Does the hardwood plank “have to” run perpendicular to the floor joists?

In some cases-Yes: when you have no sub-floor circa before 1940’s.
An option: when your sub-floor is only 1″x 10″ planks installed on joists at a diagonal, but still running perpendicular would make a better and stronger floor.
1950’s – Today: After homes were built using solid substrate materials such as a ¾ inch 7 layer plywood or ¾ inch OSB plywood etc. usually in 4’x 8′ sheets. The direction of the floor is your option.

What are the differences between laminate, Engineered and solid floors and which type of flooring works for my home?

Solid: Solid hardwood floors come in a wide range of dimensions and styles, with each plank made of solid wood and milled from a single piece of timber. Solid hardwood floors were originally used for structural purposes, being installed perpendicular to the wooden support beams of a building known as bearers and joists. Modern construction techniques rarely use bearers and joists for the subfloor construction with most homes built in Australia being of a concrete slab basis with a wood building frame, solid Australian hardwood floors are used almost exclusively for their appearance.

Solid: For flooring, solid wood has natural characteristics. Australian hardwoods are hygroscopic that means they acquire and lose moisture due to the ambient conditions around them. Typically, 100mm thick boards are the largest that can be manufactured from solid wood without compromising the structure of the flooring (some manufacturers produce wider boards using proprietary milling techniques). There is, however, no standard size which will perform well in every environment. For contemporary construction techniques, the most significant characteristic of solid wood floors is that they are able to be installed over concrete slab – the battening system having the least maintenance.
Engineered: Engineered wood flooring is composed of two or more layers of wood in the form of a plank. The top layer (lamella) is the wood that is visible when the flooring is installed, and is adhered to the core (or substrate) which provides the stability.

Laminate: Laminate, vinyl and veneer floors are often confused with engineered wood floors—laminate uses an image of wood on its surface, while vinyl flooring is plastic formed to look like wood. Veneer floors use a thin layer of wood with a core that could be one of a number of different composite wood products (most commonly, high density fiberboard).
Engineered wood is the most common type of wood flooring used globally. North America is the only continent that has a larger solid wood market than engineered, although engineered wood is quickly catching up in market share.
A subcategory of engineered wood flooring is acrylic impregnated wood flooring. This product utilizes a real wood veneer that is impregnated with liquid acrylic and then hardened using a special process. Non impregnated Northern Red Oak typically tests at 1,290 on the Janka hardness scale and acrylic impregnated Northern Red Oak typically tests at 2,286 and 4,786 on the Janka hardness scale (ASTM D-143). Acrylic impregnated engineered wood flooring is normally used in high traffic interior spaces that require a high level of dent and wear resistance.

What are the differences between Pre-finished and Unfinished floors?

Unfinished is the process of installing a raw material then sanding, sealing/staining and adding a minimum of 2 top coats of polyurethane. Pre-finished is ready to install out of the box, the process is typically sanding each board, sealing/staining with several baked on finishes. Their are pros and cons to each. When you schedule your free estimate, ask which would be right for the application in your home.

Which is a better over-all floor? Pre-finished or Unfinished?

Unfinished floors are recommended because the floor is trowel filled and sanded flat. Pre-finished floors are only as good as your sub-floor. You will notice imperfections on the finished product if there are any discrepancies in your substrates.

Once I removed my carpet, I noticed several pet stains or plant/water stains. Can they be sanded out or repaired?

Without an estimate from us, it’s hard to say. Depending on how old the stains are and how often they were stained sometimes the fibers of the wood are destroyed. However, sometimes these can be completely removed or at least hidden with staining techniques.

What will screening my floor accomplish over sanding and refinishing?

Screening the floor will only remove light marks caused by normal wear and tear. Once the floor is screened (lightly sanded), it will be coated with usually one coat of finish.It usually takes only a day to screen and re-coat a hardwood floor. Screening will not remove deeper scratches and indentations.Also, screening will not help a floor that has been worn down to the stain or raw wood. In these cases, the floor should be completely sanded and refinished.

What can I do to prepare for the day my floors are going to be sanded?

This will depend largely on the size and type of job, but here are a few steps to take for most of them:
1. If you remove carpet or tile from the floor yourself, be careful not to damage the wood.Knife marks on a hardwood floor might be impossible to sand out. Be especially careful of removing tile as some older tile may contain asbestos and should be removed by a professional.
2. Move all furniture from the room.If the room is opened to another room/area of the house, put up large plastic tarps to keep as much of the dust out as possible.
3. Keep the temperature warm in the winter / cool in the summer.Do not turn off air conditioning or heating systems.

How long do I have to wait before I can walk on my new hardwood floors?

For pre-finished floors, you can walk on them as soon as they’re installed. For site finished floors, you can walk on them as quickly as 2-3 hours from finishing (we recommended no footwear but socks!). Wait 2 days before moving the furniture back on the floors and wait a week before putting down an area rug (do not drag the furniture on the new finish you may scuff it)!

