How to tell if an old wood floor is coated with wax or shellac (to pick a cleaning product)

Q: I just bought a beautiful mid-century brick ranch in Ohio (1963) and found an amazing, never used hardwood flooring under the carpet. I’ve lifted corners in each room and it all has the same beauty. Carpet tacks along the edges and staples were used for the padding, but glue doesn’t seem to present. It all has lifted off easily.

Continue reading How to tell if an old wood floor is coated with wax or shellac (to pick a cleaning product)

Wide plank flooring and cold, dry winters



Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: I would like to know if wide plank flooring would be suitable in the Edmonton, Alberta region, with its cold, dry winters. I am afraid of shrinkage problems (gaps and cracking and warping), but I really like the traditional look of the wide plank. Any advice?

A: To have a successful floor installation, especially in climate extremes, is to acclimate the flooring to the home environment for about a week before installation. Then, when all is sanded and finished, try and maintain an even humidity level, which will prevent, limit and reduce shrinkage or expansion.

A word of caution: the wider the board, the more susceptible it is to expand and contract with accompanying gaps. I have a story from years back when I was working with another fellow. We were installing a 3/4 X 2 1/4 floor in a house on the edge of Scarborough Bluffs, with Lake Ontario facing us. We just took the wood in the house, nailed it down and sanded, stained and finished it within a few days. In 2 weeks the owner called us back because the floor had cupped. We had failed to let the wood adjust to its new environment before installing it. It was obviously dryer than the new environment, and after we installed it nice and tight, it absorbed moisture from the lake and expanded.

Original / moved link https://faceliftfloors.com/q-and-a/wideplank.php




Up-to-date hardwood floor cleaner recommendation – as of 2020

Q: I have new engineered wood flooring and the builder’s cleaning crew used Bona to clean the floor before we moved in. Now there is a dull haze on it that I can’t remove. I’ve tried everything. Can you give me some guidance?

Continue reading Up-to-date hardwood floor cleaner recommendation – as of 2020

Drainage pan under dishwasher to protect wood floors?

Q: Should we have an underlayment installed over the plywood subfloor before an unfinished solid wood floor is installed in our kitchen, as well in all the other rooms (not bathrooms of course)? Should any drainage pan be installed by a plumber underneath the dishwasher and refrigerator in case of flooding?

Continue reading Drainage pan under dishwasher to protect wood floors?

When can I wash newly refinished floors to remove any sticky residue left behind?



Q: My husband and I recently purchased a home and we are having the floors refinished using Duraseal stain and oil poly. We have a 15-month old son who is very active and into everything. How long after the floors are completed should we wait to move in, so it is safe for our son? Continue reading When can I wash newly refinished floors to remove any sticky residue left behind?




Do not use a steam mop on your wood floor – ever!



Q: A few days ago we had Bruce engineered hardwood floors installed by a flooring contractor in our bedroom. Continue reading Do not use a steam mop on your wood floor – ever!




Protecting wood floors from the cold



Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We had a very uneven slab when we started building our home. We put 80% hardwoods in the home. The concrete company floated the downstairs extensively and then put the black tar stuff and plywood down before installing our nail down hardwoods which are red oak. Continue reading Protecting wood floors from the cold




No moisture barrier placed underneath the concrete



Q: I currently have my floor dug up in my kitchen. I’m trying to find a source of moisture after seeing dark stains in a few spots on my wood floor. So far we have found no leak, but there is moisture in the soil. We have discovered that there was no moisture barrier placed underneath the concrete. Would it be considered standard practice to place a moisture barrier under concrete? Continue reading No moisture barrier placed underneath the concrete