Browse F.A.Q. Topics

Floor maintenance

  • How is it possible to carry out dust-free sanding?

    L’Artisan du Plancher Montréal possesses a powerful dust-free floor sanding system and works with the most high-tech equipment on the market. Our team of master sanders takes all the necessary steps to minimize the inconveniences caused by floor sanding. However, you may find a fine dust at the base of your walls. You’ll therefore need to use a microfibre cloth to get rid of it. Beware of apprentice sanders who claim to be able to accomplish a dust-free floor restoration, since the task is much more complex than it seems!

  • Why do openings form between my wooden slats?

    This spacing between your floorboards may be caused by several different elements. The first and most common cause is seasonal changes. In effect, during the winter season, heaters reduce the relative humidity in the ambient air, which causes the wooden slats to contract and creates a space between the slats. In the summer, the humidity increases and the wood regains its initial shape by gaining volume. You can mitigate this natural phenomenon by maintaining a temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of around 50%. A poor installation method is the second element that can contribute to the instability of your wood flooring. To achieve a stable floor and thus prevent unexpected wood behaviours such as spaces between the slats, it’s necessary to use professional floor installation. Finally, the third element is related to Crystal-type varnish. When used to finish a floor with slats, it joins the slats to one another. But during the winter season, as the wood tightens, the varnish will always give way at its weakest point. This is what forms large gaps at an interval of roughly every six or seven boards. This phenomenon is called the block effect.

  • Why are the cracks in my floor black?

    The black lines that you observe between your wooden planks can be caused by acidic detergents, which are harmful to your floor. Excess water may also have penetrated between your floorboards during cleaning and produced black cracks. In both cases, improper maintenance is often responsible for the blackening observed between the wooden slats. If you want to make the beauty of your floor last, we recommend reading our varnished floor maintenance guide or our oiled floor maintenance guide carefully.

  • I’ve removed some furniture and carpets in certain areas of my house, and I’ve discovered that the floor is discoloured underneath. What can I do to even out the colour of my floor?

    The easiest way to even out the colour of a discoloured floor is to wait long enough for the sun to do its work. After a while, your floor should regain a more uniform appearance. The other option is to sand and varnish your floors to restore uniformity to the entire surface of the wood. We offer a dust-free floor sanding service that will improve your experience during the sanding. L’Artisan du Plancher Montréal offers you high-quality eco-friendly floor coatings for an impeccable finish!

  • We’ve removed the linoleum that was covering our hardwood floor. What can we do to remove the glue that’s spread all over our floor?

    In the vast majority of cases, a floor covered with glue is recoverable, but it’s a very tedious job. You should sand it deeply until you get an even wood surface to remove all the glue residue. Once you reach the finishing step, we recommend using a water-based varnish that won’t cause any reactions and which will properly protect the surface of your floor. Conversely, if you choose to use a different type of varnish, it may react badly with the glue residue that will still be embedded in the cracks of your floor.

  • Which cleaning products should I use to clean my floors?

    In all cases, if you need to wash your floor, use a mild soap with a neutral pH. We recommend cleaning your floor with the line of cleaning products associated with the protective coating that was applied to your floor. For example, if your floor was varnished with a Bona varnish, you should use cleaning products from the same brand to ensure compatibility. If you want to learn about the different options available to you, you can check out our page on cleaning products for varnished floors and cleaning products for oiled floors.

Wood protection

  • Which varnish offers the best protection for my floors?

    Currently, the technology behind water-based varnishes has advanced beyond that of traditional oil-based varnishes, such as Crystal and Varathane. The high resistance of water-based varnishes to abrasion is due in part to the addition of aluminum oxide in their manufacture. In recent years, several water-based varnishes have therefore become more resistant than conventional varnishes. You should select the best varnish suppliers on the market to take advantage of a quality product. We recommend opting for a better-quality product that will ensure good long-term durability rather than choosing only based on the price. You can check out our article specially dedicated to water-based varnish brands to familiarize yourself with the best varnishes available on the market. Please note that there are also finishes with natural oils as an alternative solution to glazing.