How difficult is it to install a special floor pattern or to add an inlay or medallion?

It is not difficult to install borders or medallions in your hardwood floor, but there is a substantial amount of extra time and planning associated with them. You will need to allow for extra time when having these things done and plan on additional costs.

What is the best way to expedite the drying process?

Leave the air conditioner off and heat on 70+ degrees. Turn fans on to circulate the air, if possible, set the fans up so they move the air away from the new floors.

Is the choice of hardwood important?

Yes. You need to choose a hardwood floor that meets your needs. As one example, a soft yellow pine floor would not be appropriate for a family of five with two big dogs and a cat, where all the neighborhood children play. It would not stand up to the heavy traffic. Also, choose a wood that is okay in your climate. Humidity can play a part in your decision-making.

What and why is your company using Bona Kemi products?

Bona Kemi Swedish ®, waterborne polyurethane finishes are environmentally friendly and dry extremely fast with low fume & VOC levels for the hardest surfaces possible. These oxygenated finishes breath with humidity and temperature changes. Making them the best possible finishes available for your hardwood floors today.

Why use Bona Kemi Traffic® Polyurethane?

Bona Kemi Traffic ® is the hardest waterborne polyurethane yet! It is a commercial grade finish that we can use on all residential and commercial floors. It is a more expensive product, but in the long run you will know you are getting the strongest and most durable finish available today.

Is it okay to use Vinegar and water to clean my hardwood floor?

We recommend you don’t! Vinegar has acidic properties which will eventually break down the finish. We recommend using the Bona Kemi Mop, all you need to do is dust mop and vacuum once in a while. If you’d like to use a traditional mop, use the Bona Kemi Pacific Floor Clean ® Concentrate–just a little bit in a bucket with water will do.


Do I need to plastic everything off before sanding and refinishing? Should I just go with pre-finished because of the dust?

If dust is really bothersome to you then yes, but with our Bona Dust Containment System or DCS there is little dust in your home. No more than a monthly dusting, it is not as bad as some people think. Saying pre-finished floors are dust free would be nothing more then a sales gimmick, the prep of installing hardwood floors actually makes more dust then sanding and finishing! The tearing up of carpet and tile etc…

How long do I need to stay off my floor after you finish?

You can be back on your floor with stocking feet typically within 3 hours, depending on humidity and temperature. You can set your furniture back the next day. Total curing is 7 days, but is 90% cured in 72 hours.

What is the process of sanding a hardwood floor?

The floor is first sanded with the large belt sander and 50 grit, edged at 60 grit. The floor is then sanded with the belt sander at 80 grit and then edged at 80 grit. The final sand is finished out with a buffer using a 100 grit screen or 80 grit if stain is to be applied. Your corners will need to be sanded by hand or use a palm sander at 80-100 grit creating uniformity in the application of the sealer/stain.

Why do I see cracks between my planks?

Wood is a “living” product, it expands and contracts with the environment. In winter when the heat in your house kicks on, the natural moisture within the wood is dried out. This causes shrinking. In spring the humidity changes and the wood expands back to its original 6% (Colorado only, other areas vary) moisture content and the cracks disappear. Another reason you may see cracks between your planks is water damage, over time it may or may not dry back to normal, keep in mind it can not be sanded flat until the moisture in the wood has reached its 6% moisture content.

I was thinking about using OS Hard Oil Wax ® . What kind of maintenance is involved?

This product first of all is not a finish, only a sealer. Depending on your wear factor, this product needs to be buffed at least twice a year to maintain sheen and durability. Since this product is not a “poly” finish it is very easy to mar, scratch and dent your hardwood.

I am looking for a hard finish on my floor. Should I use Glitza?

In our years of experience, yes, Glitza ® is a hard finish, but most clients do not want to deal with the intense fumes and weeks long cure process. Most clients want environmentally safe products, that cure as hard as Glitza ® in 7 days. We use Bona Kemi ® waterborne finishes.

I pulled up my area rug and I can see that it is lighter where the rug was laying. Will it fade away?

If your floor is older and/or finished with an oil based or solvent based product–no. The floor will probably have to be sanded and refinished in order to make the floor flow. If your floor is finished with a water-based and/or oxygenated–yes. In time the finishes will breath and should reach uniformity.

Would vertical-grain bamboo flooring be stronger then flat-grain bamboo flooring? Does vertical-grain bamboo cost more?

Both products would be approximately the same hardness (apx. hardness of maple).The cost between the two is approximately the same.


About Angerman Hardwoods:

Angerman Hardwoods have been installing and refinishing floors since 1987. We are perpetually educating ourselves and have the experience to do floors properly the first time. Projects end on time; your house is left clean. We pride ourseleves knowing our clients will be happy for the lifetime of their floor.

Any question/answer not listed in here you’re searching for… Please don’t hesitate. Feel free to ask us!