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What to expect when you’re refinishing your hardwood floors

If you are considering having hardwood floors installed or refinished, Pelosi Wood Floors would like to let you know what to expect during and after the process. This will also give you a chance to ask any questions about the procedure and about what our policies are with regard to working in your home.

Sanding flooring in an occupied house is quite disruptive, but well worth the time spent, especially if there are no "surprises" for either of us.

Procedure and Timing

It usually takes 3-4 days to complete a project when floors are sanded and finished with three coats of polyurethane, 4-5 days when adding a stain. For either procedure there can be no traffic of any kind on the flooring until it is dry. Any demolition work required, such as removal of existing flooring, may take approximately 1 extra day.  The sequence is as follows:       

          Sand and Finish                              Sand, Stain and Finish

Day 1 - Sanding and 1st coat                  Day 1 –sanding and stain

Day 2 – 2nd coat applied                        Day 2 – 1st coat applied

Day 3 – 3rd coat applied                        Day 3 – 2nd coat applied

                                                          Day 4 – 3rd coat applied

The above time frame can vary for two main reasons – First, obviously, if your job is quite large (over 650 sq. ft. and or the addition of stairways), it may take more than the first day to get the sanding completed and/or the polyurethane coat may not dry overnight. Both of these occurrences add additional days to the job. It is important that you understand that Pelosi Wood Floors, Inc. will be on your job each day in sequence, but we cannot guarantee an exact time that your job will be complete. We certainly can reasonably estimate how long it will take. If your job takes longer than estimated we do not offer discounts or pay for hotel rooms.

Payment Terms

Once you have scheduled an installation date, we will confirm what materials are needed for the project. A deposit is required about 1 week in advance of any material being ordered/delivered; the payment amount should be indicated on your estimate. Please mail a check at the time indicated on your estimate for the deposit amount prior to the start of your project to Pelosi Wood Floors. Major credit cards accepted.  If you are installing wood, it will be delivered to your home about 3 days prior to the installation so that your new wood floor can acclimate to your home’s humidity level.


Precautions are taken to minimize dust; our machines have bags on them that catch the majority of dust as it is sanding, but even the adjacent rooms not being sanded are subject to have some fine dust accumulation of flat surfaces like window ledges, shelves, etc. Taping up plastic over doorways is the best way to minimize this, which we will do for you at your request for a nominal fee. Keep in mind, however, that our crews must open the doors at some time to sand to the proper break point under the door, which will allow some of the dust to shift. WE CANNOT CONTAIN IT ALL. We will clean and vacuum the areas we are working in as we go, but final house cleaning will be YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. We use the industry standard blue painter’s tape to hang our plastic drop cloths. The tolerance your paint or wall paper has to the tape is also your responsibility – if you have any concerns over the tape pulling any paint off or damaging wallpaper, you must advise us before you ask to hang the plastic, because any damage will be yours.

Shoe Molding

Shoe molding is not included in the cost of refinishing, but we are certainly able to include it under a separate price. If your estimator has not discussed it with you, don’t hesitate to call the office prior to the start date of your job.

Minor Paint Touch Up

As in almost any construction related job there is the possibility that walls and woodwork will be touched in the process. Pelosi Wood Floors, Inc. will take every precaution to prevent this from happening; but if it does, touch up will be your responsibility. If you think it is excessive, please CALL OUR OFFICE immediately and we will make arrangements to come and inspect the damage.


There are no specific, written warranties on floor finish. This is because there is no established "normal" use of floors – each home is different. We do use what we consider to the industry’s best product – or – we are happy to provide references. Defects that are obvious from a standing position under normal lighting should be considered reasonable. There will most likely be some hairs, dust, etc., in the finished floor. These cannot be avoided since we are site finishing. We do not have the advantage of working in controlled conditions.

Draperies, Windows Blinds, Etc.

We will not take responsibility for any damage to your window coverings if they are left in place.

Area Rugs

All large area rugs and/or runners should be left off of the hardwood flooring for a period of two weeks following the sanding and finishing of your hardwood flooring. This allows the finish to completely cure and harden to its fullest capacity.

Electrical Power Required

Our sanding equipment requires 220 volts, which is normally a dryer outlet or possibly an air conditioner outlet. If this is not available in your home please call our office.


Work areas must be free of all furniture prior to the start date of the job.


With regard to warranty, as with all service business, our crews are highly trained but occasionally a mistake is made. If you are not satisfied with a completed job, call our office as soon as possible and before replacing any furniture. Your call will be given priority and every effort will be made to correct any problems promptly.

If you have any questions or concerns about items not listed here, either before your job starts or during your job, please do not hesitate to call our office. There is always someone who can answer your questions or relay your message to your estimator or the owner.

For the Customer after floors are installed

How to spot and avoid trouble in hardwood floors

In a comfortable home with slight humidity variations through the seasons, wood responds by expanding and contracting. These changes may be noticeable. During warm, humid weather, wood expands. During dry weather, wood contracts. This seasonal movement is a normal characteristic of wood flooring, and it never stops, regardless of the age of the hardwood. One of the best ways to ensure that wood flooring will give the performance homeowners expect is to install humidity controls and ensure that they are functioning before the floor is installed. (Recommended relative humidity should be between 35-45 percent)

Tape on hardwood floors

Never, never, never use tape on urethane finished hardwood floors. Oil base or water based finishes will bond with the adhesive in tape and cause the finish to peel off your hardwood upon tape removal. If you are planning to paint and want to cover the flooring, ALWAYS tape paper to paper and not paper to flooring.

Working with humidity controls

A homeowner who chooses hardwood floors is making an investment that will last forty years or more, and he or she should protect that investment by installing humidity controls – a tool that helps the floor maintain a beautiful, trouble-free appearance. Along with protecting your floors they also help with sinus trouble and keeping the dust to a minimum in your home.

Cracks and separation between boards

Nearly every floor endures some separation between boards. In winter, when homes are heated and the air is dry, wood flooring gives up some of its moisture and therefore shrinks. When that happens, thin cracks appear between the boards. This is normal, and homeowners should be forewarned of this. It is acceptable, and customers should not be calling the installers at the first sign of cracks. Once the indoor heat goes off in the spring and the indoor environment regains moisture, most of these cracks will close.

Cracks in the winter in the dryer months may easily develop to the thickness of a dime (1/32") on solid 2 ¼" wide oak strip flooring. Floors with light stained woods and naturally light woods like maple tend to show cracks more than darker wood tone finished floors.

The cure for cracks?

Homeowners should add moisture to the air during dry periods. It’s their choice – live with the cracks and wait until spring, or else add humidity by opening the dishwasher after a rinse cycle, switching off the bathroom fan or hanging laundry to dry in the basement near a furnace. Better yet, install a humidifier in the furnace or exterior air vent. Again Recommended Relative Humidity Should Be 35 TO 40 Percent.

We hope these tips make your installation run smoothly and help keep your new floors looking beautiful. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or comments you might have before, during or after your wood floors are installed.

Pelosi Wood Floors: NoVa:703-791-4831