General Questions

Why choose hardwood flooring?

There are plenty of reasons to choose a hardwood floor over other flooring types:

  • Beauty:
    Hardwood floors add a rich warm look to any home and provide a natural element of beauty that is easy to maintain and can last a lifetime. Hardwood floors never go out style and the natural colors enhance the decor of any room.
  • Value:
    Hardwood floors add value to your home and can increase resale price and appeal. Properly maintained, a solid hardwood floor should never have to be replaced saving you money over the long run.
  • Hypoallergenic:
    Hardwood floors trap less dust and allergens than alternative flooring types and is recommended by the American Lung Association to improve the air quality in your home.
  • Durable:
    Technological advances in finishes make today’s hardwood floors very durable and easier to maintain than ever. And if damage does occur, it can be repaired with out replacing the entire floor.
  • Variety:
    A wide variety of hardwoods including exotic species are available to match your personal taste, lifestyle and decor. See our Hardwood Selection page to choose from light to dark colors, grain patterns and hardwood grades, finishes and even plank styles.

Why should I choose A-MAX Hardwood?

Every job we do gets the A-MAX Advantage over other companies. It’s our goal to provide perfection of service and craftsmanship. Over the years, the A-MAX team have honed their skills as woodworkers to achieve the highest quality standards that far exceed NWFA recommendations. A-MAX Hardwood also offers services that other companies may not, such as green finishes, finish warranties, and a superior 3-coat finish (as recommended by fine finish manufactures) over many of our competitors 2-coat finishes. The finish products we use are of the highest quality and provide greater durability (42-50% of solid content build over the 10-20% build of inferior products.) And we offer Green Friendly water based finishes that are very durable without the harmful fumes. We stand by our work and make sure that you are completely satisfied, because you don’t want just “good enough”, you want excellence, and so do we!
You can meet every A-Max team member here. Our experience is second to none!

Do I need to wax my floor?

A-MAX Hardwood uses a No-Wax Swedish Finish that is easy to clean and maintain without any waxing. See our cleaning and maintenance recommendations below.

Can I get my hardwood floors wet?

Temporary topical water (spills, damp mopping, etc.) will not damage your hardwood floor, especially in drier climates such as the Treasure Valley. However, long standing water (puddles or flooding) will damage any wood floor.

Is gratuity okay to give the team that comes to do my floor?

You are free to give the crew gratuity if you would like. They always appreciate it, however, it is by no means necessary.

Will my lights be left on after you are done applying finish?

A-MAX will need to use your lights so we can properly see. Most of the time we are unable to turn your lights off since we “back out” of your house with the coating. Time limits till lights can be turned off as follows:

  • Oil: 24 hours
  • Water: 2-4 hours
  • UV: instantly

Refinishing

Will your refinishing process leave dust in my house?

A-Max uses a vacuum that removes 98% of the dust produced within the work environment. The remaining 2% of dust is contained within the work environment, and is removed along with the dust walls and additional protective coverings. A negative air machine placed in the house filters all of the interior air every 6 minutes to remove airborne particles. Lastly, we clean cabinets and counters to ensure no dust is left behind. Make sure to read more about dustless refinishing and the A-MAX Vacuum.

Why should I choose UV over water-based or oil/polyurethane?

UV floor finishes are cured using ultraviolet light. The UV treatment actively creates chemical bonds in the coating that are harder to break down than any other type of finish. Basically, UV coatings are the strongest on the market. They wear longer and hold up better against most of the chemicals and dirt your floor will encounter over its lifetime. Furniture and rugs can be placed back on the floor as soon as A-Max leaves. Finally, UV finishes leave behind virtually no odors or toxins in your house. Compare that to oil-based products which can release toxins for up to 60 days. All our finishes are great and no matter what finish you can affrod you will have a great floor that looks and preforms up to standards – more about flooring finishes.

Are your coatings "Green"?

Both our water-based and UV coatings are green. However, UV is the safer choice for your family and the environment. UV coatings release 30-50 g/L VOCs (depending on the coat), while water-based coatings release around 250-300 g/L VOCs. During final curing, polyurethanes and water-based coatings can release toxins for up to 60 days. Due to the low VOCs in UV, there is no odor and the UV light cures the coating instantly, with negligible gassing.

Will you finish under my refrigerator?

A-Max will move your fridge on runners, sand behind it and then seal it with a wood sealer. Once this sealer is dry we move the fridge back without adding the “finish” or walking coat. We do this to avoid leaving wheel marks on your wood. If you would like your fridge area fully finished, you will need to remove and replace it on your own. Our insurance prohibits us from disconnecting appliances. We can arrange movers to move your refrigerator, if needed, at an additional cost.

When can rugs and furniture go back on my floor?

UV Coatings: Instantly Water-based Coatings: 5-7 days for furniture and 1-2 months for rugs. To avoid discoloration, the NWFA recommends rotating rugs every few months.

Will you finish under my stove?

We will sand around your stove legs and then sand ~1” under your stove. You will never be able to see any lines where the old finish was. If you would like to move it prior to our arrival, you are welcome to do so. We can arrange movers to move your stove if needed at an additional cost.

Why are there a few hairs in my floor? Can you get them out?

Unfortunately, no house is a sterile environment. We vacuum 2-3 times and wet mop before the final coat goes down. However, there may be stray hairs or inclusions that find their way into the finish. These inclusions will work themselves out after you begin using the floor. If they don’t work themselves out, we can remove them for you.

My fill isn't color matched to my floor, can you match it better?