  • Why has my floor turned yellow over the years?

    Don’t worry! The yellowing of the floor is a common phenomenon that may occur a few years after applying an oil-based varnish. Indeed, Crystal is a product that alters over time. If your wood flooring is varnished with a Crystal-type coating and exposed to a high intensity of light, its colour may change over time. To help your yellowed floor regain its original colour, you should sand it again until you uncover the grain of the wood, then protect it with a new varnish – this time, with a water-based varnish to prevent future discolouration. It will thus regain a lighter appearance that will stick around for years.

  • Is it realistic to sand a staircase?

    Of course! But you should know that the vast majority of new home builders install plywood risers because it’s cheaper than using solid wood risers. We’ve acquired an indisputable reputation in the realization of the sanding and finishing of steps and risers. However, you should be aware that the plating of your risers is only able to withstand one or two sandings. This is a job for an artisan! And that’s why, from the outset, we apply ourselves to stripping and then sanding them carefully to achieve the desired result. Luckily for you, L’Artisan du Plancher Montréal is a renowned staircase sanding specialist.

  • Can I clean my floors with wax and oil-based cleaning products?

    It’s not recommended to clean a varnished/glazed hardwood floor with wax or cleaning products that contain oils. In the long term, you risk making it increasingly difficult to care for your floor and breaking down the protective layer. In addition, when the time comes to restore it, there’s a good chance that the varnish won’t react well with the wax. If you want to have a beautiful varnished floor while minimizing the risks of reaction, use water-based varnishes. To preserve your floor properly, use cleaning products for varnished floors or cleaning products for oiled floors, depending on the coating that has been applied to your floor.

Practical Issues

  • I want to sand my floors, but I’d like to know if I have to empty my refrigerator and pantry.

    If you decide to use crystal or Varathane-type oil-based products, we recommend emptying your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Foods that have been vacuum-sealed can remain inside your house. Here are some examples of these: canned goods, sealed Mason jars, vacuum-packed foods, etc. If you want to keep your food in your home, we recommend using a non-toxic water-based varnish so that your food can stay inside your house for the entire duration of the work.

  • Should the mouldings be removed before sanding and varnishing?

    It’s not necessary to remove the mouldings because the machines we use to sand the edges of your floor remove all visible traces of varnish. However, if you plan to replace your mouldings soon, we recommend removing them.

  • What is the most resistant varnish?

    Our team has identified the best floor varnish suppliers and the best suppliers of natural oils for wood. What makes water-based varnish the most resistant is its high quantity of urethane or polyurethane resin, as well as certain additives that strengthen the constitution of the varnish. There’s no varnish in particular that surpasses all the others, but we greatly enjoy working with Bona water-based varnishes because they offer a consistent, durable finish quality. Having tried several, Bona Traffic HD is without a doubt the best varnish that we know of currently on the market for a number of reasons. You can consult our article on water-based varnishes if you want to learn more about their composition. Of course, the best varnish must always be determined according to your needs. L’Artisan du Plancher Montréal is a floor sanding specialist with recognized expertise. Contact us for more information.

  • After sanding and varnishing my floors, how long do I have to wait before putting the furniture back?

    On average, you must wait at least 24 hours before you can move around lightly on your floor. On the other hand, if you’ve opted for an oil-based varnish, don’t move on your freshly restored floor for a period of 48 hours. In addition, high heels should be avoided, especially during the varnish cure time. Wait at least 72 hours before putting the furniture back permanently. The coating must be completely dry before you can put the furniture back on top of it. If you’re not sure if the varnish is completely dry, wait a little longer to be certain not to damage it. We highly recommend applying felts under furniture that occasionally gets moved around, such as kitchen chairs or coffee tables. Read our recommendations to learn what to do after the floor sanding work. You can also consult our tips to find a wealth of useful information to keep in mind in order to properly preserve your hardwood flooring finish.

  • What is a water-based varnish?

