How long will the project take?
It is always best to plan ahead for a hardwood flooring project because you may need to be out of the house during the work. Besides the overall size of the job, another important factor on the overall time of the project is the type of finish that you choose. Oil Based or OMU finishes take much longer to dry compared to water-based finishes. Only one coat of Oil-Based Finish can be applied per day versus 2-3 coats of water-base finish. If you choose to add a stain to the hardwood flooring, this can add at least one additional day to the project. Penetrating Oils and hard-wax oil can be finished in the shortest amount of time.
Normally, we can sand about 1,000 square feet in one day. Newly installed, unfinished hardwood is easier to sand, while a re-sand of treated and/or older hardwood flooring is a longer sanding process.
Factors that Affect Timelines
If you have used any polish, Murphy’s Oil, or other similar cleaning products on your hardwood floors, this can add much more time, as it gums and clogs up sandpaper and is very difficult to sand off of the hardwood. Very old Polyurethanes may also be difficult to remove or sand completely out of the flooring, thus adding time. If we are repairing hardwood or removing carpet, it adds additional time to a hardwood flooring project.
Any flooring (hardwood or subfloor) that has damage from moisture may need to be replaced or, at a minimum, require extra sanding to flatten before proceeding with a normal sanding schedule. Humidity is also a large factor in our timeline. Humid conditions slow the drying times of everything: stain, polyurethane (both oil and water), and Penetrating Oils And Hardwax Oils. Replacing shoe molding or installing new shoe molding will also add some time to the project. Stairs, landings, and nosings require additional time as these are very detailed areas and require different sanding machines.
When you choose to add a stain to your hardwood, it requires added sanding as well as an added time for drying of the stain. For all of our stain or color jobs, we take the extra step to “POP” or open the grain of the hardwood. “Popping” the grain the wood will take the stain deeper into the pores of the wood and create a much richer and vibrant tone. The wood will accept stain much more evenly with “popped” grain. This process does take additional time and labor, but it is standard practice on all of 12th & Oak’s stain projects and separates our quality from that our competitors. Stains usually add one day to project for jobs under 1500 square feet. Depending on the Stain, 2-24 hrs later we can begin the application of finish; three coats of Water-Based Finish could be applied in one day, and one coat per day for OMU.
For a natural (no stain) sanding job with our Economy Option Oil-Based Finish System, the minimum amount of time needed to complete a job of 1000 square feet is three days. We recommend at least three coats of oil based polyurethane, including a sealer coat as a minimum for hardwood flooring. Extra coats = extra protection, but only one coat of oil-based polyurethane can be applied per day, as it needs 12 hours to dry before we can apply the next coat.
For a natural (no stain) sanding job with our Standard or Premier Option Water Based Finish System, we can complete a job of 1000 square feet in 2-3 days. Water-based Finishes dry very quickly (2-3 hrs) and up to three coats can be applied in one day.
Hardened Oil Finishes
These finishes typically allow our work to be completed in the shortest amount of time. We can complete 1000 square feet in two days. Many hardened oils only require one coat to protect your floors where our other systems require three coats. Hardened Oils color and protect your hardwood in the single coat, cutting out the extra time needed for separate stain, and the time needed between coats on our others finish systems. Most of the Hardened Oils take 12-24 hrs to dry.
Sample Timeline (Oil-Based Finish)
An example of a timeline on a job of 1000 square feet finished natural (no stain) with one coat of sealer and two coats of polyurethane (3 total coats):