Information for You

Find out the things you need to know about wood floors, refinishing & more

What is Hardwood Floor Refinishing?

The process involves sanding down a thin layer of the top of your hardwood floor.  This process removes scratches, old finishes, stain and damage.  Refinishing makes your floor new and adds a protective layer of durable finish to prevent new damage.

Our dustless sanding technique can eliminate up to 90 percent of harmful dust. During the sanding process we’ll strive to keep your space dust-free. Our technique ensures a safer environment for those with health concerns and a faster preparation and cleanup.

Below is some additional info:

Refinishing Q&A

Can I Change the Colour of My Floors?

Generally yes.  However, the end result will be determined by the type of wood species.  As an example, red oak will never look like blonde maple because of the the red tones in the oak. We can provide stain samples for you to choose from.

Is Refinishing a Messy Proces?

Hardwood Master uses an almost dustless sanding process which elimiates almost all mess.  To be safe, we often ask that you use plastic sheets to seal off adjacent rooms to those where we are working.

How Do I Prepare?

We ask that you remove all furniture and items from the are to be refinished.  That’s really it :).

Do I have to Remove Baseboards?

It depends on the job, but in most cases no.  We can sand up to baseboards; however, if you are taking a dark floor to light, then removing the baseboards ensures the old stain will not show along the baseboard when complete.

How Long Will it Take?

The time really depends on the square footage we are working on, type of finsh, if we are changing colours, etc.  If your job is a simple buff and recoat, we can often do it in a day.  More complex or larger jobs can take a week to a week and a half. 

It is Cheaper to Refinish or Do New Floors?

Refinishing is always cheaper than doing all new hardwoods.  Going to a luxury vinyl plank can be less expensive, but you’ll lose the value of actual hardwood floors.

How Soon Can I Walk on My Floors?

The timeline depends on whether we use a water or oil based finish. With water based, you can walk on your floors as soon as 8-hours. Oil based takes 24-hours.  We don’t recommend putting very heavy furniture back for a few days so the finsish can cure.  

Differences in Flooring Types

What are the different kinds of real hardwood floors?
  • Solid Hardwood – these types of floors are 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick wood.  They are installed as individual boards and sanded and finished on site.  They can be refinished numerous times to remove damage, scratches, etc.
  • Engineered Hardwood – these floors come pre-finished from the manufacturer and only have a thin layer of wood on the top.  They can be refinished, but generally only once.  It’s important that an experienced professional does the job as it’s often challenging to not sand through to the non-wood finish below.
What is Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)?

Luxury vinyl plank flooring is not wood.  It’s made of several structural layers.  It simulates the look of wood.  It’s impervios to water and is great for areas with lots of wear and tear.  

What is Laminate Flooring?

Laminate floors is a fiberboard core constructed of wood products, but is not a hardwood floor.  It is not waterproof and will swell when very wet.  It’s not great for high traffic areas and will wear.

What is Parquet Flooring?

Parquet is a geometric mosaic of woode pieces set in a pattern.  The most popular design is herrningbone.  It can be refinished as it is a solid wood floor.

Types of Floor Finishes

Water Based:

This type of polyurethane finish provides a strong protectant for floors.  Benefits include a shorter drying time between coats, and less smell.  However, it is less forgiving during application.  It has no darkening properties so is great on a light coloured floor.

Oil Based:

Also a polyurethane, an oil based finish is great for darker floors that will benefit from the patina formed over time.  It is less expensive to use than water based, but takes much longer to dry and has a strong chemical odor.  It provides a strong, durable finish.

Wax Finishes:

Wax provides a soft, low-gloss sheen.  They are easy to maintain but require frequent applications.  They do not protect against dents or damage.

Most Common Species of Wood Floors


Oak is a tried and true wood floor.  Red oak has a warm, reddish hue (although this can be toned down with the right product).  White oak is more brownish.  Both are very durable.


Maple is a very hard wook and great for high traffic areas.  It’s known by its light, creamy colour.  It can appear yellowish, but this can be toned down.  It can be stained light or dark.


You’ll know cherry by its reddish color that tends to darken over time with light exposure.  Cherry is softer than other species.


Hickory is hard and durable and has many color variations.  It has a pronounced grain.


birch flooring

Birch is light and yellowish-brown.  It tends to be more affordable than other species, but is quite hard.


Pine is cheaper and is a softwood (although quite strong).  It has been used traditionally in Canada because it’s in great supply.  It makes a lovey rustic floor.

Dean, we are more than happy with the great work you did on our stair railings and 65-year-old red oak floor!
We never imagined that the results would be so beautiful. Thanks for finishing ahead of schedule, and for making the entire process worthwhile. We would happily recommend your work to anyone!

Lantry and Brenda Vaughn

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