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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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Did you know that wood floors are like chameleons and can change color instantly? Okay just kidding! But just because the natural color of your wood floor or stairs is a certain color doesn’t mean you are stuck with it. Some species of wood you can just stain and change the color that way. Others require a bit more skill, knowledge and technique to change the color.

Let’s take a look at these wood stairs and landing I was able to transform for one of my clients in Neenah, WI. This project was definitely more challenging than others, as the customer wanted to go from the natural red tones of mahogany, to a more subtle brown tone. In addition to this, the landing area between the flights of stairs was in a herringbone pattern which makes additional work for the sanding process, especially because this floor was going to be stained a different color. Knowing that this floor was about to undergo some major changes, it was crucial to make sure that we set ourselves up for success. When sanding a floor, we want to sand with the grain of the wood, so that any minor scratch marks from sanding are oriented the same way as the pattern of the wood grain. However, it is impossible to do this with a herringbone pattern, because the boards are oriented in such a way that the wood grain faces different directions. In order to minimize the scratch marks from sanding we used machines and various grits of and paper to achieve a scratch free surface from a standing upright position. This was done using an edger and then followed up with a rotex sander. 

Color Change

Once we had finished sanding and removed all the finish off of the herringbone landing and the stairs, it was time to start changing the color of the mahogany floor. In order to remove the natural red color from the floor, we needed to use a two-part commercial bleach on the floor. This isn’t your normal type of household bleach, and as such, it required a lot of protective gear for the application. We avoided any unnecessary risk by protecting our skin, hands, eyes and respiratory system from this bleach. Once we mixed up the bleach we applied one coat evenly over the floor and then let it sit until it was completely dry, and then applied a second coat. The bleach requires about 24 on the floor to be effective, which after that time we washed the floor with clean water to neutralize its affect.

mahogany-bleached

After the bleaching process was complete, the red tones of the floor were gone and we had a very neutral pallet to work with. The final color for the floor involved two custom colors of Rubio Monocoat that were layered over top of each other. The first color was applied, and then 16 hours later, the second custom color was applied over top of that to give the floor its final signature touch. We couldn’t have been more thrilled with the outcome of this project.

modern-staircase

When it comes to hardwood flooring, the benefit over other types of flooring is that the color can be changed without having to replace the floor. So, if you have a floor that you want to change to a unique color contact us, we would love to give your floor a Signature look!

Because there are so many different species of wood to choose from, it is not too often that we get a call to install a walnut floor. So, we were excited when we met with our client in Neenah, and he brought up that he wanted walnut floors in his kitchen space. He had looked at pictures of walnut floors, and then fell in love with them when he saw them firsthand after attending the Parade of Homes in the Fox Valley. I was really excited to install a walnut floor as it is one of my favorite wood species to work with due to its magnificent rich brown tones. Every wood species has its own pros and cons, and we take the time to help educate our clients so that they can make an informed decision and then choose a floor that is going to perform, look, and feel the way they want. During our initial consultation, we talked with our client about what they were looking for in the finished product, and were then able to help them choose the finish that would best showcase their new walnut floor. After that, it was time to get to work.

PREPARATION

Before we began the installation, we realized that the existing sub-floor needed to be strengthened to provide a solid base for our flooring. Per our request an additional 3/8″ thick plywood was added to the sub-floor to strengthen it. We then rolled on 1 coat of PU280 moisture barrier which provides a layer of protection between the sub-floor and the finished product. This prevents any potential  moisture from getting into the bottom side of the walnut flooring, and allows us to glue assist the walnut flooring to the sub-floor.

INSTALLATION

Now that we finished prepping the sub-floor, and the wood acclimated to the temperature and humidity of the house, it was time to start the installation process. We chose to nail and glue assist the flooring. The glue assist makes the floor sound much more solid, due to the fact that the glue keeps the flooring in direct contact with the sub-floor. installing-walnut-kitchen-remodel

 

 

 

 

 

 

INSTALLING TREADS

When installing stairs there is more than meets the eye. First we removed the existing treads and measured the rise and run of the stringers. The rise had changed because of the additional  sub-floor added up above and poor framing. Once we figured out what each step needed to be shimmed up to, we installed the treads with an adhesive that will flex with the wood as it expands and contracts.walnut-stairs-installation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SANDING & FINISHING

Now the floor has sat for a few weeks we are back to start the sanding process. filling-wood-flooringWe started with a rough cut for the sanding to flatten the floor. After that, we filled the knots and other milling imperfections in the flooring, and then sanded off the filler with a medium grit. We continued to sand the floor, moving up to a finer grit with each new cut. Sanding is very crucial to any wood floor, but even more so when using a Rubio Monocoat finish, which is what our clients chose. With Rubio Monocoat, the finish actually penetrates into the wood fibers and bonds to the moleculer structure of the wood, instead of forming a top layer on the wood like most traditional finished do. Because of this, you arent walking on any top coat of finish, so the floor needs to be sanded to remove even the smallest of imperfections. After we have sanded the floor to where we know it will perform well (different species of woods need to be sanded differently), we water-pop the floor to open the grain up so the Rubio Monocoat finish can penetrate into the wood. Once the wood has dried we applied one coat of Rubio Monocoat finish. Most of the time we only need to do one coat of Rubio Monocoat like the name states mono meaning one. However, with walnut flooring the grain is more open, so it requires two coats of Rubio, otherwise the floor looks “thirsty” and isn’t protected because the grain is still open. We then waited twelve hours after the first coat before we came back to apply the second and final coat of Rubio. walnut-wood-floor

 

 

 

 

This job in Neenah is now completed and they just need to wait twenty-four hours before the carpenters can get back on the floor and finish up. This was an exciting project due to the species of wood, and the unique finish that showcased the finished product. Even more rewarding though, was the look of amazement on our clients face when they saw their finished product for the first time. For us, there is nothing more important than the customer experince, and we know that we can create a floor that takes your breath away. If you love the unique pattern in this walnut floor, we would love to hear from you. We would love to create a walnut floor for you, or help you to find the floor of your dreams.

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The Latest

Hardwood flooring and stairs news, tips, and trends

Dogs and hardwood: How to keep your floor looking great

Posted by Aaron Schaalma on Nov 23, 2018

Now, before we get going, I’m going to admit that I’m a pretty big dog lover, so my point of view may be a little biased. They say that your dog is just an extension of its owners personality, and I can definitely attest to that. However, your furry friend doesn’t mean that you can’t […]

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NWFA Certified

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