A-Max is confident you will love the look of your floor. However, it is nearly impossible to match hardwood grain or knot colors. Because wood is a natural product, every board is unique in texture and color. We follow the NWFA rules on fill and use Wood Wise approved colors for your specific floor. If you want us to fix unsatisfactory fill spots, let us know and we will color match the best we can.

My recently installed floor seems to be moving and/or cracking, is it normal?

Idaho weather changes drastically throughout the year. Your floor will shift along with the weather. The first winter tends to be worse than the following years, as it can be shocking to wood. This is normal and is not cause for alarm. To minimize moving/cracks boil a pot of water every 2-3 days and it should stabilize the moisture content in your house,

My floor appears to have less coating & looks different than before, WHAT?!

All coatings are different with film thickness, coatings in time look different and sheen makes a different.

Thickness and Durability
Different types of coating make different looks. Each product has a film thickness that goes along with the product. film thicknesses are decded by how the product levels and how durable it is per mil. You can read more about this here: http://www.a-maxhardwood.com/blog/oil-water-penetratingoil-uv-how-they-differ/

The Floor is Different!
Yes! Your floor is extremely different than before, wear, products used on the floor and sun damage will make your floor change every day till you refinish it. Your floor was probably refinished/installed 10 years ago and there is no way to really remember what the floor looked/felt like then. A-MAX does over 500 floors a year and each one comes out basically the same no matter if oil, water-based or U.V.. Over time your floor will get smoother and appear different than the day we turned the floor back over to you and your family. By walking on your floor you will “sand” your floor with any dirt under your feet. After 10 years your floor will become slippy. We suggest you read about maintenance to keep the floor not a slip hazard and to not change the sheen of your new floor. http://www.a-maxhardwood.com/learn-more/maintaining-your-wood-floor/
Sheen
Most people, designers and architects want a lower sheen due to hiding scratches, fur, hair, dirt and other things. We usually use satin finish for this reason. A-MAX is producing a floor you will be walking on and at some point probably scratching. Satin will hide your scratches.

Installation

What are AMAX Flooring installation guidelines?

We will follow the Manufactures guide to installing the system. Our team has many years and experience in all the subsystem and the know how to install these systems. The maple wood will be racked out and then installed. In some cases you will see expansions or gaps in wood purposely put there to insure as the wood grows that it has a place to grow into. These are set forth by the manufacture and executed by A-Max Flooring. We also can install Volley ball sleeves, blocking for bleachers, thresholds, and electrical box covers. The final touches on the install of the Vented Base around the edges.

How do you prepare the floor substrate?

At times you will need different substrate services to achieve the installation of your floor and we can help. Concrete floors require proper preparation for proper installation of flooring and coating materials. Moisture remediation could also be needed to ensure a long-lasting flooring system, moisture must be kept out of the picture completely. Many times there are hidden moisture problems that can cause many troubles with your flooring.

Floor preparation is an important key in proper floor installations that last and remain durable. Often the sub-floor that the wooden or synthetic flooring is installed on is not level. An uneven flooring can cause installation problems as well as performance problems after installation. A-Max Flooring can remedy this problem quickly and efficiently with self-leveling cement. We use a very high quality material that performs very well and dries quickly. It provides a strong and stable subfloor for your flooring installation.

How do you acclimate the wood?

The environmental conditions of the room are just as important as concrete slab flatness and moisture content. MFMA has specific recommendations for the temperature and humidity conditions of a room in which the sport flooring is installed. Before we can deliver the wood material, we aim for the following to be complete:

  • All overhead work is complete
  • Painting is complete.
  • Basketball backstops and other athletic equipment are installed.
  • The HVAC system is installed and has been operating.

The environmental conditions of the room are important because wood is hygroscopic material, meaning it absorbs and releases moisture according to the room conditions. If relative humidity of the room is higher than the wood’s moisture content, wood absorbs moisture and expands. If relative humidity is lower, wood releases moisture and shrinks.

  • All windows and doors are installed and functioning.

Cleaning

How do I clean my floors?

Simply vacuum or sweep with a soft broom and then damp mop weekly. A-MAX Hardwood recommends using a pH neutral cleaner such as A-Max Floor Cleaner. You can learn more here: cleaning hardwood floors.

How do I keep my floors looking good?

Wipe up spills immediately with a damp cloth and clean your hardwood floor regularly as recommended above. Use throw rugs both inside and outside of doorways to help prevent dirt, sand, and debris from being tracked onto your hardwood floor. Use area rugs in front of kitchen sinks and other high traffic areas. Put felt or fabric-faced glides on chair and furniture legs to prevent scuffing and scratching. Do not slide heavy furniture on your hardwood floor, instead lift completely off the floor and carry it. Avoid walking with sport cleats and high heels on your hardwood floor. Minimize pet scratches by keeping their claws filed and clean their feet when coming inside if they are dirty or muddy. Use a humidifier during winter to prevent shrinkage and movement with hardwood species that have lower dimensional stability. A-MAX Hardwood recommends a maintenance coat every 3-5 years to remove mild scuffs and rebuild a solid top coat finish. If you follow these steps (read more about maintaining your floor) your hardwood floor should last for the life of your house.

Can I deep clean my hardwood floors?

Hardwood flooring even if cleaned daily can gather residue over time that needs a true deep clean. A-Max Hardwood has a machine built by Basic Coatings that is specifically made to clean your hardwood floors. The machine has a brush and a very high pH solution that truly deep cleans your floor. You can get more information on our hardwood cleaning page.