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Wood Floor Refinishing NJ - FAQ's

Q.  Why am I getting inconsistent price quotes all over the place?

A.  There is no price regulatory system in the industry.  My best advice to you is to make sure you compare equal services and finish products and not just the cost before making a decision.  If you're comparing only the're really not comparing.  Please be aware quotes for work differ depending on square footage.  Square footage under 500' are priced higher depending on package and stain selection.

Q.  Is wood floor refinishing & installation services a capital improvement?

A.  No.  Wood floor installations used to be, but recent legislation changed it.  Refinishing never was considered a capital improvement, as it's considered a repair.  We collect NJ state sales tax on wood floor installations and refinishing.

Q. What is the procedure to sand wood floor?
A. Floors are sanded with course - medium and fine grit sand paper in order to arrive at pre-finishing specifications.

Q. How may coats of finish will I receive when refinishing hardwood floors?
A. We always include 3 coats of water-based floor finish; or 2 coats of oil-based.   

Q.  Gloss, Semi-Gloss, Satin or Matte.  Which sheen level is best?

A.  Durability is the same for all 3.  Aesthetically different each has their Pro's & Con's  Glossy can look nice, but only when it's clean.  The problem with gloss is it shows everything. Scuffs, dust, water spots, pet hair are all problematic with Gloss.  In fact Semi-Gloss is not much better, because it still shines, but not as much.  As with trying to keep anything shiny...maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!  Satin is a low luster finish that is designed not to be shiny, however It's not completely flat.  It still reflects light and is much more forgiving than gloss products. Things like dust and water spots are not as apparent with Satin.  Satin is by far the most popular.  Matte finish is like flat wall paint.  Very high hiding and may be a good selection for really dark floors.  When shine is added to dark... it creates more depth, and is why gloss on dark is more challenging to maintain than gloss on a light color.  If you decide on a Matte finish be prepared for a dull look.  

Q.  Can the smell of the finish be harmful to my pets?

A.  No. We use only environmentally safe products, but we don't take any chances ...especially with birds.  Please make sure your pets are away from the area to be finished.  FYI - does not apply to solvent/oil based products.

Q.  I have a piano in a room I want to do, what can be done to work around and under it?

A.  Aside of having it removed, we can move it from side to side.  Obviously there will be an impression under the wheels because we can only coat around them.  Please inform us of the exact location of the piano so that we can place it prior to coating.  We are not responsible for any imperfections associated with working around pianos; we strongly suggest hiring our Piano Mover to have it removed from the room.

Q. Does 4 coats of floor finish make the surface more durable?
A. Not always, in fact it could make the surface softer. Premium finishes will always be better than low cost finishes, but even the best floor finish is supported by the wood itself. Oak Flooring is harder than any floor finish available. When the finish on the surface becomes too thick by adding too many coats, the finish becomes softer because it loses its support from the wood. Using the human body as an example: When we eat too much, excess fat accumulates around our skeleton and muscles....We become soft and less rigid. If someone is trying to sell you 4+ coats of something, it's probably because they are using cheaper products, and are relying on the multiple coat theory to sell you an inferior job, so beware!  If you are installing new floor and read about pre-finished flooring having 7 or 9 coats UV cured, this is acceptable because the coats are sprayed during the finishing process in the factory and are much, much thinner. The overall thickness of the finish is not going to exceed the point where it will start losing its hardness.

Q.  My floors are parquet squares...Does is cost more?

A.  Yes, there is a premium per square foot because it is more work.  Please let us know if this is the case to insure you have no surprises come game day. Unlike strip oak floors, parquet is more challenging to sand because the grain goes in different directions.  This is also the case for other patterns like herring bone, skirts & Brittany patterns.  The floor has to be sanded multiple times more and with finer grit paper.

Q.  My floors are laid on a 45 degree angle. Does this affect the cost?

A.  Yes, depending on the job expect to pay more with angled/bordered installation.  The more intricate the job the more work it is for us to complete the job.

Q.  My floors are bordered, with a darker band going around the perimeter of the room.  Will the dark band need to be re-stained and does it cost more?

A.  (1) No, the dark band will not have to be re-stained because the wood is Walnut.  The color of the Walnut wood itself is dark and not a stain so there is nothing to worry about...... (2) As with other patterned floors talked about in this section, bordered floors do cost more to refinish because they are more work to do.  Please inform us if you have borders to avoid any price surprises.

