Hardwood Floor Installation & Refinishing

Addressing top Questions That May Be Rolling In Your Mind While Buying Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is not a new concept; it’s famous since The Colonial Era (1607-1780), when wood flooring was available in the form of thick, tight-grained planks coarsely cut from the abundant old-growth forests of America. Due to the vast availability of wood, its utilization for flooring had become commonplace; the enormous yet aged trees were cut into random-width planks and installed for comfort without regard to decor. These floors were not sanded and finished like what we do today; they simply got smooth over time with frequent use. With time, the wooden floors began to emerge with a more elegant flair, and nowadays, such floors are available in countless texture, tone, and style options to complement your contemporary homes.

With a lot of options, there comes confusion and chaos, which may lead to arising so many questions in one’s mind. So, we at Big Bro Hardwood, your outright installation service provider, have compiled a blog to answer some of the most common questions that may be rolling in your mind while buying a hardwood floor for your home.

Let’s begin!

Top questions about hardwood

Which hardwood floor should I choose — Engineered or Solid?

When it comes to Hardwood Floor Installation in Bolingbrook and making your choice, you first need to understand how both floors (Engineered and Solid) differ.

Engineered hardwood consists of super-durable layers of plywood, and the top layer is real hardwood. This flooring type has high-performance qualities and can make your home look much more modern and well-finished. The construction of this flooring allows it to be more stable as it doesn’t expand or contract when moisture level and temperature fluctuate enormously. Engineered floors ensure your investment will last for generations.

On the other hand, solid hardwood planks are manufactured from a single piece of timber. This type of flooring is usually made using wood species, such as oak, maple, or walnut, and adds a touch of elegance and a bit of warmth to your home. The best part about this flooring is it can be sanded and refinished many times over the course of its lifespan.

The choice of the floor depends on where you want to install it. Solid floors can be installed in any room that is above grade (above ground), whereas engineered wood is perfect for below grade areas, slab installation, and basement. Plus, it is suitable for rooms subject to moisture exposure and over radiant heating. Considering different aspects, you have to make the right decision. If making a choice seems confusing to you, you can take help from any knowledgeable interior designer or wood floor installer.


Should I choose site-finish or factory-finish floor?

Site-finish and factory-finish both have their own pros; based on your needs and as suggested by your interior enthusiast/installer, you should make your choice.

To make your decision process a bit easier, here we are explaining both types (Site-finish and factory-finish) in brief.


Site-finish Floors

Site-finish floors are sanded, sealed, and finished on-site after they are installed. Its installation can be time-consuming, but you’ll get a tabletop finish as flat as a pancake. Plus, with the unfinished option, you can customize different aspects, such as finishing choice (oil or water-based), sheen level (glossy or matte), stain color, and installation pattern. Usually, it is the most preferred option for new construction projects than an already occupied home. It is so because the process is time-taking and can be messy; even, home residents can’t walk or put anything on the floors until the finish dries up completely.

Its benefits-

  • The end results are natural yet marvelous
  • Many customization options are available
  • You will have the opportunity to match existing floors in your home


Factory-finish floors

The popularity of factory-finished or pre-finished hardwood floors has risen hugely in the last couple of years. Such floors are completely manufactured in the factory itself and are shipped to your premises ready for installation. With pre-finished floors, you might not get as many color or style options, but you can give it a custom touch by adding medallions and borders.

Its benefits-

  • Installation of pre-finished floors is quick and easy as it is already sanded and coated in the factory setting.
  • Several coats of finish and strengtheners applied to ensure durability.
  • No mess, No unpleasant smell, and less noise.
  • Planks have beveled edges that are less visible


What variety of surface finishes are available in the market? How will I pick the one for my floors?

It ultimately depends on your personal preferences what type of finish or gloss level you want for your floors.

Common Finish types: Oil-based & Water-based

Both oil and water-based polyurethanes are protection armor for wood floors, guarding the wood against damages. Let’s discuss the difference between the two, based on different factors:

Color: Oil-based polyurethane has an amber tone, whereas water-based polyurethane is clean. An oil-based finish will darken over time, but water-based poly will remain clear over the life of the floors.

Smell:  Water-based poly has no odor. This type of finish is safe to apply and will not stink up the whole house like an oil-based finish. Yes, oil-based polyurethane has a very pungent odor that requires a respirator while applying its coats.

Hardness: Coats of oil-based polyurethanes are thicker, whereas it’s thinner but tougher in the case of water-based poly. We recommend applying at least 2-3 coats of water-based finishes to ensure maximum protection of your wooden floors.

Drying Time:  Oil-based coats take a much longer time to dry. On the other hand, water-based poly dries much quicker, and several coats (up to 3) can be applied in a single day.

We advise you to use water-based finishes that too the ‘Loba and Palmann products’ as they are the best-quality water-based polyurethanes on the market.


What will I do when my wooden floors become dull and full of dents and scratches? Will I need to replace them?

To remove small scratches, you can use mineral spirits and a fine steel wool pad. Surprisingly, there are plenty of DIY tutorials available on the Internet that help you remove minor scratches and dents from your floor. Also, you can take advice from the floor installer about removing those stubborn scratches.

