Jake vs Floor: The Floor Wins!

 |  Dec 15th 2010  |   10 Contributions


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Jake realizes that the floor was not helped by his ways...

Do you have hardwood floors in your home? They're fantastic for households with pets, since unlike carpets, they aren't flea and fur magnets. But they do take a beating after a while. Check out our dining room floor, above and below. Jake wasn't the only reason the floor was not too pretty, but judging by his expressions, he clearly felt some responsibility. :)

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Jake contemplating his contribution to the beat-up floor

The floors of our San Francisco home are about 85 years old. They've been refinished at least a few times, and the wood is now down to the nails. That means we can't refinish the floors the traditional way again, because sanding nails is never a great idea. Plus we just didn't have the time or budget to deal with what it takes to refinish floors the way we had in the past. It's quite pricey, very dusty (we've found wood dust in the strangest places for weeks after the process), takes a long time to do, and we've had to stay off the floors for at least three days afterward.

So when I heard about a process that could make our worn-out floor look shiny and nearly new again, for a fraction of the cost, with no wood dust, non-toxic finishes, within a few hours,and that we'd be able to walk on it again (with stocking feet) three hours after the crew left, I didn't believe it could be true. If the people telling me about this weren't 1) people I'd come to trust implicitly over years of knowing them in my daughter's middle school 2) partners in the San Francisco branch of the company that does this, I'd have chalked it up to something that belongs on Snopes. But I gave it a chance, clicked on reviews around the internet, and realized this could be the answer to our problem.

After doing the research, I contacted Ken and Kellie McCord, to get our free estimate from their company, NHance Wood Renewal, in San Francisco. (NHance has branches in many locations around the U.S., should you happen not to live in San Francisco.) Their business partner, Dave, came out and saw the potential shining glory of our floor, and quoted us a very affordable price. (It would have been even more cost effective to do the whole house, but the dining room is where the SOS was needed.)

A few days later, NHance team leader Joaquin Paez, arrived to take on the task. (He came alone, since it's a small job.) He was on time, super nice, really knowledgeable, and professional. If you have to let a stranger into your home, they should all be like him. I left him to his work, keeping curious Jake far from the scene so he didn't get underfoot. I only checked in a couple of times to take these photos of the process.

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Joaquin buffs the floor, but only after a very extensive and deep cleaning. Stocking feet are not a sign of being casual, just of being careful.)
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Applying one of two or three coats of finish. The finish didn't smell as so many do. It's not toxic to humans or pets, apparently.

Joaquin had arrived at 8 a.m. and was gone by 11:15. In the time it took me to write an article in another room down the hall, our dining-room floor had been transformed from the floor Cinderella scrubbed in the cinder years of her life to the ballroom she danced on with her prince. It was a shining beauty -- the transformation was astounding. The floor was still a little damp when Joaquin left. I hoped the shine would last when it dried. Here's a picture of the "After," the next day, with the drapes still knotted up because we decided to stay out of the room extra long, just to be safe. (We could have gone it after around 2 p.m. that day but the longer you stay off, the better.)

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"After." Just a little different than "Before," don't you think?

Joaquin -- a major dog lover -- advised that we trim Jake's toenails, and also suggested we wait about three days before he went back in, to make sure the finish had hardened sufficiently to deal with Jake's sandpaper-like paws. (No offense, Jake. I think they tell this to everyone who has dogs.)

There are lots of ways to freshen up hardwood floors, and other methods may be more suitable for your situation, but NHance Wood Renewal was just what we needed. When we finally do let Jake back in the dining room, he will surely smile at his reflection, and wonder where this handsome dog had been hiding for all these years.

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