phone: 248-366-9600 email:

Dustless sanding courtesy of metro Detroit's exclusive home
of the Atomic Truck Mounted Dust Containment System.

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Understanding the hardwood finishing process

Proper preparation makes a huge difference in the final result for your floor's finish

The following information is provided to help familiarize you with the sanding and finishing process. We cannot emphasize enough, the importance of taking the time to read this material in its entirety. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 248-366-9600.


All scheduling must be done directly through the office, not on the job site. You can be assured your project will be on time and on schedule unless an unusual problem or situation arises. In such an event, you will be informed of the situation and apprised of all circumstances involved. Yerke Floors, Inc. takes pride in keeping our clients informed and will not ask them to make a decision regarding their project without being fully advised. In turn, we ask that you give our office as much advance notice as possible regarding any changes in your schedule.

Arranging access

If you are not able to meet our mechanics to give them access to the jobsite, arrangements should be made with our office in advance. Many of our clients find it easiest to simply furnish us with a key. When the job is complete we will leave the key in your home unless you request it is brought back to our office for you to pick up.

Let us know how to reach you

While many people schedule floors to be completed while on vacation, it is important you leave us a phone number to reach you during all phases of work. If you plan to be out of town and cannot be reached, you will need to give our office the name and number of someone you trust to make decisions regarding your floor.

Minimize dust associated with the traditional hardwood sanding and finishing process

If you're not using the Atomic Dust Containment System, expect plenty of noise, dust and smell. Rooms being sanded will be filled with a fine dust and adjacent areas will also be filled unless barriers are hung prior to our arrival. Yerke Floors, Inc. does not hang dust barriers or clean areas unless it is included in our proposal. The traditional sanding equipment used has bags to catch most of the dust. However, a fine dust will remain and deposit on all shelves, ledges, etc. To minimize dust, we recommend you cover doorways by tacking old sheets around the door trim of the opposite side of doorways where the sanding surface ends. Attaching sheets to wooden trim with small thumb tacks will leave small holes that are usually less visible than most other masking techniques. Allow the bottom portion of the material to hang loose. This will allow access to and from areas being sanded, yet greatly hinders dust migration.

Closing doors leading into the areas being sanded will not usually keep adjacent areas free from dust. These doors may need to be opened at various times during the process. Dust may then migrate into these areas unless other means are taken to prevent it. We recommend a minimum of 1 to 2 feet of working area adjacent to floor areas being sanded for our mechanics to maneuver. Furniture and other items (pianos, grandfather clocks, electronics, etc.) in adjacent areas should be covered.

Moving household goods

You are responsible for removing (prior to our arrival) and replacing all furniture, contents, accessories, draperies, hanging articles in closets, shoe molding, interior doors, appliances and toilets unless arrangements are made with our office in advance. Our mechanics are not allowed to move household goods. If we are working in the kitchen, please have the refrigerator (excluding built-in models) and stove moved out prior to the finishing process. If the refrigerator or stove is in place the day we start, we will treat it as a built-in and work around it. The dishwasher and any other built-in appliance should be left in place (please remove the front panel). Move fragile or breakable items out of the immediate or adjacent areas since there is a considerable amount of vibration generated by our equipment during the sanding procedure. Adjust the height of hanging light fixtures or chandeliers to accommodate our mechanics in the immediate work areas.

Prior to the arrival of our sanding and finishing crews

Close windows, doors and other openings that permit air or drafts to move through the work area. Shut off all open flames in the immediate area being sanded. It is not usually necessary to shut off pilot lights in furnaces, hot water heaters or gas cooking ranges unless work is to take place in the same room as these appliances. Tape shut mail or pet doors.

Arrangements must be made to keep all traffic off the flooring during the entire sanding and finishing process. Workmen or traffic of any sort in the immediate or adjacent areas will almost always result in excessive dust and debris in the finish coats.

What to do if the hardwood floor is to be stained

If the hardwood floor is to be stained, please make arrangements to be onsite or have a representative onsite during the first few hours of sanding (9-11 a.m.) to select and approve a stain color and sheen. Our mechanics are given strict instructions NOT to make selections or decisions as to the correct stain color without the owner, builder, designer or their designated representative present to approve. If you know you want your floor natural, notify us in advance and it will not be necessary for you to be present.

Please note that dark and pastel stained floors will show dirt and wear sooner. These floors require more attention to maintain.

All painted trim touching the hardwood floors will need to be touched up or repainted after finishing is complete. If there is no shoe molding installed, all base molding will need to be caulked and re-painted when we are complete due to the small gouge we will put in the bottom of the base from the sanding process.


The three most commonly used types of surface finishes are ...

  • Resin-Based Swedish Finish GLITSA: Strong odor — mandatory that everyone be out of the home (people, pets, fish, etc.). Extremely durable — recommended for high traffic areas — slight amber tint.
  • Water-Based: Mild odor (similar to a latex paint). Three coats required, four coats strongly recommended for high traffic areas. Clear and colorless, lowest V.O.C., and fastest drying of all finishes. Curing process takes approximately 7 days (75% cured after 1 day, 90% cured after 3 days).
  • Polyurethane (oil-based): Traditional system. Slow drying, strong odor and strong patina (amber color) — 2 coats minimum required, 3 always recommended.

Because sanding and finishing does not take place in a paint booth environment, you should expect to have some air-borne dust debris settle into the finish in the form of small bubbles (especially with polyurethane due to its long open or wet time. As you walk on your floors and use them over the first few months, you will wear away these small surface bubbles. To minimize this debris, workmen or traffic of any sort are prohibited during the finishing process.

Drying times

The top coat or final coat should be allowed 24 hours drying time before subjecting it to light foot traffic, but is still susceptible to scuffing and marring until completely cured. Rugs will need to be held off for 7 days and all furniture can be re-inserted in the rooms after 3 days. We recommend that you install all new felt pads on legs of all furniture. Please note these are minimum drying times! Newly finished floors should be subjected only to light traffic for 3 to 7 days following the final application of finish. No cleaning products the first week.

Traffic of any sort on fresh stains or finishes will cause damage, usually requiring a complete re-sanding of the project.

Filling cracks and holes

Our company policy is to fill cracks between boards and holes within boards as long as they are less than 1/16" wide because filler won't stay in larger gaps. The procedure involves filling those cracks and holes during the initial sanding process, then spot filling any remaining holes and cracks between coats of finish. We do not fill Fir, Hemlock or Pine floors unless specifically requested to do so.

Special notes

Yerke Floors, Inc. continually strives to give our clients the best value for their dollar in all hardwood flooring products and services. We endeavor at all times to meet or exceed all industry standards for excellence while remaining competitive with our pricing.

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