Hardwood Floors

Q&A: Smoker Smell

I just moved into a new apartment. The previous tenant smoked, and I can’t get rid of the smell! How can Sunshine Home Maintenance help?

Nicotine is a tricky substance to get rid of. To really get rid of tobacco odor, you need the right equipment and materials. Fortunately, Sunshine has you covered!

Sometimes we walk into a place where the owner has been smoking for over 40 years—the smell is in everything! The first step is to get rid of everything you can from the previous tenant—drapes, rugs, wallpaper—and then washing and sealing the large surfaces, like walls, doors, baseboards, and trim.

Carpets are very susceptible to nicotine permeation. In some cases, steam cleaning followed by a deodorizing spray may be enough to remove the offending odor. In more extreme cases, though, the only solution may be to tear out the carpet and replace it.

Hardwood floors, on the other hand, are easier to salvage. Our procedure for wood floors is to sand them down, scrub with steel wool, recoat and seal. While we’re at it, we can give attention to other problem areas on the floor, such as burns or discolorations, and take steps to fix them.

The end result not only smells better, but gives your apartment a new lease on life!

Q&A: Wood Floor Polishing & Maintenance

How often should wood floors be serviced by a professional?

Wood floors are a major investment that can last for several decades, if cared for properly. To keep them at their best, we suggest once a year, minimum. If you have kids, pets, or high traffic, twice a year may be necessary.

What methods do you use to maintain flooring?

We have a wide variety of tools at our fingertips, such as polishers, buffers, and high-speed burnishers. We use these on solid wood flooring with urethane coatings, wax finish, oil finish, or acrylic finish, as well as engineered flooring. We also have equipment for polishing stone, tile, linoleum, and vinyl flooring.

Can you seal wood floors?

Yes, we do offer wood floor sealing services. This is a top coat seal that can be done without sanding.

What other advice do you have for owner of wood floors?

Regular maintenance not only keeps floors looking beautiful, it also protects them from damage. Call Sunshine Home Maintenance and Flooring today to find out how we can help extend the lifespan of your floors. Estimates are always free!

Rich, David, and Michael Paul Gilbert are the owners of Sunshine Home Maintenance & Flooring with over four decades of experience in home and commercial cleaning. To schedule your free consultation, call (415) 457-4363.

Q&A: Durable Wood Flooring

An interview with David Gilbert of Sunshine

What is the most durable type of wood flooring to use?

In my experience, I’ve found wood flooring with an oil finish to be the most durable. This can be purchased pre-finished, or it can be installed, sanded, and then finished on site. The main thing is that an oil finish is used, not polyurethane. Oil doesn’t just sit on top of the wood – it actually seeps down inside it, which makes it more durable.

The most common variety of wood flooring is oak, but an oil finish can be applied to any type of wood.

Aside from finish, what can you tell us about the natural durability of different types of wood?

Brazillian cherry is a naturally hard wood that is quite popular in flooring. Oak is mid-level in hardness. Fir and pine are considered softer woods, but are still decent flooring choices.

What if someone has kids or pets?

They will definitely want to use an oil finish on whatever variety of wood they choose. The Copenhagen Airport in Denmark has solid wood floors with an oil finish. They never sand them. They just keep applying oil. This hides all the scuffs scratches, which is amazing since it is such a high-traffic area!

What solutions does Sunshine offer for wood flooring?

I usually recommend my customers go with pre-finished oiled wood flooring – this avoids the extra time and mess that results from sanding and oiling the flooring on-site. I work with pre-finished flooring products that come from a local provider. We have access to their showroom, and can arrange private showings for our clients.

Is this economical?

Yes, based on cost per square foot. The price currently ranges from $6/square foot on the low end to $12/square foot for premium products.

Why should anyone pay more for a higher grade of wood? Is there any advantage beyond cosmetics?

If you want a wood floor with less “character” or flaws, a higher grade of wood is the answer. “Select” grades of wood are usually cut from the center of the tree. This means that they are free from any knots or defects that could compromise the integrity of the grain. However, other people don’t care about naturally-occurring flaws in their wood floors. It really comes down to choosing a floor that suits your style and then using a finish that will keep it looking good for years to come.

David Gilbert is the owner of the Wood Flooring division at Sunshine. To schedule a free estimate, call him today at (415) 457-4363.

Wood Floor Hallway - Before

Wood Floor Hallway – Before

Wood Floor Hallway - After

Wood Floor Hallway – After

Living Room Floor - Before

Living Room Floor – Before

Living Room Floor - After

Living Room Floor – After

Before & After: New Floor Joists and Red Oak in Belvedere

This residence required the installation of new insulation and floor joists in the hallway. We installed new prefinished 3″ wide red oak flooring over the top.

Before

Before

After

After

Before & After: White Oak Floor in Greenbrae

The following photographs show the dramatic transformation that resulted from the installation of new prefinished 4″ wide white oak with a walnut stain.

Before

Before

After

After

Brazilian Cherry Floor in Kentfield

This project in Marin involved sanding down the surface of a  Brazilian cherry wood floor and then finishing it with a walnut stain.

A technician sanding down the surface

A technician operating the refinishing equipment

Dark walnut finish

Dark walnut finish

Quarter-Sawn White Oak Floor in Larkspur

We installed quarter-sawn white oak planks in an unfinished state. We then sanded and clear-coated them in place.

Unfinished oak floorboards being installed

Unfinished oak floorboards being installed

The finished product

The finished product

 

Before & After: Tiburon Tear-Out

Tearing out the old carpet at this home revealed a patchwork layer of brick and tile underneath. After installing all new subflooring, new hardwood floors were installed. The new 8″ wide oiled oak flooring is classic and durable.

tiburonOiledB-600

Before

tiburonOiledA-600

After

Reclaimed Wood Floor in Tiburon

This recent flooring project used reclaimed wood and old railroad ties to lend beautiful rustic charm to the living space.

Reclaimed railroad tie floor