Information


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General

We at Lady Baltimore Floors would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to bid on your project and to show that there really is a service out there that cares. Using our 30+ years experience in the hardwood business, we have compiled a list of several items that we at Lady Baltimore Floors feel are very important for you to know before hiring any hardwood flooring contractor. Primarily, expect to be inconvenienced. We will make every effort to complete the job as expeditiously and painlessly as possible, but you will be restricted from walking on the floor during various phases of your job depending on the type of finish you selected. Lady Baltimore Floors will make every effort to complete the work as soon as possible without compromising the quality of the finished product.


Hardwood Flooring Installation Process and Procedures in Maryland

Installation

If you need new hardwood, we can install unfinished wood and finish it for you or we can install a beautiful pre-finished floor.

  • Our installers are the best in the business with over 65 years of combined hardwood installation experience.
  • We use only the finest wood to make sure that your floors will last as long as possible.

Hardwood Installation in Maryland

  1. Stock wood 1-4 days before installation for acclimation to moisture and humidity.
  2. Install moisture paper.
  3. Install flooring according to NWFA standards.

Pre-Finished Flooring:

(Floors that already come sanded, stained & finished)

  • Advantages:
    • Minimal mess
    • Minimal time

  • Disadvantages:
    • Limited options on color, sheen & grade
    • Individual boards are polyurethaned
    • Over wood -this is where one board may be higher than the next (One of the reasons most pre-finished floors come with bevels or micro bevels, is to hide over wood.)


Unfinished Flooring:

(Floors that are sanded, stained & finished in your home)

  • Advantages:
    • No over wood or bevels
    • Unlimited options for color, sheen & grade
    • Monolithic coat of polyurethane over the entire floor

  • Disadvantages:
    • Drying time
    • Creates dust
    • Smell of polyurethane
    • Limited access to work areas

Which holds up the best?

Your first question may be "Which type holds up the best?" Honestly, both hold up the same. They are both maintained the same and should be re-coated within three to five years. This consists of buffing the floor with a synthetic pad and applying more polyurethane (either water or oil). We prefer to use the oil-based polyurethane because it gives a much better look when all is finished. It leaves a smooth, thicker finished product. The main negative aspect to the water-based product is that it raises the grain of the floor and you get a slightly rougher texture in the finished product. Some people, however, choose to live with the rougher finish to get the convenience associated with this product. Note: Over the years we have had a few instances where polyurethane has dripped through old or gapped floors into a customers basement. Lady Baltimore will not be held responsible for this situation if it arises. Please make sure to cover any valuables, carpets, etc in case of leakage. This situation is rare, and has only happened a few times, but it is beyond our control.


Temperature and Humidity

Lady Baltimore will not be held responsible for moisture and humidity problems that arise after a floor has been installed (i.e. water leaks, basement leaks, or lack of climate control). The climate should be kept at a steady temperature before, during and after installation. A lack of moisture will cause slight gaps and cracks in the floor, while having too much moisture can cause the floor to cup. The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recommends that the area should be kept at a 45 to 50% relative humidity. All of Lady Baltimore's installations are tested prior to work being started, and we do our best to try to eliminate any such problems. If you need more information on moisture or moisture related problems, please contact the office.


Wood Deliveries

Lady Baltimore will be contacting you prior to the delivery of the wood to your home letting you know the day it is scheduled so that you can make arrangements to accept the delivery. At that time, they will probably not know the time frame for the delivery, but we will be calling you back once again, approximately one day prior to your delivery to advise you of either a morning or afternoon delivery. In most cases, we can not give an exact time for the wood delivery as it comes directly from our supplier to your home. The wood can not be stored in a garage, shed, basement or porch. The purpose of the delivery is to allow the wood to acclimate to the same temperature and humidity as in the room that it is to be installed.


Preventative Maintenance

  • Felt floor protector pads on the bottom of furniture will help preserve the life of your finish.
  • Scatter rugs at all entrances will help trap grit from shoes before it scratches your floor.
  • Sweep, vacuum, or dust mop your floor and scatter rugs often to remove dirt and grit.
  • Purchase a generic hardwood floor cleaner from you local grocery store. Please be sure that it is formulated for floors with polyurethane finish and follow the directions carefully. 
  • Never wax a polyurethane floor.
  • Never roll a refrigerator, piano, or other large item across your hardwood floors without adequate protection.
  • When your floor loses its luster, it's time for a fresh coat.

