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What to Expect with Hardwood Installation & Refinishing

What to Expect with Hardwood Installation & Refinishing

Once you’ve decided to install or refinish a wood floor, you may wonder what will happen next. Knowing what to expect before, during, and after the work takes place will help ensure a high-quality job.


First, we will schedule an installation date that is most convenient for you.  For new installations, we will bring the wood in to your home ahead of time to acclimate. Before work begins, we ask that you remove or cover all furnishings and personal items from the room(s). We will move all of your larger furniture.   Please note that Pizazz does not assemble or disassemble electronics (TVs, computers, stereos, etc.), and there is an additional charge for moving pianos, aquariums, and pool tables. 

Hardwood installation typically is completed in one day, but may vary depending on the size and intricacy of the job.  We work with a highly skilled and reputable installation crew, so you can be ensured that your installation will be performed to the highest quality standards.

  • Trim pieces, such as shoe mold, reducers, thresholds, etc., are installed after the hardwood floors are laid.  You have the option of primed white shoe mold or stain grade shoe mold.  If you choose the primed white shoe mold, you will need to caulk and paint it. We recommend that you also paint your baseboards at this time.  Stain grade shoe mold will be stained to match your floor color prior to installation (unless you are installing unfinished hardwood, in which case it will be stained on the second day of the finishing process).
  • When installing hardwood on staircases, we will install risers if necessary, but risers and stair skirts will need to be painted. When refinishing staircases, it will also be the responsibility of the homeowner to paint these trim pieces.

A paint quote can be provided upon the homeowner’s request for the shoe mold and stair trim pieces.

If you have selected pre-finished wood, laminate, or engineered wood, after installation, we will move all of your larger furniture back in place, and you can return home and enjoy your new hardwood floors. If you are having unfinished wood installed, please also read the finishing section below.

Hardwood flooring is a product of nature, and there will be variations in color, shading and graining.  No two floor boards will be identical. The sample can’t show all of the variation within a species.  As a result, samples may differ from flooring.  Also, as your floor ages, some color change can occur.   All hardwoods, especially exotics, darken or lighten with exposure to light. This is normal, but can be minimized by limiting exposure to direct sunlight, and periodically moving furniture and rugs. Cracks are normal as well, and will appear and disappear between floor boards during seasons of high and low humidity. Generally, anything less than the width of a dime is considered normal, and will correct itself as seasons change. Flooring inspectors recommend inspecting the floor from a standing position in normal lighting to identify irregularities.

Finishing & Refinishing

If your floors are being sanded, finished or refinished, be prepared for some noise and disruption. Dust containment systems can minimize debris, but no system is 100% effective, so please cover any items that you want to keep dust-free. Be sure to remove or cover draperies and paintings and empty the pantry if your floors are being refinished.  If you choose to forgo the dust-less system, a light cleaning will be needed after the finishing process is complete.

The (re)finishing schedule will go as follows:

♦ Day 1 Hardwood will be installed (if installing new hardwood floors) or sanded (if refinishing hardwoods).  Your Pizazz Floors design consultant will aid you in selecting a stain color.  We will apply a sample of your stain choice on your floor, giving you the opportunity to see the stain in your home and lighting.   Custom stain mixing is available.  Please plan to be present to view and approve your stain selection.  (If you anticipate that more time will be needed for your color selection or you are planning to go on vacation, samples will be applied prior to the first day of the finishing process.) Once approved, the stain will be applied on the installation/sanding day.  The first coat of polyurethane will also be applied that day, so it is important that the homeowner and pets stay off the floors.  The first day in the (re)finishing process typically takes about 12 hours.  We will lock all doors upon completion, but the homeowner needs to be present on day 2 to let us in or leave a key with your design consultant.

♦ Day 2 Your crew of wood finishing experts will come back in the afternoon (approx. 18-24 hours after the first coat of polyurethane was applied) to screen the floors (very light sanding) and apply the second coat of polyurethane. The shoe mold will also be installed at this time.  Please continue to stay off of the floors as they need time to dry with each application of polyurethane.

♦ Day 3 We will come back in the afternoon to screen the floors and apply the third and final coat of polyurethane.  You and your pets should remain off the floors until they have dried, about 18-24 hours.  The time required will vary depending on the type of finish used.

♦ Day 4 We will move furniture back in place and make sure your floors are left perfectly clean.   You are now ready to enjoy your new hardwood!

You can be confident knowing that your Pizazz design consultant will oversee your job and stay in communication with you throughout the entire process.  If you are on vacation, we will take pictures of the progress and send them to you.  We always welcome any feedback, and we will ensure that your new or refinished hardwood floors exceed your expectations.

Care for Your Hardwood Floors

You can keep your wood floors looking their best by properly maintaining them.

After installation and finish has dried, put felt pads (Liquid Nail or super glue work best) on the bottom of any furniture to minimize scratches and dents. The National Wood Flooring Association recommends waiting 90 days before placing area rugs back on your hardwood floors.  Avoid walking on your floors with cleats or high heels.

The cleaning product recommended for your floors is Bona Kemi Cleaner. Use it weekly for optimal results.  Never use any wax-based products (such as Old English or Murphy’s Oil) on your floors, as this creates a wax build-up.

With these simple steps, your hardwood floors will look beautiful for years to come.

Thank you for choosing Pizazz Floors & Interior Design for all of your flooring needs!
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