Q.  Are wood floors practical for a kitchen?

A.  Not really. They're attractive and softer on the feet but that's about it.  The biggest problem is that the finish wears out fast because kitchens are highly used and get a lot of foot traffic, especially in front of the sink, stove and sliding glass doors.  At least once a week we get a phone call from someone inquiring about refinishing their kitchen floor, which is not a problem to do.  The problem is the stain color, finish sheen level, and finish texture can't be matched to the existing floors in the Family room, Dining room etc.  The color will always be different, the sheen level is never the same, and the texture of the finish will also be different.

Q.  Will my circuit breaker panel be used to draw power?

A.  Yes, the only way to power the sanding machines is by electricity.  Because the big machines draw high power 220v, it's necessary for us to use special clips to connect inside the panel.  Other equipment that requires standard household current plugs directly into the existing power receptacles inside your home.  On occasion circuit breakers for these outlets have been known to trip and not reset.  This is usually because the circuit breaker is old and the spring inside gets weak.  The circuit itself might be one that hardly gets used, then, all of a sudden when its called upon to deliver high power it trips and won't reset.  If this should occur the breaker was weak and needs to be replaced.  This happens and is not due to any negligence by us.  It's merely because the breaker is old, weak and couldn't handle the load of our equipment. (circuit breakers get old and wear like any other device and need to occasionally be replaced)  Should this happen, it's understood by you, that this is a totally unforeseen situation because there's no way for us to know.  We hold ourselves free of liability.

Q.  Does Bob Sidoti Floors remove the refrigerator and range while refinishing the wood floor in my kitchen?

A.  No, we are not movers, plumbers or electricians.  We don't touch gas lines, or water lines to ice makers as they present a liability to us.  If you want your appliances moved, you can do it yourself, or consider hiring a professional. Beware of gas and water leaks, and be extremely careful while replacing them not to scratch the new floor.

Q.  Does Bob Sidoti Floors fill all the gaps that have occurred in between the boards?

A.  No.  Spacing between boards happens for several reasons.  (1)They're just old, and repeated exposure to humidity and dry heat has caused them to shrink.  This happens a lot with old pine floors because the wood is a soft wood, and more susceptible.  (2) During construction the hardwood floor product had a moisture content that was too high to effect an installation; and shrank when the heat was turned on.  (3) During construction the subfloor had a high moisture content.  This will result in the hardwood floor wicking up the moisture and causing the wood floor to expand.  The result is the same as above, the floor boards shrink when subjected to the heated environment.  Regardless of the reason for the spacing, the wood floor continuous to move and can expand and contract up to 1/4 inch with the change of seasons and environmental conditions in your home.  Because of the movement, the filler cracks, expansion squeezes some out becoming unsightly, and leaving the homeowner to believe the contractor did something wrong. If you don't want to live with your gapping floors, we're happy to quote a new installation for you.

Q. What preparations are necessary prior to having floors refinished?

A.  Not much.  Make sure we have access to the electric circuit breaker panel. The areas to be completed need to be free of obstructions (furniture), carpet removed (unless arrangements have been made for us to handle) and closet doors need to be removed to do the proper job.  If we need to remove closet doors, we do not return to put them back once the floor has dried. If we are removing the carpet, it's left on site with the other construction debris.  We are not in the carting business are not responsible for the debris.


Q. We're remodeling...Which should be finished first...The Painting or the Hardwood Floor Refinishing?

A. The floor sanding and refinishing should be completed before painting; however some painters are going to tell you the opposite. Some of my customers tell me the painter is worried about getting paint on the new floor.  If this is the case, the painter your hiring doesn't sound professional!  Once a painter knows you're going to be refinishing hardwood floors, he's got the green light to go as fast as he can to maximize profit. He knows it doesn't matter if paint splatter gets on the floor because it will be removed by the floor sanding. If your painter says he has to paint before the floors are refinished because he or she's worried about getting paint on the floor...Get a New Painter.  If your looking for a professional painter, we work with them in our circle of contractors and are happy to refer them.