Deeper scratches are difficult to deal with and require some additional effort. Therefore, it’s best to leave the job for experts. When your wooden floors become dull and full of dents and scratches, you can opt for Hardwood Floor Refinishing in Bolingbrook. Luckily, it helps restore the dirty floors that have lost their sheen. And, you would not need to replace your floor. Refinishing hardwood floors involve sanding the surface to remove scratches or severe dents and reveal a fresh new layer of wood. Here’s what refinishing process looks like-

  • Detailed inspection of hardwood floor
  • Sanding the wood
  • Screening the floor
  • Taking preventive measures to restrict specks of dust
  • Applying chosen stain
  • Applying two coats of water-based finishes


When refinishing is needed?

You can think of refinishing hardwood floors when you are planning on reselling your home and want them to look flawless to potential buyers. Besides, refinishing is needed when your floors have a large number of visible scratches, boards are turning grey or loosen up, or there has been severe water damage on the floor.


Why choose Big Bro Hardwood for floor Refinishing?

  • Backed by over 20 years of experience, we offer the highest level of service and technical expertise.
  • We use the latest technology and tools to give new life to discolored or drab floorings.
  • We never provide our work on sub-contract; instead, our well-trained experts will handle your project with full passion and give your wooden floors the best touch.
  • Our top-grade services and valuable advice are available at affordable rates.
  • We use cyclonic vacuum systems to ensure a dust-free finishing process.
  • We have so many stain colors available; choose the right shade to complement your home decor, or we can custom mix to provide a unique look to your contemporary home.


What width planks should I buy?

Deciding the right plank width is vital as it has a significant impact on the appearance of the room. You can either go with thinner planks for an elegant look or can try wide boards in some rooms to enjoy a rustic feel. Although it is ultimately the homeowner’s choice, they should make a decision considering different factors, such as the size of the room, interior decor, and what’s is in trend.


How do I prevent scratches on my brand new floors?

Undoubtedly, hardwood floors are durable, but you’ve to take certain measures to ensure it looks flawless.

  • It’s suggested to wipe up liquids straightaway using a soft cloth.
  • Place protective mats on the entryways, especially during the rainy season, to prevent track-in debris.
  • Add floor protectors on furniture to prevent scratches, and use sharp objects nicely.
  • Don’t slide heavy or rusty objects on the floor.
  • If you have pets in your home, take a couple of measures like trim their nails regularly or place rugs to reduce scratches and surface damage that may decline your floor’s finish.


Moreover, you should use the right cleaning agents (as guided by the manufacturer or installer) to maintain your floors in their pristine condition. Any wrong cleaning materials can deteriorate the topcoat finish of the wooden floorings.

Wood is a natural substance, you will notice subtle changes on the floor over time. Yes, your floor may appear slightly lighter due to exposure to sunlight. To avoid faded patches on it, here are some measures you must follow-

  • You can install high-quality window films, which let sunlight enter the room but block harmful UV rays.
  • For additional protection, you can fix awnings. It will protect your floor from sunlight while enhancing your home’s curb appeal.
  • You can run an air conditioner to maintain the temperature inside the home during the hot summer months.
  • You can rearrange your furniture occasionally to expose beneath areas to sunlight to make fading even and less noticeable.


Even after following all the measures, if your wooden floor starts appearing dull, don’t worry; just choose Hardwood Floor Refinishing in Orland Park. As discussed, it serves as the last resort to restore the floor’s original luster.


Can I handle installation by myself?

You must note that installing a hardwood floor is not the same as applying wall paint! Correct installation is crucial to ensure floor works for generations. So it’s best to hire professional experts for Hardwood Floor Installation in Orland Park. They have years of experience in installing wooden floors using the right method and can fix any random issue that may arise during the course of installation. Here are some points that you must take into account while choosing the right installation company.

  • Check the experience and knowledge of the technicians going to handle your project.
  • Read the testimonials provided by previous clients for better analysis.
  • View the portfolio of the work done by them (especially, ask for the pictures of a similar project like yours).
  • Get estimates from the installer in advance.
  • Ensure they have the capabilities to complete the project within the decided timeline.


In short, you need someone like us, who is experienced, competent, and skillful to manage every job related to hardwood floor installation, refinishing, and repairing, effectively and efficiently.


How Big Bro Hardwood can help?

You can contact us at (630) 418 4139 to schedule a consultation and discuss your project requirements. We will visit your property for inspection and then provide you with no-obligation, free estimates. We will help you choose the durable materials for the project and can begin working even from the next immediate day (if required). Our installers will work on the site without creating any disturbance so that you can focus on your other core works. Once the job gets completed, we clear the mess created during the process and provide you with brand new, flawless-looking floors that work for years. We maintain the highest standards at every stage and report the progress of work to you (our client) regularly. Our aim is to bring a wide ear-to-ear smile to your face with our top-quality work!

So, get in touch with us today to discuss your project needs and check out how we can help you!