Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Importance of Wood Floor Finishes

Wood floor finishing adds the perfect touch to your wood flooring to make it truly look beautiful – while also making it more scratch resistant and durable. No matter what type of wood flooring you have (or plan to install), there is a wood floor finish perfect for it.

Types of Wood Floor Finishes

There are a number of options available when it comes to wood floor finishes, and these options can be broken down into two types:

Oil based finishes

•    Moisture-resistant finish: this type of polyurethane is extremely durable and offers superior moisture resistance. Since it can be difficult to apply, this type of wood floor finish is best left to the professionals!

•    Oil-modified finish: oil-based urethane is a very common wood floor stain and can make even old wood floors look new and shiny.

•    Acid cure finish: Fast-drying and durable, acid cure urethane is very effective at protecting your wood floors!

•    Aluminum oxide finish: the newest type of wood floor finish offers superior protection. Aluminum oxide wood floor finishes are extremely durable and can help your flooring resist scratches.

Water based finishes

•    Water-based finish: water-based urethane dries by water evaporation and is clear (also non-yellowing!). This type of finish dries relatively quickly (in two or three hours).

It doesn’t matter if you use an oil-based finish or water-based wood floor finish – your floor will be better protected. The main differences between these types of finishes are the odor (water-based finishes have a much milder odor) and the dry time. Oil-based wood floor finishes require fewer coats but take longer to dry.

Protect Your Wood Floors

There are, of course, other options for finishing your wood floors. Wax, for instance, is one of the oldest finishes and offers a number of advantages. It is relatively affordable (compared to some other wood floor finishes), dries quickly, is easy to repair and will last forever (with the right care!).
 
While a wood floor finish can add extra protection against scratching and keep your floors from turning dull quickly, there are certain things that you just can’t expect from wood floor finishes, including protection from:

•    Dust
•    Indentations
•    Cracks
•    Inconsistencies in the color or grain

Wood Floor Finish & Stain Repair

If you see a dark spot or line or need to repair your wood floor finish in any way, be cautious – in fact, it’s best to let your professional flooring company fix it. If you want to repair it yourself, though, we recommend that you at least call your flooring company and ask which repair method will work best for the type of floor and type of finish you have. There are a number of different methods, and we want to make sure you choose the one that is best for your floors and won’t damage them further!

Wood floor finishes can truly protect your wood floors – and make them look more beautiful for years and years. Call Elegant Floor Service today to apply a finishing coat to the wood floors in your Maryland, Washington, DC or Virginia home!

 

 

 

 

Wood Floor Cleaning & Care: Protect Your Floors

If you have beautiful wood floors in your home, you know how good they look when they are nice and clean. Don’t you want to keep them looking that good all the time? Elegant Floor Service can help! We offer professional wood floor cleaning and maintenance services in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia to keep your floors looking brand new year round.

Wood Floor Cleaning & Maintenance Tips

We understand that you can’t have professionals come out and clean your floors every time they are dirty. Fortunately, there are easy ways you can take care of your wood floors between professional cleaning jobs!

Some tips for wood floor care in general include (but aren’t necessarily limited to!):

•    Cleaning up spills as soon as possible (wood floors and moisture don’t mix well!)
•    Keeping the dog’s nails trimmed to reduce scratching
•    Taking off your high heels at the door
•    Putting protective covers on the legs of your furniture
•    Keeping a doormat in front of the door and leaving windows closed overnight (this prevents water from seeping into your wood floors)
•    Using rugs or runners in high traffic areas to prevent the wood from wearing down as quickly
•    Sweeping every day (or at least a few times a week!) to get the dirt and dust off your floors since debris like that can scratch the wood and make your floors look dull
•    Avoiding wet mops (remember – moisture is not good when it comes to wood floor cleaning)
•    Avoiding ammonia and chemical cleaners when it comes time for your wood floor cleaning (if you’re not sure what to use, call the professional flooring company that installed your floors!)

How to Clean Wood Floors

So, how do you go about your hardwood flooring cleaning? For the best results, leave the big cleaning job for the professionals, but if you want to clean your floor yourself, there are certain things to do and certain things to avoid.

You should:

•    Sweep first to get rid of any sand, dust and dirt
•    Use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar
•    Use cleaners (and confirm with an expert from Elegant Floor Service before you start cleaning that it’s ok to use) that won’t leave residue
•    Do use a slightly damp towel or sponge for sticky spills
•    Call your professional flooring company when you want to go deeper with your wood floor cleaning – procedures vary depending on the finish of your floor (for example, never use wax on a urethane finished wood floor!)

