Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose a hardwood floor species that is right for me?
When choosing a species for your new wood floor, you must consider the climate. Not just the climate in your area, but the climate where that species of wood is found. Species such as bamboo and acacia are grown in wet-humid environments. Colorado has a dry, arid climate. Species that are grown in a wet, humid environment do not perform well in the dry arid climates. Woods such as oak, walnut, hickory, maple, and other native species perform well in the arid climate of Colorado and are highly recommended.
What color and sheen of a floor is right for me?
a) When choosing a floor color, here are some things to consider: i. Is it a large or small area? Lighter colors tend to make a room look larger, whereas darker colors will shrink the room. You also want to consider your lifestyle. Lighter colors tend to hide scratches and dirt. Darker colors work just like your clothes – everything shows up. In Spite Of the challenges, dark floors have a luxurious, rich look and can enhance the spaces where it is located. Personal preference is the #1 consideration. You should wake up every morning, see your floor, and think to yourself….”yes! I love it!”
b) Sheen is also an area of personal preference. A couple of things to consider, however, is lifestyle. The shiny sheen will show more dirt whereas the satin and matte sheen tends to hide more dirt.
How do I choose a board size for my new floor?
Choosing a board size comes down to preference, cost, and the type of flooring you are installing. If you are installing an engineered or vinyl plank floor, you can use the wider planks. These products are more stable and do not experience the expansion and contraction that a pre-finished floor or site-finished hardwood floor does. If you are purchasing a prefinished or site-finished floor, we require that anything over 4” be glued down. If you have a whole house humidifier, set it between 30%-50% humidity to reduce expansion and contraction. This allows you to utilize a larger width board.
What rooms in my house can I install a hardwood floor?
Creations Hardwoods will install hardwood in any room of the home. However, if the subfloor is concrete, it could involve a significant expense and we recommend either luxury vinyl plank flooring or engineered hardwood for concrete sub-floors.
What is the difference between an engineered wood floor and a solid wood floor?
A solid hardwood floor is exactly that, it is solid wood all the way through. Engineered hardwood has come a long way. Engineered hardwood has a wood surface, but there are layers of wood glued together underneath. Pre-finished floors can typically be sanded. Many engineered floors can now be sanded one or two times as well.
How do I keep my hardwood floors looking new?
a) Use sticky felt pads under all furniture, especially dining chairs and tables.
b) Never drag heavy furniture across the floor.
c) If you need to roll out the refrigerator, use a thin piece of plywood calledMasonite board (can be found at Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc. It is usually sold in 2’ x 2’ pieces.
d) Place rugs in entries and high traffic areas to catch debris and to protect the floor.
e) Clean your floor with a broom or vacuum daily. You can also use a robotic vacuum set to hardwood or no beater bar to get the dirt from the bevels. Once a week use a dry swiffer for weekly cleaning. Use Bona, Pallman or another high quality cleaning product about every three to four weeks for regular cleaning and maintenance. Using vinegar, mopping with water, or mopping with steam mops will damage your floor.
f) Do not use products that have water or oil-based products in them. These Products include, but are not limited to: Orange Glow, Old English, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Rejuvenate and other restoration products. These products cause a milky film layer to build up on the floor that will never evaporate or dissipate. Steam mops, mopping your floor with water or mops such as the Swiffer Wet Jet can cause damage to the floor, and could even cause damage to the wood with only one mopping. Wood and water do not mix.
How do I choose a flooring contractor?
a) When interviewing a contractor, take notes during the estimate. Make sure all estimates include all the features you are considering, such as vents, floor base, type and number of coats of finish you want, etc. By doing this, all contractors are providing apples to apples estimates and you get the exact floor you want without surprises in the end.
b) Interview at least three contractors.
c) Know what you want. Contractors and their representatives are trained to look at your home and offer suggestions for the best results. This is your home, your style, your budget and your decision. Make sure you get all the services you want and not the ones you don’t.
d) Ask if the company has employees or uses subcontractors for their work. This is important to many people.
e) Ask to see a sample of the contractor’s contract. We highly recommend looking for any clauses regarding reviews. There is a new trend in which companies are including clauses that forbid negative reviews.
f) Check on-line reviews. Although reviews on Google are not verified reviews, on Angi and Thumbtack are. Reviews are a great way to find out more about the performance of a contractor. We have reviews on Thumbtack and Google. Check us out!
g) Ask to see a sample copy of their warranty.
What is your minimum order?
How does moisture in the environment affect my wood floor?
Wood is an organic material that reacts to its environment. It is hygroscopic , which means it absorbs and loses moisture in reaction to its surrounding environment. In a humid environment, wood gains moisture and swells. In a dry environment, wood loses moisture and shrinks. This is completely normal and happens at all stages of the wood’s life cycle, even as the tree is growing in the forest. If wood gains or loses too much moisture, problems can occur.
