Hardwood Floor Refinishing - FAQ's | Westchester County

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Hardwood floor refinishing - Frequently asked questions - Westchester County

Refinish hardwood floors in Westchester - FAQQ. How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors from start to finish? This depends on what type of polyurethane you are using -oil based or water based. Oil based tends to take longer - often 3-4 days plus drying time (longer if for larger jobs) and water based tends to dry faster, so it's often 2 days (longer for larger jobs). Click here for a full explanation on how long does it take to refinish hardwood floor? Click here for a full explanation on water vs oil based polyurethane.  

Q. What if my hardwood floors are currently covered with carpet, vinyl, tile or laminate? We will remove and haul away flooring materials that are currently on top your hardwood as well as prep and/or repair the exposed hardwood floor for restoration. Some of our Westchester customers prefer to do this work themselves; others prefer that we do this work.  


questions about hardwood floor refinishing in westchester

Q. Is there a lot of dust when sanding the floors? Yes, the process is a bit messy, and we ofter 2 solutions. First, with our standard process, the dust goes into a vacuum bag, and we vacuum between each coat as well as add plastic to all areas not being done. Second, we do offer a dust extraction system with a vacuum suction tube so the dust goes straight outside into the dust containment system. While no process is 100% dustless, it does take care of 90-95% of the dust.  

Q. Can you change the color of the hardwood? Yes, you can go from light to dark, or dark to light or anywhere in between. Click here for a full explanation: Can you change the color of your hardwood flooring and how the process works. And, click here to see Hardwood flooring stain trends to see which colors are most in style for Westchester County.  

sanding hardwood floors westchester

Q. What if we have pet stains on the floor? We come across this often. If you have some areas that have pet stains or water damage (i.e. they have turned black), then the best thing to do is replace those hardwood boards and weave in. If you have oak flooring, this is usually fairly simple to do (assuming you have a professional do the work - it's important to match the species of oak as well as grade and important to have someone with the skills to properly weave it in). From there, after you sand and refinish, the floors should integrate well and look seamless. This does cost a bit extra for labor and materials, but it is usually the better way to go (unless you hardwood is very old and/or very difficult to match). Alternatively, you could choose a darker stain to cover up the darker portions of the hardwood.  

Q. What if there is damage to the floor or sections where hardwood is missing? See above...this is usually very solvable as we can usually weave in additional wood, especially if you have oak flooring.


  westchester county  hardwood floor sandingQ. Will I need to move my furniture? Some of our customers prefer to move the furniture themselves; others prefer that we do the moving. It is up to you. We are happy to help either way.


 Q. Where do I store my furniture? Most of our customers use other parts of their home - areas that may have tile or carpet. Sometimes, we can move it to the basement or garage. Sometimes, we can do the job in 2 phases to accomodate space for the furniture. A few of our customers use a storage container (such as PODS).  

Q. When can we walk on the floors? On average, you can walk on the floors approximately 24 hours after the application of the final coat. We recommend that for hours 24-48 that you wear socks only - no shoes, no bare feet. Click here for more info on How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors.  


sand and refinish oak floors in westchester NY

Q. When can our pets walk on the floor? It's best to wait two days before pets walk on the floors.  

Q. When can we put our area rugs back down on the floor? We recommend that you wait 3 to 4 weeks after the job is complete before putting area rugs back in place. This allows adequate time for the floors to cure.  

Q. How long will the finish last? The lifestyle of the home determines how long the finish will last. With regular maintenance cleaning, a floor finish can last many years., often 7-10 yrs. When the finish becomes dull there are several professional service maintenance methods, such as a screen and recoat (see below) which can available to restore the luster without sanding. Also, click here for tips on How to prevent scratches on your hardwood floors.  


refinish restore pine floors westchester NY

Q. What is a Screen and Recoat? What is floor buffing? Would that work for my floors? A screen and recoat is synonym for floor buffing. It's a non-invasive method where you buff/abrade the hardwood floors so that you can add an extra coat of polyurethane. It allows you to add sheen to floor and an extra layer of protection. It works if your floors are in good condition from a color perspective. It will not solve scratches through the color, but if your floors are in good shape, it will protect the color longer. It's an affordable cosmetic maintenance method that isn't messy. You have the option of making the floors shinier or less shiny - you can choose from matte, satin, semi-gloss or glossy finishes. 


Q. Do I have to move all my furniture out for a screen and recoat? Yes. See above.


Q. How can I tell if my floors need a screen and recoat rather than a complete refinishing? A screen and recoat is a cosmetic method that adds a clear coat of poly. Not all floor conditions are candidates for this process. Floors should be in a decent condition with the existing color in good shape. It will take care of minor scratches and dullness; it will not solve deep gauges nor scratches in the color.


restore and buff hardwood floors in westchesterQ. Is there a lot of dust with the a screen and recoat? A screen and recoat is pretty clean process. The floors are NOT sanded; rather they are just lightly buffed to abrade the existing finish allowing additional coats of finish to adhere. This gives your floor added protection and sheen.


