Eric Cohen and David Abrahams, owners of Showcase Wood Floors, started their hardwood flooring business 24 years ago. Operating in New York, New Jersey, and South Florida, Cohen and Abrahams have run into a wide variety of jobs during their time in business.
Showcase has been called to many jobs where the customer is looking to rip out and replace the prefinished, hand-scraped engineered flooring that is currently installed in their home. Upon arriving at the jobsite, Cohen and Abrahams like to offer a different solution to their customers when possible, one that will often save their customers time and money.
“A lot of customers don’t think of refinishing the floors as an option because many flooring contractors don’t offer it as a solution,” says Cohen. “With these types of floors that are pre-finished with a high-abrasion aluminum oxide, there are differing high and low spots, which makes it tricky to sand flat and ensure that you don’t eat through the wear layer.”
As stated in the NWFA Sand & Finish Guidelines, which Showcase Wood Floors follows, the variation in the surface wear layer thickness causes these types of floors to be extremely difficult to sand. The Guidelines state that a minimum 3/32″ (2.4 mm) thickness should remain on the wear layer in order to be able to sand engineered flooring. This is often hard to meet in the lowest points on these types of floors.
“When we get to one of these jobs, we try our best to determine how much of the wear layer is left to see if we can refinish the floor,” adds Cohen. “In situations where there is no leftover material or visible spots to see the wear layer, we use a palm sander in an inconspicuous area and do a quick test to check it out.”
After this quick demonstration, Showcase’s customers are often quick to hire them because they can trust that Cohen and Abrahams have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right.
“We sand floors flat with the Lägler Hummel and a multi-head/planetary sander, such as the American Sanders Hydrasand, and usually find a beautiful walnut or acacia underneath,” shares Cohen. “Using the planetary sander helps to not only get the floor flat, but also to remove any possible dishout.”
“We only use low-VOC finishes or impact oils. Typically we use a single-component finish, but on these, we use a 2K to finish the floors and ensure they get adequate protection with such a thin wear layer,” adds Cohen. “Once the floor is finished, we recommend a routine maintenance schedule to our customers.”
According to the NWFA Sand & Finish Guidelines, routine maintenance on these types of floors is extremely important to the longevity of the product.
“Although the floors won’t be able to be sanded another time, we are able to offer our customers a new life for their existing floors that can last a long time with the proper care and maintenance,” adds Cohen. “We are very fortunate to do what we love, day in and day out, and to share our passion with our customers.”
Referenced: NWFA Wood Flooring Sand and Finish Guidelines, Revised © 2016, Page 25