Blending boards in Burlington

Clients see pictures of our hardwood floor refinishing job on Facebook 08016 and called for a quote.

They respond because they have a foyer that does not match the prefinished hardwood they installed in their dining room and office. Not drastically off in color, they prefer the newer installation (they did themselves). So they have medium tones on each side, and lighter wood in the foyer connecting them both.

Another issue they have is sunfade in the foyer. It is from a cathedral window above the front door that has strong afternoon sun. Upon closer look the wood is washed out well inside the foyer. But just inside the front door is a darker roundish patch where they have an area rug. Secondly, they had a bit of water damage to a few boards right inside the door.

Looking more closely we also offer a upgraded, flush mount HVAC vent cover as part of the project.

From an overall perspective they have a drop in HVAC vent cover just inside the front door. While it is somewhat nondescript, it lays on top of the floor. And, it distracts the eye. An upgraded inlaid vent cover would be flush. It would be smoothe and flat and not disrupt the flow looking across the floor. Installing a flush mount vent dress it up a bit, it also eliminates a snag while vacuuming, dusting or mopping.

So their motivation was to blend the color of the foyer so it transitions more closely

This is the color difference from the sunfaded foyer to the office hardwood

to two adjacent rooms.

Seeing the project we posted where we were blending color of vintage white oak boards with new white oak so it matched inspired them to call. Having “built” the color so the new wood matched the old, they got the idea we could do the same for them.

What I mean by “building color” is to age it or tint it in a manner that gets the color more to match. Any time you have disimilar color or different age woods, or even different species you can play with the color and balance it out.

And just like that they gave us the ok to do the job.

These clients were excited to get the color to match and create a better flow. They also were happy to remove the sunfade that washed the foyer out. And they happily looked forward to a much more custom look that the upgraded vent cover would present. (Not to mention it wouldn’t be prone to breakage like the existing one, nor get caught when mopping or vacuuming.

Clearly proud of their elbow grease they used when they installed each of the two adjacent rooms, the blending would bring a nicer flow and more completed look.

Just so happened we had an opening in our schedule that very week and we would start immediately.

Now generally this wood tech is booked for weeks, but the next client had to delay their start date we reserved for them. A kitchen gut, the cabinets had not been installed yet. So we had to wait.

Once cleared you could see how all the damage plain as day.

The sunfade hit you in the eye straight on. The water damage was glaring at you. And color was uneven and overall it looked bad.

Nothing was horribly wrong, but re-doing the foyer will put the ‘icing on the cake for them’.

Day one, we do the prep and get right to sanding.

First the quarter round is taken off and discarded. The original is white, and they installed stained quarter round in the two connecting rooms so they also wanted new stained quarter round in the foyer. Next Marvin removed the door to the closet and put plastic up at each room opening and the entry to the kitchen area.

Once that all was done he began sanding. The bulk of the work is with our drum sander. It removes the hardened polyurethane finish. Starting with a deliberate sanding pattern he goes over the floor sanding with several proper grits. And by days end he has a good dent done with the sanding.

Marvin also chooses the stain color, and provides a sample for them to review and approve.

Here is the stain sample chosen. A starting color,it will be tinted further for a closer match

Now this is where experience played a part. We began with a stock color, in this case gunstock. He mocks up a board and lays it adjacent so it can be critiqued and approved. This makes it easier to compare and decide on while viewing it overlaid to the other rooms with the darker color.

Our lady client got very excited as she saw a closer match. Instead of music to her ears, lets say it was music to her eyes. And, there now was the continuity of color she had hoped.

Day two, he has more finish sanding with finer grits on the main part of the floor.

When we arrived the next morning our client says she likes the color Marvin selected. So that was taken care of. Very happy she is excited, and looks forward to the end result.

At this point Marvin switches his attention to the edger machine.

He does the same sanding pattern with the edger that he did with the drum sander, and other final sanding passes. Then rounding out the sanding, he scrapes the corners so everything is ready and will look even when he stains the floor.

But as he progresses with the sanding he is also mulling over whether the stock color is sufficient to blend the foyer with the two side rooms. He decides the color needs a little help, and relies on his secret tinting and blending tricks. Or as he would say to me “secret-o”! Having a few tricks up his sleeve he plays with the color. He migrates it closer on the sample boards. So this way he knows exactly what he needs to do for the closer blend of color possible.

Before he leaves at day’s end he stains the floor and it is a good match!

Talk about being pleased, our client loves her floor color. That is the initial reaction when she saw it, and that is what she reaffirmed to me the next morning.

We arrive and announce the last tasks.

Back on the floor Marvin has a quick task in applying the seal. Then after waiting several hours he returns to put the first finish on.

In the meantime the clients have a busy weekend and can easily work around our time line in being on and off the floor during the drying period.

So by Saturday afternoon all that’s left is to apply the final finish, install the new quarter round put the door back.

Monday morning, we’re back at it, and finished up.

The goal on the final day was to measure, cut, create custom return ends, and install the quarter round. Then after nailed in he had to putty and caulk it. Next is to buff the floor to flatten the grain (from our water based finish coats). Once flat and smoothe to the touch he applied the last finish coat.

Mind you, as promised we used a safer, non toxic polyurethane, actually trademarked “poly whey.” This was another perk for the clients as it didn’t fill their house with strong fumes. Environmentally based, the finish formula has a derivative of whey, a by-product of cheese making.

The whey is the binding agent, and has a higher concentration of solids compared to other traditional polyurethanes. In fact, it smells like baking, and dissipates fast. What they got, inferred in the marketing material about the product, is their floors were refinished with ‘a better whey!”

Mid day on Monday, we are done and packing up. Job’s done!

To sum it up, the clients love their refinished floor. It blends beautifully and now softly ties in with both rooms. As the eye travels you see notes of color that pop and bring everything together. The eye is no longer disrupted when entering the home.

Secondly, the sun fade is gone. The remnants of water damage is gone. The new flush vent is a nice acoutrement. And we have totally excited and very happy clients. They saw our work and trusted us to help them, and we did!

Beaming with excitement they couldn’t and cant wait to share their experience with others!

Need hardwood floors fixed or refinished? Let us help you too. Free estimates. Call 609.953.0472. Or Contact Us online and we’ll reach out!