What You Need to Know
We try to provide our clients with all the information they need to know — or might want to know — before installing or refinishing a floor. Below, you will find some things to consider before hiring flooring contractors, as well as information about care and maintenance. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact us. We're always happy to provide information and advice to prospective customers.
Questions to Ask the Company You Hire
In the service industry, many factors determine the price of a service, and it is often hard to compare "apples to apples." There are a minimum number of steps that have to be complete to make a project acceptable, but there are also extra steps that deliver results that look nicer and last longer. At Extreme Flooring, we take all those extra steps to ensure the best results possible.
Will you be there on time? Will the job get finished on time?
Some companies "overbook" jobs, so you may get bumped at the last minute. Other companies may start the job, and then not come back for several days. Extreme Flooring doesn't overbook. We set a precise schedule and agree on exactly what days we will be there.
Do you use subcontractors or employees?
Some companies use subcontractors all the time. This could be an issue, because most subcontractors are paid by the foot. The faster they work, the more they make. Do you want the job done as fast as possible or done right? Extreme Flooring uses well-trained employees who don't feel the need to rush through any project. That doesn't mean subcontractors should never be in your house; it means they should be paid for skill and knowledge, not for speed.
Will the project create dust, dirt, and garbage?
Dust containment for sanding and finishing floors is one thing our industry has made great strides in. But for other work — such as installing hardwood floors, installing stairs and rails, installing moldings, or rip-outs and repairs — it is a different story. Saws do not have the same ability to contain the dust as sanders. Here at Extreme Flooring, we do everything possible to stop dust from getting into other parts of your house. We also clean up every day and bag everything neatly for easy disposal, so you can continue to live in your house while work is being done.
What materials will you use?
Hardwood and finish are the most used items in our industry. There are many suppliers and manufactures, some better than others. Ask your contractor what they are using. Finishes vary in quality a lot. For example, we as contractors can purchase water-based finish for $30 per gallon or for $120 per gallon. At Extreme Flooring, we use top-quality oil-based polyurethane or commercial-grade water-based finishes. We are so confident in the quality of these products that we will stand behind our work with as much as a 20-year warranty.
Maintenance & Preservation Guidelines
Failure to closely follow these maintenance and preservation guidelines will invalidate the warranty:
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove without delay all abrasive substances (sand, slivers of glass, crystal, cuttings, etc.) that could scratch the finish. Frequent vacuuming is recommended to prevent abrasive dust from accumulating on the surface and between the boards.
Maintain relative humidity between 35% and 50% and a temperature of approximately 20º Celsius (68ºF) in the room where the flooring is installed in order to preserve the internal humidity of the wood and thus its dimensional stability. Be sure to use the appropriate appliances, such as air exchangers, heating systems, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, etc. to control these environmental conditions.
Clean using an approved no-wax hardwood floor cleaner. Spray a small amount of cleaner on a clean cloth or approved mop and wipe the surface. Note that only small amounts of liquid are needed. The floor must be vacuumed before cleaning. Wash the mop cover or cloth as required. Cleaning the surface once a month is a minimum maintenance requirement. Never use wax or household detergents on the floor. These products may discolor and damage the finish and leave a greasy film, making the floor slippery and difficult to maintain afterward.
Water is one of wood's worst enemies. Never use large amounts of water to clean wood floors, and never use a saturated mop. Wipe up spilled water, liquids, or detergents before they are absorbed by the wood fibers. The combined effect of water and sand is devastating to flooring. This is why it is important to place floor mats at each doorway and in front of the sink, dishwasher, and work areas in the kitchen.
Glue felt pads to the legs of furniture and chairs to avoid scratching flooring when objects are moved. Special nail-in pads are available, which have felt attached to plastic. Simply remove the old pads and nail in the new ones. Periodically examine the pads for wear and replace when needed.
Avoid rolling chairs with casters on the finished surface. Put them on rugs or Plexiglas chair mats. Place floor protectors under narrow casters, or replace them with wide rubber or flexible polyurethane casters. Do not drag furniture or heavy objects across the finished surface. Lift any furniture to be moved.
Regularly trim your pets' claws to prevent scratches and indentations.
Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes on hardwood floors, as they can mar the surface. Heel surfaces are so small that the pressure exerted can easily reach 3,500 pounds per square inch. Worn or broken heels can mar flooring even more. Avoid walking on flooring in footwear with cleats or metal tipped soles.
Protect wood surfaces from sunlight or any source of bright artificial light. Prolonged or repeated exposure to bright light can change the color of wood, even if surfaces are coated with a non-yellowing screen.