Q. Will I need paint touch up after the hardwood floor refinishing?
A. Probably. When we sand the edges (perimeter of the room) the machine rubs up against the base molding. It's the only way we can get right up to it. The machine is stainless steel and leaves a mark on the paint. Also, when we are staining, we first use a brush and very carefully cut in. But when the excess stain is removed with rags, they become soiled and also rub up against the painted molding leaving a residue of stain behind. It can't be avoided and is why we recommend doing the floors prior to painting. In situations where the moldings are stained and finished there is no problem.  Finger, hand prints and scuffs from the hoses and cables on walls is also an occurrence that is unavoidable.  We are not responsible for paint touch ups.

Q. I have cable wire stapled to the floor near the base molding.  Does it have to be removed?

A. There are times when cable wire is a problem because it's everywhere.  If your house has cable wire running along multiple walls, over doors, and adjoined into other rooms through a closet wall, please remove it prior to having the floors refinished.  Bob Sidoti Floors is not responsible for cable wire removal, nor do we reinstall any that was removed.  The wire is an obstruction and may prevent us from refinishing the floor up to the wall base.

Q.  How long should the floor dry before a painter or other contractors walk on it to work?

A.  24-36 hours should be sufficient depending on the humidity, humid conditions can retard the drying process.  Prematurely covering the new finish with a drop cloth or paper can also be harmful because it restricts the finish product  from gassing off, which is part of the drying and curing process.  Never use painters tape to secure paper to the floor because it has been known to pull the finish off the floor when being removed.  When rolled out, you or your contractor  should overlap the paper and tape the paper to the paper and not to the finished floor surface.

Q. Will I need to remove the base and shoe molding before refinishing floors?
A. No. Some people ask me this because they think it's necessary to sand under it. This is not true, and you won't see a sanding ridge in front of it when we are finished.

Q. Does Bob Sidoti Floors install base or shoe molding?

A.  No, we are not carpenters.  As professional flooring contractors we like to stick to what we do professionally, wood floors only. Our equipment is not the same as used by carpenters, our nails and nailing machines are different and not designed for molding.

Q. Does Bob Sidoti Floors cart the sanding dust away?
A. No. dust bags are rarely a problem.  Unless prior arrangements are made with us all debris is left at the curb for you local garbage pickup or wherever you designate. All debris is neatly placed into black plastic bags and tied off.  If a problem does exist with your municipal hauler we have found it to be less expensive for you to TIP your garbage man, than to pay us to cart it to a dump.

Q. What is the difference between Latex and Water-based finishes?
A. Nothing, Latex is a term used to describe a water-based product. They are the same.

Q. Is the water-based finishes sold at Home Depot or Lowes strong enough for floors?

A. I don't buy anything at these stores to use professionally except occasional stain because I find their products inferior.

Q. What is the difference between oil based and water based finish?
A. Oil based is the dinosaur and has a proven track record. However, the finish requires a lot more drying time, (1 coat per day) and emits a strong vapor.  Water based or commonly called latex has evolved into an excellent alternative. They are non-yellowing, non-toxic, and environmentally safe and dry very quickly. (multiple coats in a single day) Water based floor finishes developed a bad reputation in the early stages of development however; today's high-end water based finishes are excellent and challenge even the best of oil based. In my home I used Bona "Traffic"

Q. How many days will refinishing hardwood floors take?
A. It really depends on the size of the job and how many men I have working there, & what the humidity is like. The average floor refinishing job (750 sq ft) usually takes only 1 day to complete.

Q. How long does it take for the finish to dry so that I may walk on the floor?
A. Water-based/latex finishes dry very fast enabling us to triple coat in 1 day.  The 3rd (final) coat takes about 4 hours before the floor can be walked on, while oil based finishes take 1 day per coat.

Q. Why do some floor refinishing contractors I've spoken to tell me that they will need a week to complete the wood floor refinishing?
A. I really don't know, I assume it's because (1) They are using oil based polyurethane, (2) Work by themselves, or (3) Don't know what they're doing!!  When you hire Bob Sidoti Floors, you can expect a professional floor refinishing crew.  We are experts at what we do!

Q. Can I schedule floor sanding and refinishing over the weekend?
A. Yes. Keep in mind we schedule our work on a 1st commitment basis.

