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Refinishing hardwood floors – Use a flooring contractor not a GC

When you’re refinishing your hardwood floors, hire a flooring contractor (rather than a general contractor), even if it’s not us.

When you are refinishing your hardwood floors in White Plains NY, I’d always recommend that you hire a professional…and hire someone who specializes in hardwood floors (rather than a general contractor or handyman)

Refinishing hardwood floors - use a flooring contractorYesterday, I was brought in to “inspect” a floor that had just been just been refinished.  To be perfectly honest, the floor was not horrible (and I’ve seen way worse), but it wasn’t as good as it should have been.  Apparently, after the homeowner wasn’t happy, she called the contractor to fix it, but he apparently made it worse.  Here were the issues.  (Wish I had pictures – sorry).

1.  In Living room (the main focus room), the stain was applied unevenly.  The contractor tried to solve this by adding another coat of polyurethane (which is clear).  Of course, that didn’t change the issue which is the stain which is below all the poly and the only way to fix it is to resand the entire floor and start from scratch.  And, since putting on add’l coats, there are now a few areas where it looks like they spilled the poly and one area w/ bubbles.

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2.  The dining room and kitchen now have new hardwood…but the contractor failed to realize that they have white oak in Living room, and they added red oak to the new areas.  I noticed the second I went to this area (this is something that a flooring expert would know right away).


3.  The finish in the dining room does not look the same as the Living room.  I’m not sure if they used a different finish (e.g. matte) by accident, or just didn’t add the same number of coats of poly (more likely).


Espresso hardwood - refinish oak floors White Plains NY 10601 westchester4.  The bedroom upstairs had gaps large gaps in the wood which now have big pieces of putty filler and look silly.  The gaps were pre-existing and are NOT the fault of the contractor; they were uncovered when the carpet was removed.  But, the contractor should have contacted the homeowner before proceeding to provide the homeowner with options:  Option A, repair wood by weaving in new wood for X dollars (in my opinion the best option), Option B – leave as is (the next best options) or Option C: add putty…a flooring contractor would have told the homeowner that they putty will show and look different, especially when a stain is being added.


5.  Water based polyurethane was used, so it’s not going to last as long, especially with her two dogs.  (see my previous post on water based vs oil based polyurethane).

Unfortnately, it’s too late for this homeowner to redo the floors before she moves in this week.  The good news is that we can fix the dining room/kitchen after she moves in, and some of the areas can be covered with area rugs and furniture.  We will take care of a few small things for her in the next couple of months and then in a few yrs, she will redo all the floors and we will help her do them correctly.

These are some of the many reasons why it’s better to use a flooring contractor for refinishing and installing your hardwood.

Complementary products that will prolong the life of your hardwood floors

4 thoughts on “Refinishing hardwood floors – Use a flooring contractor not a GC”

  1. It is important to select and hire the right contractor for the flooring job. Also, proper communication between the contractor and the client must be established in order to prevent miscommunications and errors committed on the job.

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