your wood floors.


Less Wear and Tear on your Wood Floors

Removing your shoes will also help your wood floors last much longer because there won’t be as much grit tracked into the house. When you wear shoes on your floors you essentially have a hard surface verses a hard surface with the dirt and debris in between. This causes the dirt to be ground into your floors damaging the finish and reducing the life expectancy of your floors.


If you are still on the fence about whether or not to wear shoes in the house, here’s a great article about why you should ban wearing shoes in your house….read more. We hope these few reasons and article have helped you decide if you’re going to say yay or nay to shoes in your house. I know for me and my wife we won’t be wearing shoes in our house any time soon!


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National Wood Flooring Association Member • NWFA Certified Sand & Finisher Professional