Removal of Carpet, Ceramic, and Sub Flooring


Carpet

If we remove carpet, we may find pet stains, water-damage, razor marks from a previous carpet installation or other unforeseen damage. In most cases, sanding will not fix these areas depending on their severity. The only way to repair troublesome spots is to remove and replace them. Unfortunately, this will most likely delay the job by a minimum of one day (likely to be longer depending on our schedule). We will evaluate the damage and inform you of the options, giving you a price for each one. We will need some form of written confirmation before we proceed with the additional work. All carpet will be disposed of unless otherwise instructed.


Ceramic and Sub-floor:

Ceramic and sub floor removal can also create some problems because we do not know exactly how they were installed, whether they were glued, screwed, etc. While removing tile, the tile must be broken up first prior to removing the plywood underlayment. During this process, chips of tile may damage walls. While we do try to keep this to a minimum, do expect to do some touch ups. If we run into any problems during removal, the homeowner will be notified immediately and options will be given, priced and OK'd. Lady Baltimore will remove all take-up from the premises unless otherwise instructed. Lady Baltimore will remove all take-up from the premises unless otherwise instructed.


Additional Information


Molding & Reducers

Lady Baltimore also installs Baseboard, Crown Molding, Chair rail, and any other custom trim. We will install all moldings and/or reducers at the time of the final coat of polyurethane. We stock most standard sized reducers and molding. If a reducer or molding needs to be custom milled, it will need to be priced at that time.


Gaps & Cracks

On existing floors, Lady Baltimore does not recommend filling seasonal gaps. Due to the nature of wood, gaps will open and close as the humidity rises and falls. This motion will force out any putty used to fill the gaps.


Dust Containment

Sanding is a dusty business, and while Lady Baltimore Floors collects approximately 80% of the dust we generate, the other 20% is distributed throughout your home. We can put plastic up in doorways, but we will not be responsible for any paint that may be removed resulting from taping the plastic up. We use very expensive blue painter's tape, guaranteed not to remove paint, but unfortunately, in some cases, it does remove loose or newly painted areas. If we do leave a thin layer of dust, we do apologize, but a quick vacuum through the affected area is all that is needed. We also recommend that you change your heating or AC filter after the job is completed. However, if you elected to purchase the Dust Containment system option for the sanding process, we bring additional equipment in order to contain the dust as it is created. We collect closer to 95% of the dust created during this process. Using the DCS adds a small fee to the job and does slow the process due to extra time and effort our crew must take to insure the best dust collection possible. The DCS will help cut back on the amount of cleanup that you, the customer, will have to do after we complete the refinishing process.


Screening & Coating

When asked to screen and coat an existing floor, Lady Baltimore will not be held responsible for polyurethane that does not adhere to the floors. This is caused by the fact that we do not know what was used to clean the floors in previous years. Some cleaning products cause adhesion problems.


Appliances

Lady Baltimore employees are highly trained flooring technicians, but we are not electricians or plumbers. With that in mind, we like to leave the removal/replacement of refrigerators, toilets, stoves, washers, dryers, to the professionals. We ask that if you need an appliance moved for the work to be completed, please make the arrangements with the proper company to do so. The only exception to this is if moving the appliance does not require unhooking any tubes, pipes, wires, etc. If we are removing and replacing any appliance it will be noted and priced on your proposal. If you do not see a note and/or charge on your proposal for moving an appliance we agreed to move please contact the office.


Furniture

If Lady Baltimore Floors is moving your furniture, please make sure you unhook any computers, TV's, VCR's, stereo equipment, etc. Be sure to move any small items such as chairs, small tables or knick-knacks, and empty all bookshelves and closets. Also, take down drapes, curtains, vertical blinds and pictures. Please keep in mind that dust is a byproduct of the installation and sanding process. Please remove anything that you do not want to get dusty from the area. If there is not enough room to store all the furniture that is in the area of the work, the job will need to be completed in phases. We would much rather do jobs in one phase, but this is not always possible. When doing jobs in phases, you take a chance on leaving lap marks or slight sheen variation. This is due to the fact that not all containers are exactly the same, and this is totally out of our control.