You shouldn’t:

•    Use a wet mop or a soaking wet paper towel or rag to clean your wood floors (excess amounts of water can actually cause your floor to expand and maybe even crack!)
•    Use chemical cleaners or oil soaps on your wood flooring (this might prevent you from being able to recoat later on down the road)
•    Wax a floor or put chemicals on it until you know how it was installed and what kind of finish it has

If you want to know more about wood floor cleaning and care in general or you’re interested in professional hardwood floor cleaning services in the Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area, call Elegant Floor Service today!

 

When to Refinish Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are one of the most popular flooring choices in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. because of their affordability, durability and versatility, not to mention their beautiful appearance. Hardwood flooring can be used throughout your house – kitchens, bathrooms bedrooms, stairways and living rooms – and work with many different home styles – country, traditional, contemporary, etc. Since hardwood flooring can be such a large design element in your home, you should do everything you can to prolong its beauty and lifespan with special care and by routinely refinishing your floors.

How Frequently Should I Refinish My Hardwood Floors?

Most hardwood flooring needs to be refinished on average every three to four years, depending on the floor’s location, daily traffic and outside elements. If the hardwood flooring is located in a part of the house that receives little traffic, you may be able to wait longer before refinishing your floors. However, if you have a large family and pets and/or the flooring receives heavy daily wear and tear, you may have to refinish your floors more frequently.

When You Are Trying to Change the Look of Your Hardwood Flooring

If you want to change the look of a room or make hardwood flooring more cohesive throughout your home, you can refinish your hardwood flooring to change the stain of the wood or make the flooring throughout your home more cohesive, that is more of a design decision and you can perform this change at any time.

Signs Your Hardwood Floor Needs Refinishing

Some of the signs that your hardwood floors need refinishing are if the flooring has scratches, dents, cracks or stains. In addition, if some areas of the hardwood floor look duller than other areas, the protective sealant on the hardwood floors may have worn off and it will be time to refinish.

What is the Hardwood Floor Is Refinishing Process?

The process for refinishing your hardwood floors is:

  • Clear the area off all furniture and cover items with protective plastic that cannot be removed from the room. Also, cover doorways and vents to prevent the spreading of dust throughout the house.
  • After the floor is prepped for the refinishing process, evenly sand the floor to remove the dirt, stains and scratches.
  • When you have finished the sanding, make sure to vacuum all the dust from the room. This is a really critical step – any dust lingering in the room is almost guaranteed to end up in your smooth finish coat – potentially marring an otherwise perfect job!
  • Next, pick a wood stain and evenly stain the floor. Make sure to check how many coats of stain are required to seal the hardwood floor and wait until each coat is completely dry before applying another.

 

If you live in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. and are looking for professional hardwood floor refinishers to spruce up your hardwood floors, call Elegant Floor Service today!

Repairing Water Damaged Hardwood Floors

A freshly installed hardwood floor is designed to perfectly complement the walls and the furniture in your home. However, a hardwood floor’s worse enemy is water, which is something that our homes are exposed to nearly every day.

Whether it’s raining outside and water managed to get onto your hardwood floors or there’s a spill or leak within your house, when your wood floors are exposed to water or moisture, they are at risk of being warped and permanently damaged. If your hardwood floors get wet, don’t panic immediately!  You can repair your water damaged hardwood floors and get them back to looking almost new, depending on several factors.

How Much Water Has Affected Your Hardwood Floors?

Whether there was a tiny or a large spill on your water damaged hardwood floor, the first thing you must do to save your hardwood floor is to eliminate any excess water that has not been absorbed by the wood floor yet by simply drying your wood floor with a cloth or grabbing a water vacuum. This will reduce how much water is being absorbed by your wood floor and allows your wood floor to dry quicker.

If your wood floor only soaked in a little water, the wood floor can easily be cleaned up and will dry by itself, looking like new over time. However, if the hardwood floor is exposed to a lot of water, the hardwood floor should be treated immediately by wood floor professionals who can effectively remove the excess water and speed up the drying process. Hardwood flooring experts have industrial-sized fans that are powerful enough to dry the hardwood floor quickly and evenly without causing the wood floor to buckle. Additionally, these fans can help dry the subfloor underneath your wood floor and prevent further damage to your wood floor’s infrastructure.

Has Mold Started to Grow on Your Water Damaged Hardwood Floors?

Water damaged wood floors are the perfect places for mold to grow. The longer the water damaged wood floor is left untreated, the longer the wood floor is wet and moist, allowing mold to start accumulating and multiply on the wood’s surface. Mold on your hardwood floor not only harms your wood floor and damages how it looks in your home, but mold also reduces your home’s air quality. Contact a mold detection and removal expert to eliminate any mold growth on your wood floors before repairing your water damaged hardwood floors.

Is Your Hardwood Floor Completely Dry?

