Give your home a refreshed look and feel with a refinish.Learn More
Hardwood flooring creates a warm, welcoming environment for your home.Learn More
Some floors just need a recoating to revitalize their beauty.Learn More
We can make the new flooring blend in and leave a flawless, uniform finish.Learn More
What is a reactive? No, we aren’t talking about how I reacted to Aaron Rodgers going out in the first game of the 2018 season. I definitely reacted to that! I was like NOOOO!!! Here we go again, another year of the backup QB play. But low and behold here comes Aaron back in the second half and leads the packers to a great come from behind victory! Sorry I got a little side tracked here. Reactives, what are they and how do they affect wood flooring? Lets dive in and talk a little more about this topic.
What is a reactive, and how does it work?
Like its name suggests, reactives need something contained in the wood to react with. These naturally occurring substances in hardwood are called tannins. An interesting fact is that tannins have been used in many different industries. Originally, tannins were extracted from hardwoods and used in the tanning process of animal hides. It is also what can give wine a bitter taste as they use oak barrels to store the wine in during the fermentation process. In the hardwood industry, a reactive is a component, that when applied to a hardwood floors, reacts with the naturally occurring tannins that are present in the wood to acheive various effects.
Do they work on all wood species?
Because tannin levels in the wood determine the change in appearance when using a reactive, not all hardwoods will respond the same way. Reactives have a profound affect on hardwoods like white oak, but have very little to no affect on woods like pine or maple. However, hardwoods that have low levels of tannins can be pretreated with tannic acid, or something as simple as earl grey tea, which have high levels of tannins, so that reactives will have a greater affect on the wood.
What are the effects of reactives on hardwood?
The effects of reactives can be quite profound, especially when applying to hardwood like white oak. Tannin levels can vary board by board so there is a large range of variability even within the same species of wood. This variability will cause some pieces of wood to change to a really dark grey and yet others won’t change much at all. Other external factors that contribute to the effects of a reactive can be the soil quality in which a particular tree was grown, and also the reactive product itself. Some manufactures have their own reactive products like Rubio Monocoat’s Smoke and Fume, which each have very distinct effects. Or, using a little chemistry, we are capable of making our own reactive, namely iron acetate, using steel wool and vinegar.
Will it work on my existing floor?
Reactives can work on your existing floors, but can be greatly affected by the type of finish and cleaners that were previously used on the floor. Some finishes can neutralize the tannins in the wood, which can cause certain areas of a floor to appear splotchy. These areas will need to be touched up with some color to make them blend in. So, the overall answer is yes it will work but there are things to consider when thinking about having it done.
As you can see having us use reactives on your floor opens up many colors possibilities and layers of colors. To learn more about color possibilities you will want to go read a blog post we did on that! Read more
Installing hardwood flooring is one of the best ways to renovate your home, update the look and style of a room or your entire house, and increase the value of your property. But just because wood floors are great in one room doesn’t mean they’ll work in another, and it’s important to install wisely. The bathroom is one example of a room that isn’t suited for hardwood floors, and the main reason for this is moisture. That being said, hardwood can work in powder rooms and half bathrooms, because these rooms don’t have the same high level of humidity as full baths.
Wood is a living material that can absorb moisture, and as it absorbs and dries out, it expands and contracts. When this happens repeatedly with the flooring, it can cause warping and buckling, and that’s not something that you want to happen to your hardwood floor. The bathroom is one of the most high-humidity rooms in the house because of steam from the shower and bathtub, which is the main reason why hardwood isn’t recommended in the bathroom.
The bathroom is also a high-traffic room in the house, and when you combine this with the beating your floor takes from sink and shower water, you’ll realize why you might want to opt for an alternate flooring material. Whether it’s the kids sloshing around in the tub, you having your morning shower, or even just brushing your teeth before bed, bathroom floors often have water splashed on them, and this can lead to water damage that requires regular maintenance and repairs to combat rot and mold. As such, you’ll want to choose a bathroom flooring material that’s more water resistant and more dimensionally stable.
Although it’s a good rule of thumb to avoid hardwood in the bathroom because of the potential for water damage and rot, you might be able to get away with installing wood floors in half baths and powder rooms. These rooms are suited for wood floors because they don’t have showers and tubs, which are responsible for the majority of the humidity in a bathroom. However, to avoid water and moisture damage, it’s essential to keep the bathroom well-ventilated, clean up spills immediately, and use rugs or mats to protect the floor.
