Q. You claim to sand and finish floors virtually dust free, what does that really mean?
A. The sanding machines we use are specially designed to work with our Dust Containment System that collects up to 95% airborne dust. While you may see some saw dust on the floor, it is not airborne and will not spread throughout your home.
Q. How long does it take to sand and finish my old floors?
A. Most jobs take 2-5 days from start to finish. Staining will add an extra day. The complete curing process takes approximately one week.
Q. When can I move furniture back to the floors?
A. Recommended 48 hours after the final coat is applied (with protective felts under all furniture). Furniture is to be set in place, not dragged across the floors. Large area rugs need to be kept off the floor for the first 7 days.
Q. Do you move my furniture?
A. We do not move your furniture. Moving furniture is the customer's responsibility due to insurance not covering us for injuries or damages sustained while moving furniture.
Q. What is the most popular hardwood used in flooring?
A. Red Oak is the most popular hardwood for use in homes. Maple is the number one choice for gymnasiums, basketball courts, dance floors and other commercial applications. Maple is harder than oak, and can stand up better in commercial use.
Q. Is there a reason to choose red oak over white oak, or white oak over red oak?
A. There are two main reasons one would choose red or white in preference to the other. The first reason is visual appeal. Some people prefer the pinkish cast of red oak, while others feel the golden hue of white oak is the best background color. Opinions vary because of personal taste, the room's color scheme, and the species of other prominent woodwork in the room. The second reason that may affect the white/red decision, is the amount of traffic the floor will receive. Red oak works well in many residential areas. However, white oak wins hands down when it comes to the dreaded "heel pecks." Therefore, for high traffic areas like foyers and rooms for entertaining, taking a good look at white oak might save a few headaches.
Q. What are your terms and payment options?
A. We require deposit shown on your estimate plus cost of materials (upon receipt) to guarantee scheduling and timely delivery of materials. The balance is due the day of project completion, or if the job requires more than one week an invoice will be collected weekly for the work completed. Hitchcock Hardwoods accepts payment by cash and checks.
Q. How long does a hardwood floor installation take?
A. We generally visit your site to give you an accurate time and cost estimate for Hardwood Floor installations.
Q. I've heard that new installation requires that the new wood arrive at my house a few days before the actual installation takes place. How many days should I allow?
A. The new wood needs to acclimate to the humidity levels in the rooms in which it is to be installed. The acclimation process generally takes 7-14 days. At day seven, we will use a moisture meter, to check the moisture in the wood to determine if the moisture level in the new wood is similar to that of the sub-floor.
Q. Will my floors be shiny?
A. You have a choice of a satin, semi-gloss or high gloss finish for your floor.
Q. Will you sand and refinish my old floors if they have been painted?
A. Most older floors, that have been painted, have been painted with a lead-based paint. So with that in mind, we have discontinued sanding older floors that have been painted.
Q. Is your equipment loud to be around?
A. Due to the type of equipment necessary to perform the work on your project, there will be times when the noise level may be uncomfortable to be around.
Q. How much does it cost to sand and refinish; do you charge by the room or square foot?
A. Every job is unique. For more information give us a call at (803)648-7255.
Q. Why do you want to schedule a free estimate rather than tell me what you charge per square foot over the phone?
When a quote is given without seeing your floors first you could be over or under charged.
A blind estimate may not note special situations needed for your floors. This leaves the contractor with two choices, either skip these areas because they where not put into the estimate or the contractor can charge whatever they want, because the job is already in progress. Also some jobs do not require a complete sanding and can look beautiful with a much more inexpensive procedure of deep cleaning or a recoating. Don't get caught off-guard by contractors that give you a square foot price over the phone, you may be paying much more than you anticipated.
Q. What is the process that will take place when you come out to sand and refinish our floors?
A. There are several stages in finishing a floor correctly Ask you contractor how they finish floors. If they don't mention every one of these stages, they probably don't do them. And your floors will not turn out the way you want them to look.
1. First Cleaning Stage
Vacuum the room before starting This is done to be sure there are no sharp objects that can gouge the floor during sanding.
2. Sanding Stage
Sand the floors with a belt sander This is usually done up to three times using gradually finer sandpaper. Prior to final sanding, the floor is either completely trowel-filled by hand with matching filler, or patch filled where and if necessary.
Sand around the perimeter of the room using an edging machine or other sanding equipment that can sand areas the belt sander can't reach. This is also done up to three times using gradually finer sandpaper.
Buff the floors with a fine abrasive (100 +) to help blend the floors from the two different sanding machines used above, and to smooth the floors.
3. Detail Stage
This stage is critical to get a beautiful finish. If this stage is skipped, a halo effect (darker or lighter swirls) may be noticeable where the belt sanding and edge sanding meet. The room perimeter is hand sanded and scraped to blend the sanding done by the various machines and to remove any scratches left by the machines. Also during this step, areas that the sanding machines are not able to get to are scraped and hand sanded.
4. Second Cleaning Stage
The rooms are vacuumed to make sure the finish will be flawless.
5. Finish Stage
For a natural look, a sealer is spread over the floor to prevent the finish from penetrating too deeply into the wood, and to help the finish bond to the wood. If the wood is to be stained, the stain would be applied instead of the sealer.
The floor is now lightly buffed to smooth the raised wood grain created from the sealer or stain.
Vacuuming is done again to remove any particles created by buffing.
Finally, the finish is applied and your floors will look amazing!