    A water-based varnish is a vitrifying coating used to protect wood floors – or any other wood surface – that employs a water-based solvent. This type of product usually contains a low VOC concentration and is safe for the environment. In recent years, the quality of water-based varnishes (commonly called latex varnishes) has increased rapidly. Some of them are now even more resistant than traditional oil-based varnishes. Floor finishing carried out with water-based varnishes is becoming increasingly popular with consumers! For more information, you can consult our table of the advantages and disadvantages of water-based varnishes or read our article explaining the nature of water-based varnishes.

  • What is hybrid varnish?

    Hybrid varnish is a vitrifying coating used to finish floors – or other wood surfaces – which employs an oil-modified resin and is soluble in water. The molecule of the resin is chemically modified and thus grants its special nature to the hybrid varnish. This protective product has a low VOC content and is safe for the environment. When used to varnish floors, it provides the sanded wood with a warm amber tint reminiscent of traditional varnishes. The handling of hybrid varnish generally requires the services of a contractor specializing in hardwood flooring in order to avoid errors. To learn more, check out our table on the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid varnishes or our article explaining the composition of hybrid varnishes.

  • What is Crystal varnish?

    Crystal varnishes are urethane-based vitrifying coatings made from petrochemicals. They’re particularly toxic and especially harmful to humans. Their composition exceeds Canadian VOC concentration standards. The application of Crystal varnish therefore requires the use of a mask. When applied to raw or sanded wood, its finish gives the floors a shiny, plasticized appearance. Please note that crystal varnishes dry in moisture (moisture cure) and, as a result, they demand specific application conditions. In addition, the residents must leave the premises during and a few days after the varnishing. They must also remove all the food from the house so it doesn’t get contaminated. You can consult our table of advantages and disadvantages of Crystal varnishes.

  • What is a Synteko varnish finish?

    Synteko varnish is an alcohol-based varnish that will give your floors an authentic look. This type of vitrifying coating is appreciated by floor sanding contractors and flooring experts, because it makes the hardwood look great. On the other hand, it contains very aggressive solvents that are dangerous to your health. In addition, this product is not the most resistant to abrasion. For more information, check out our table of advantages and disadvantages of alcohol-based varnishes.

Floor repair

  • What should I do to repair my scratched floor?

    Oiled floors are without a doubt the easiest type of floor to repair. You’ll be happy to learn that you can repair it yourself. You just have to read our oiled floor repair guide. If you prefer to retain the services of a professional, L’Artisan du Plancher Montréal also performs floor repairs; you just have to contact us.
    Prefinished floors can be repaired, but this will require a certain manual dexterity. Please note that if you’ve never performed a floor insertion before, this operation can be difficult or delicate. If you want to carry out the floor repair yourself, you can consult our prefinished floor repair guide.
    Varnished flooring is without a doubt the most laborious type of wood flooring to repair. The repair methods are complex and differ according to each situation. If you have any questions about this topic, we recommend contacting us directly.

  • My plant has damaged my floor. How can I remove the ring it left?

    It’s possible that a simple floor repair will remove the colour change caused by the plant, but in the vast majority of cases, we’ll have to perform a complete floor repair – that is to say, remove the damaged wooden boards and replace them with new slats.

  • Can I sand and varnish a floor that’s currently stained?

    It’s certainly possible to restore a stained floor. To sand a stained floor, just sand the surface well until you reach the raw wood, then proceed to the finishing. However, it’s possible that certain wooden slats remain darker than the others. It will then be possible for you to apply a stain in order to even out your floor or to maintain it in its present, natural state. Please note that if you want to change the colour of your flooring, it’s always easier to use a darker colour than the old one.

  • I scratched my floor while moving furniture. Can I do a floor repair to remove the scratches on my floor?

    A floor repair is sometimes necessary. When the situation permits, it’s possible to perform a local repair on the affected area of your floor. But often, the result isn’t optimal. If you want an absolutely perfect result, we should completely repair the floor in the room that sustained the damage in order to completely remove the scratches/scrapes on the floor, as if it had never had a scratch. You can learn more by consulting our article on hardwood floor repair.