Wood that gains too much moisture will cup. Cupping occurs across the width of the floor board with edges that are raised on each board and centers that are lower than the edges. Cupping only happens due to a moisture imbalance throughout the thickness of the board. Even mopping your floor one time can cause this type of damage.
Oil vs. Water-Based Finish
a) The Look:
i. Oil-based polyurethane has a gorgeous, unmistakable amber color. With time, that color continues to darken. This is something to discuss with your contractor when selecting your wood, stain color and finish type. Oil doesn’t have the same quality of UV protection and does tend to allow fading at a faster rate.
ii. Water-based finish goes on clear and stays clear. Manufacturers have come a long way in recent years with the higher quality brands producing finishes that mimic the way oil-based finishes bring out the character of wood. Water-based finishes have superior UV protection to help reduce fading.
iii. Special Circumstances: There are some instances when your contractor may recommend a water-based finish. Some such circumstances would be white washing, or gray and white stain colors. An oil-based finish will turn those yellow immediately and will continue to yellow over time. Light color wood species such as maple, ash, pine, and fir also turn very yellow and continue to do so over time. This is a matter of taste, but can have a detrimental effect on the resale value of the homedown the road as it tends to look more orange with time and does not have the desired appearance.
b) Drying Time
i. Oil-based finish takes much longer to dry and cure than water-based finish. Standard drying and curing is as follows:
1. The floor can be walked on in 24 hours.
2. One coat of finish can be applied every 24 hours.
3. The floor will be fully cured in 14 days. There should be no rugs or mats placed during that time. You should discuss furniture placement with your contractor.
ii. Water-based finish dries much faster. Here is the drying and curing time for water-based finish.
1. The floor can be walked on in 4 – 6 hours.
2. Up to three coats of finish can be applied in one day.
3. Curing time: 75% after one day; 90% in three days, fully cured in seven days.
i. Oil-based polyurethane releases a very strong, pungent, noxious odor that lingers for days, or even weeks.
ii. Clients must be out of their home while the work is being performed due to drying time and for health and safety purposes. You will need to make alternate living arrangements from the time they start applying the finish until 24 hours after the final coat is applied.
iii. Water-based finish has almost no odor. It can be applied without a respirator and what little bit of odor it does have dissipates once the floor is dry (about 4 – 6 hours). You can remain in your home while the product is in use and it is safe for people and pets.
i. Oil-based finish is thicker than water-based finish, but it is also softer which makes it more susceptible to dents. Two coats of finish are sufficient in most cases. If you have large pets, we may recommend a third coat of oil-based polyurethane.
ii. Water-based finish is harder, but also thinner, making it more susceptible to surface scratches. Three coats of finish are recommended since it’s thinner. In homes with large pets, we may recommend a two component commercial grade finishing system with additional hardeners to help reduce scratches.
i. Oil products are less expensive, however, drying time slows down the project. With Creations Hardwoods our cost between oil and water- based finish is about the same.
How should I prepare for floor work?
a) If you are having your floor sanded, the crew will need access to a 220 plug. A 220 plug can be found behind an electric stove or electric dryer. b) Remove all breakables. If Creations Hardwoods is moving your furniture, you will need to empty cabinets, curios, and valuables from shelves, heirlooms, etc. Creations Hardwoods does not move antiques, waterbeds, grandfather clocks, pool tables, pianos, safes, aquariums, hospital beds, exercise equipment, and other items as deemed appropriate. Computers and electronics should have their cords and wires removed prior to the arrival of our crew, which will get things moving much faster.
c) Obtain felt pads for your furniture. This is a great time to add them to your furniture or to replace the ones you have.
d) Determine up front who will remove furniture, appliances, baseboards, existing flooring and the sub-floor if needed. If Creations Hardwoods is moving the furniture, you will need to have a dedicated space available for the furniture. Your refrigerator does not need to be emptied, but will need to be stored near a plug-in.
e) Remove items in storage areas and closets where the floor work is being performed.
f) Pick up any loose items that are sitting on the floor. A good general cleanup always helps things go more smoothly.
g) Remove drapes, wall hangings and pictures from the walls if they are low or could easily be damaged.
h) If you are having new flooring installed, your flooring will need to be delivered anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks prior to the start
date of your project. The flooring will need to be stored inside your home, not your garage. You will need to have a place for that. This allows for the wood to acclimate and gives a better long-term result.
i) Prepare a place outdoors for our crew ro work. We do put down tarps, but sometimes there are spills or stains. We make every effort to remove stains, but sometimes they do not come all the way out. You will want to keep this in mind. For cutting and some other tasks, we will need a solid surface, such as a driveway or patio – anyplace near an entrance.
j) We may need a place to store equipment overnight while your project is underway. Closed off rooms, garages, and a corner of the work area work great. If you have small and/or curious little folks around, it is especially important to consider this because we do not want them investigating the tools and equipment resulting in injuries.
k) Make plans for your pet – especially dogs. Medium to large dogs need to be off of a floor with fresh polyurethane for three to four days after the floor is complete to allow the finish to fully cure. This could take longer for oil- based finishes.