Hardwood floors look great, they feel nice on your feet, and they can increase the value of your home, so it’s easy to see why many homeowners are tempted to install this type of flooring in every room possible. But hardwood isn’t ideal in all situations, and high-humidity bathrooms are one place where you’re better off going with another flooring material or choosing engineered wood instead. But if you’re really keen on natural hardwood floors, you can install them in half baths and powder rooms that don’t have showers, as long as you take care to keep them clean and dry.
Maintaining anything is a great way to keep things looking great! Wood floors are no different. So whether your floors have just been finished or you are looking on how to maintain them we will give you a few tips on how to get the most out of your floors.
Sweep or Swiffer
Keeping grit and other debris off the floor is important in keeping your floor looking in top condition. If you allow dirt and debris to build up on the floor, it will begin to grind into the floor and can scratch the finish and wear it down over time. To prevent this, you want to sweep or swiffer the floor based upon how much traffic your floor gets.
First off you’ll need to know what type of finish you have on your wood floors. Different types of finish have a large impact as to what type of cleaner you should use. If its a film finish you should use a neutral PH hardwood floor cleaner. If you have a penetrating or hardwax oil use the recommended cleaner from the manufacturer. Cleaning the floor will remove dirt and surface stains and renew the shine and luster of your floor.
You may be thinking what does indoor climate have to do with maintaining my wood floors? So, your hardwood flooring was once a living thing, and after it is turned into wood flooring, even though it is not growing it is still affected by temperature and humidity. Keeping the temperature between 65-75 degrees all year round along with RH(Relative Humidity) of 35-50% year round will help your floor perform at its best!
I hear from many wood flooring professionals that they don’t like the use of rugs on hardwood floors. However, the right type of rugs, placed in high traffic areas can help prevent unnecessary wear to your hardwood floors. A couple of key areas for rugs are by the sink, dishwasher, and exterior doors. These places tend to have more moisture and are also higher traffic areas. Here is a good article we wrote about choosing the right type of rug for your floors.
This is a service we offer that cleans the floor with a special machine. The machine applies cleaning solution and then has a cleaning brush that cleans the finish. The built in vacuum removes any of the moisture thats left, giving you a floor that is clean. This option is great for older floors that are in great condition, but just need a deep clean to bring them back to life.
Contacting a professional to re-coat your hardwood floors can add years to the life of your floor. What we do is come in and clean the floor with a special cleaner, lightly abraid the floor and then apply a new coat of finish. This will take care of any scratches in the surface of the floor, and will add years of life to the floor by adding more protection.
Taking these steps will help to ensure the longevity of your hardwood floors and protect your investment. If you are unsure about your floors, or have any questions on how to take care of your hardwood floors, contact us, we’d love to help you out.
“Aaron from Signature Custom Flooring did a breath taking job on putting Ash hardwood floors in our kitchen and dining room and 2 hallways. We would highly recommend Aaron for any project one would have concerning hardwood flooring. He is truly Professional! What an amazing man to work with. We are overwhelmingly pleased! Thanks Signature Custom Flooring for a job well done!”
– Anna Stratton, Hartford
“After seeing the bad shape my floors were in I was doubtful they would ever look “amazing”, but Signature Custom Flooring did a fantastic job!!! I would absolutely recommend hiring Aaron. I’ll for sure recommend him to anyone that needs their floors done.”
– Robert Orde, Green Bay
“Aaron did a beautiful job on our floors. After 15 years, they were in need of refinishing. Aaron restored the original beauty of the maple floors and suggested a water-based finish instead of the oil-based. No more gold floors!!! We also appreciate that there was virtually no dust to clean up. Great job Aaron. Thank you for making our floors beautiful again.”
– Lisa Paul, Oshkosh
“Aaron is an incredibly hard worker with incredible expertise on hardwood flooring. I had NO idea the amount of information out there on species of wood, finishes, etc. and Aaron was so helpful in explaining it all and making sure we got the floor we really had cooked up in our imagination. We could not be happier! The price was great, the service was fantastic and we got exactly what we wanted. I would recommend Aaron to anyone!”
– Nicole Waltemath, Oshkosh
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 […]
Learn how to maintain and protect your hardwood floor, as well as how often it should be refinished.