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Ask your flooring questions here!

Flooring Questions – Ask away

ask your flooring questions hereHey everybody.  I love your comments and questions on my blog posts.   It occurred to me that I should also have a section dedicated just to questions, so you feel free to ask away, and I will do my best to answer them.

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Just leave a comment below (in the comment section) and I will try to get back to you soon. Please note that I own a very busy business, so I am not able to check this every day, but I will get back to you.

color consultation for paint and stain colorsIf you live in Westchester County NY, I offer color consultations to advise customers on paint colors and stain choices. My designer discount at the paint stores usually more than offsets the cost for the hour consultation. Read more here.  I now offer phone consultations as well.

Complementary products that will prolong the life of your hardwood floors


Ask your flooring questions here!

12 thoughts on “Ask your flooring questions here!”

  1. Hi Debbie.. We purchased a home several months ago with solid Brazilian cherry hardwood floors. They are very red, dark and have a very high gloss finish. My husband and I hate the red color and the shiny finish. Our first choice would be to rip them out and install a nice light color handscraped wood, however we would like to explore refinishing options before spending so much money. My question is: would it be possible to strip and bleach the floors and then put a matte or satin finish on them… Would the red eventually come back when exposed to the sunlight?

    1. Great question, Marilyn. Your best bet with the brazilian cherry is to sand and refinish with a dark brown stain to drown out the red. We’ve found dark walnut to work best (and it tends to look darker on brazilian cherry vs. jacobean or ebony…even though those colors turn out darker on oak). I know you’re looking for light, so you may not like this option. I would not recommend bleach on brazilian cherry as that will permanently ruin the floors (and create gapping). I’m sure the color will not come out as you expect and you will still have red. Due to the oils in the brazilian cherry, it will probably react with the bleach. You can definitely refinish and use a satin finish, and maybe even try a water based poly, but either way you will still have a lot of red. So, if you hate the red, you may just need to rip up. The dark will hide it the most, but it will not be fully brown. It will look like a “royal mahogany” stain. But, I have done this for many customers that hated the red, and they were happy with this (of course, they liked dark floors).

  2. Debbie, Could you please tell me what type of wood, stain, and finish is in the picture at the top of the question page? The floor is dark with two chairs, a fireplace, and a couch. There is also a light rug. I have white oak and would the color on my floor look similar to the flooring in the picture
    if it is on different wood?

    1. Sandra – That is oak flooring with an ebony stain. I can’t remember if it was red oak or white oak. White oak is a bit darker than red oak. Please note that often the colors on photos come out a bit darker vs. real life.

  3. Hi Debbie, We just purchased a new condo with an open floor plan and all oak flooring. The previous owner had a small dog who scratched all the steps and there are marks where the dining and living room furniture was moved. A flooring contractor suggested buffing and one top coat of oil based polyurethene. The condo is only seven years old. Questions: oil or water based; paint first or floor first; will the new top coat be subject to UV damage, as there is none now where the previous owners had area rugs. This is our first experience with hardwood flooring, so we want to do it right and prevent any potential problems. Thank you so much for your advice.

    1. Hi Mary. Sorry for the delayed response.

      If you have scratches through the color, you will need to do a full sand & refinish to eliminate the scratches. If they are minor and more topical, a screen & recoat will suffice.

      I generally recommend oil over water poly as it lasts longer, and it is more likely to cover up blemishes. Re: UV, both are susceptible to this, but oil based tends to show this less and protect floors more.

      However, if you are saying that floors are different colors due to area rugs/UV and IF you want to get rid of this, the only way to do that is a full sand & refinish. A screen & recoat will not do that. That will simply add another coat of poly and the color will remain the same. (Think nail polish…if some has chipped off and you add a clear coat of gloss, it will make things look better and last longer, but it won’t change the differences underneath).

      I hope that helps.

  4. I am building a new home in Maine, updated farmhouse style and am thinking of white oak quarter sawn on the first floor which is open plan. I am wondering if I can brighten this by using a light wash of whitewash and then poly. Would you use a water based poly over this?

    1. Hi Patricia. Quartersawn White Oak can look very nice. (You could also consider quartersawn and rifted as well…similar look, but usually a bit less expensive).

      Regarding white wash, that is a matter of personal preference. It has become rather trendy lately and will definitely give your place a lighter feel. If you do white wash, then yes, DEFINITELY use water based poly. If you use oil based poly, it will turn yellow. Bona Traffic Water based is the best…will last the longest and least impact on yellowing over time. It does cost more, but very worth it.

  5. Is there such a thing as true hand scraped wood flooring? I find so often they are done by machines and over a large surface, you can see the repetition!

    2nd question – is wire brushed flooring more durable as the soft part of the wood is ‘brushed’ away?
    Thank you!

    1. Yes there is real handscraped wood. Anderson hardwood invented this category. But, not all distressed woods are handscraped. More and more are done in the factory, and yes, I agree it’s obvious.

      on the 2nd part of your question, I’m not sure. This is more of a style thing and I’m sure that it really changes durability, although it might potentially hide some of the scratches and make them less noticeable.

  6. Hi.. I’m looking for a dark floor.. Solid… No red…hard..I have 3 kids..prefinished with variation…I have driven all over nj and can’t find one I like.. I am on the fence with hand scraping… I don’t mind dents and knots but waves bother me! I feel like what I want doesn’t exist! Any ideas?. So many of the woods have a red tone… And when I find one I like it’s usually walnut or birch and that’s too soft! Help please!,,

    1. Hi Kristie. I feel your pain. Part of the challenge may be that most handscraped woods are engineered, but I would strongly encourage you to get solid (as I believe you are trying to find). Stay away from cheap distressed woods as they are factory made with the waves. You may try Anderson (which is owned by Shaw) has some solid handscraped and some are in the brown tones. You could also try some hickories as those have a more rustic look (wo/ the scraping) with knots and lots of color variation. It’s harder than oak (and a bit more expensive). Or for another approach is US Navarre line – they are oiled floors and have a cool look. They are engineered but with a very thick wear layer and thick board (around 3/4″ of an inch). They can be refinished several times. Again, they aren’t cheap.

      I hope that helps.

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