Q. How long does a Screen and recoat take? Most jobs only take one day to complete, but it ultimately depends on the size and scope of the job.

Q. How many coats of finish are applied and is it water or oil based? Usually, we add 1 coat of polyurethane, but occasionally, customers would prefer 2 coats, especially if it's a heavy traffic area such as a kitchen. You may choose from 4 sheen levels: Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin and Matte. Currently, satin is the most popular sheen.


screen and recoat and buff hardwood floors in westchesterQ. How long after service can I walk on the floors? Usually, you can walk on the floors approximately 24 hours after the job is complete.

  Q: What advice do you have to prolong the finish on hardwood floors? The best piece of advice I can give you is to take your shoes off while inside. It is amazing what a big impact this can have. Also, it's important to use felt pads underneath furniture (especially chairs) and entry mats at the doorways. Click here for more advice on How to prevent scratches on your hardwood floors.  

Q: Can plastic tips on my chairs prevent scuff marks on my floors? Industry experts say that felt tips on chairs are a better option than plastic tips, which can mark floors. Also, we recommend that you stay away from rolling chairs as these tend to do a lot of damage to hardwood floors.


 When you're ready to refinish your hardwood floors in Westchester NY, give The Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950. (For out of state customers, please call 914-407-3899.)

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Originally posted at FAQ's for Hardwood Floor Refinishing in Westchester County

FAQ's - Hardwood floor refinishing - Frequently asked questions - Westchester County


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Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Debbie,

I was waiting to see if you were posting this morning. Great questions answered by the master of flooring.

I hope all is well after the brunt of the storm has passed. Stay safe .

Best, Clint McKie

Oct 29, 2012 09:48 PM #1
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Debbie: An excellent flooring FAQ that answers the basic questions...I also like how you linked to other posts that provide more detailed answers on specific topics.  Suggested.

Oct 29, 2012 09:55 PM #2
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Bookmarked and suggested. Thanks for sharing these great tips . I learned a lot from this post.

Oct 29, 2012 10:08 PM #3
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Clint - LOL - this was one of the many things I was able to get to yesterday as I was stuck at home w/ the storm.  Posted it last night to G+.  It took a long time to write - I had started it a week ago.

Anita - Thank you so much.  Yes, a lot of work went into this.  I really hope that long term this helps my customers and comes up on searches. 

Gita - Thank you so much.  I really appreciate that.

Oct 29, 2012 10:12 PM #4
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Great tips on flooring Debbie.. I get these questions from my clients when they opt for hardwood. Maintenance free and easy is what they like, and knowing what to plan for in the future!

Oct 29, 2012 10:51 PM #5
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Debbie,  these are all great questions that come up all the time.  For us we had some of these questions asked of us just yesterday.  Thanks

Oct 29, 2012 10:59 PM #6
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Good morning Debbie -

Once again you have provided great information.  While on our road trip back east we stopped by a friends home to visit.  She is in the middle of sanding a couple of floors in her Historical home.  Talk about a slow go and dusty mess.  She refuses to hire anyone rather taking on all re-do jobs herself. 

Oct 29, 2012 11:21 PM #7
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

In the inimitable words of Carly Simon "Nobody does it better"..................you're the best Flooring Girl.

Oct 29, 2012 11:26 PM #8
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Janis - Good, I'm glad this will help.

Chris & Dick - THat is so funny that it is so timely.

John - Oh wow,  Good luck to her.  She would probably be better served by having a professional do it.  this is even more important w/ old floors.  One of the biggest issues that homeowners have when they try it themselves is that they sand too much...so ironically, she is shortening the life of her hardwood.

Roger - wow, thank you.  I'm so honored.

Oct 29, 2012 11:36 PM #9
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good Morning Debbie,


I see that you still had power early this morning.  This is a great posting of FAQ's.  I am sure that will be helpful to those who are now needing to replace flooring due to this storm.

Oct 30, 2012 01:52 AM #10
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Debbie which finish is best, the oil base polyurethane or the water base polyurethane?

Oct 30, 2012 02:38 AM #11
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Grant - Yes, we were lucky.  I actually wrote this last night...in case I lost power.

George - I'd recommend oil based.  Check out the blog post link above on that topic for full explanation.

Oct 30, 2012 03:04 AM #12
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Excellent info which you can no doubt use in many blogs throughout your geographic area Debbie.  It should be very popular!

Oct 30, 2012 05:20 AM #13
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Jay - Thx.  I'm hoping it will be. I may break some of it up into smaller blog posts.

Oct 30, 2012 06:18 AM #14
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Debbie Gartner

The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
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