Q. Does dustless floor refinishing really exist?
A. With Bob Sidoti Floors it does! In order to be dustless, you must utilize a dust containment system. Our vacuums are truck mounted and the most powerful in the industry.  Be sure that your contractor has made the proper investment in dustless floor refinishing equipment before you make an investment in him. There is no such thing as a dustless machine with a vacuum bag attachment. Powerful vacuums must be employed to evacuate dust generated by floor sanding, potable systems don't work as well as truck mounted equipment.

Q. Should I stain my floor or finish it natural?
A. Ultimately the decision is yours however, not all wood floor can be stained on site successfully. Maple floor and Bamboo for example is very hard and dense, and doesn't stain well; we recommend to keep these floors natural clear coat. Most exotic wood like Brazilian Cherry is also not recommended.  Oak is the best choice for a stain. Stain seals the wood & enhances its beauty. Wood Floor Staining is not always an upgrade and doesn't always cost more. If your décor supports a natural finish, we will be happy to accommodate you.

Q. Will Bob Sidoti Floors show me stain color sample boards?
A. Experience has taught us to stay away from sample boards because they are deceiving. A stain color may look different on your floor than it does on the sample; and is because wood is unique unto itself. We prefer that you CLICK HERE to view a Minwax color chart; pick 3 colors you want us to bring to your home the day of the job, and we will show you your stain choices directly on your floor. By this - What you see is what you get and there are no mistakes.

Q. Can new floors be stained to match the existing floor color?
A. No.  We try our best but it's very difficult. Old floors change color as they age. The process is called oxidation. Not only does the wood amber with age, but the finish also, making it impossible. The best way to visualize this is to think of an old newspaper compared to a new one. Sometimes stain colors are close, but more often they don't match.  Natural finished floors without stain WILL NOT MATCH existing floors.  The only way to insure all your wood floors are the same in color, is to do them all at the same time. This also applies to sheen level and texture of finishes because these often will not match either. 

Q. Will Bob Sidoti Floors collect a deposit when scheduling a job?
A.  Yes, Days are reserved on our calendar with a refundable deposit.

Q. Can my stairs be finished to match my floors?
A. Yes.  Stair treds only (no backs or sides) and should be completed at the same time as the hardwood floor refinishing.

Q. I ripped up my carpet and found black spots - what are they?
A. They're probably pet urine stains, but can also be water. The fact is that nobody can tell you if floor sanding will remove them until you physically try with a professional floor sanding machine.

Q. Will bleach remove pet urine stains from my floor?
A. Absolutely not! If stains cannot be sanded out – a wood floor repair must be made by replacing the affected boards.

Q. I have to be able to walk on my floors to get to my bathroom/bedroom. What do I do?
A. Latex (water based) floor finish dries in approximately 4 hours and is the perfect solution.

Q. Does Bob Sidoti Floors remove carpet?
A. Yes, on a room basis charge.  Stairs are extra.

Q. Does Bob Sidoti Floors move furniture?
A. No, we are insured as wood floor contractors only.  If you can't move the furniture yourself, we suggest calling a local mover or contact our mover by clicking here.

Pre-Finished Floor Installation FAQ's

Q. Are Pre-finished floors better than un-finished ones?
A. NO - Pre-finished floors are more convenient because there is no sanding & on-site finishing. They have excellent manufacturer's warranties. Unfinished floors are typically used in new construction.

Q. How long should the flooring be allowed to acclimate to the house before installation?
A. Freshly milled flooring usually has moisture content between 6% - 9%, and requires 3 days in the area of installation to acclimate.

Q. Is 3/4" flooring always better than thinner engineered flooring?
A. NO - 3/4" thickness flooring was made to be installed directly over floor joists as a structural element. Todays cross laminated engineered floors provide a more stable floor, keeping expansion & contraction to a minimal.

Q. How is wood floor graded?
A. Depending on the type of flooring, it is usually graded from clear being the best - to #2 common, known as a rustic grade. CLICK HERE for an example.

Q. Do hardwood floors need allot of maintenance?
A. No, if maintained properly wood floors will perform excellent for years. Never use cleaning solutions that may leave a residual film behind. Cleaning oils, soaps, one step mop & shines, etc. will ruin your finish! At Bob Sidoti Floors we recommend the Bona Floor Care System.

Q. Why do I see the words NEAR ME all over this website?

A.  entering "NEAR ME" in the test throughout the website helps search engines to find us for people searching, near me