Many homeowners throughout Maryland (MD), Washington, DC and Virginia (VA) try to repair water damaged hardwood floors themselves and once they think their wood floor is dry, they believe all they have to do is refinish their hardwood floors and there wood floors will restore back to new. However, the wood floor is unlikely to be dry enough, so refinishing a hardwood floor will actually make your water damaged floor worse! Water damaged hardwood floors usually take at least several weeks or months to completely dry, even with industrial fans, because any water that has reached the subfloor needs to be dried too. Contact a wood flooring professional to figure out whether your wood floor is dry enough and is ready to be refinished.

Before you refinish your hardwood floor after water damage, it is essential to check the subfloor to see whether water has spread to this layer or not. If it has, treat the subfloor immediately to prevent it from getting worse. After you have done this and a wood flooring professional has determined that your wood floor is completely dry, then you can finally refinish your hardwood floors and get them back to looking like new!

If you live in the Maryland (MD), Washington, DC or Virginia (VA) and have water damaged hardwood floors, contact Elegant Floor Service today! We repair and refinish hardwood floors to get them back to looking like the first day you installed them.

Terrazzo Flooring Q&A

What is terrazzo?

Terrazzo is a type of flooring made from a mixture of glass, marble, granite, quartz and other hard substances. This mixture is then added to cement or epoxy and polished once it is poured. The polishing produces the smooth, beautiful terrazzo surface that graces many homes and business lobbies. Terrazzo is very durable and relatively low maintenance. Elegant Floor Service can help you keep your Maryland, Washington, DC or Virginia terrazzo floors in excellent condition with our terrazzo cleaning and repair services.

What is the history of terrazzo?

Terrazzo came into common use in 15th century Italy as an inexpensive floor option. Workers would use the small pieces of excess marble from expensive building jobs to create terrazzo. It was one of the first recycled products as it reuses discarded pieces for material. Older terrazzo was mixed with cement, but most modern terrazzo is made with epoxy as it offers more color options.

What are the benefits of terrazzo floors?

Made from recycled material, terrazzo is not only environmentally friendly, but it also produces zero harmful chemicals. Making a terrazzo floor doesn’t release any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere because the material is all natural, so it is one of the “greenest” floors available for your home. 

Since terrazzo is stone, it is naturally bacteria-resistant. So terrazzo is not only healthy for the environment – but also for you and your family!

Terrazzo can be installed inside or outside your home. It is water-resistant so it is great for bathrooms and kitchens. It is also very durable so it works well for entryways, patios and other high-traffic areas. No matter where your terrazzo is in your home, Elegant Floor Service will make it shine like new!

One of its biggest benefits is no two terrazzo floors are alike – so your floors will look like none other in the world! With such unique floors, why not keep them clean and in great condition so you can show your terrazzo off to your friends? Terrazzo cleaning and repair from Elegant Floor Service will get your terrazzo ready for the spotlight!

How do you clean terrazzo?

To keep your terrazzo floors looking their best, they should be regularly cleaned. But it is important they are cleaned properly, otherwise the terrazzo will get damaged. Regular household cleaners can hurt your terrazzo. To keep your floors looking brand new, it is important to schedule a regular cleaning with a professional floor cleaning company like Elegant Floor Service. We will use specialized equipment to clean your floors by removing grime and old wax to bring back the original shine of your terrazzo. We also use polishing materials with diamond abrasives to restore a brand new look to your terrazzo. To make your floors look exactly how you want them, we offer high- or low-sheen polishing services. Terrazzo cleaning will make your floors the envy of all your visitors!

You should also maintain your terrazzo in between regular professional cleanings. Dirt and debris can scratch your terrazzo so be sure to sweep or vacuum your floor daily. You should also wipe up any spills as quickly as possible. The longer a spill stays on the terrazzo, the more likely it will stain. Keeping the surface of your terrazzo free of dirt and spills is the best way to main your floors on a daily basis.

How do you repair damaged terrazzo?

During a routine cleaning, Elegant Floor Service will also check for any damage in your terrazzo and recommend repairs if necessary. Scratches and cracks are eliminated and old grout is replaced during repair. We also apply a sealant to your terrazzo to prevent future damage. With our terrazzo repair services, your floors will look new again!

Elegant Floor Service also provides a grout repair service for your terrazzo. Grout cleaning should always be done by a professional because you need to be careful not to damage the floor when cleaning or repairing grout. We will remove all stains and dirt from the grout around your terrazzo and reseal it to protect it from further damage. Your terrazzo can’t look perfect unless your grout does too! With Elegant Floor Service’s terrazzo floor repair and cleaning, your terrazzo and the area around it will look its best!

Contact our terrazzo floor company today to learn more about Elegant Floor Service’s terrazzo cleaning and repair and bring your terrazzo to its true potential!