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Project: Hardwood Floor Refinishing Wilmington, DE

Mark and Jessica own this beautifully renovated 1950’s style home in North Wilmington. When they came to us for a quote, they were looking to change up the look of their wood floors. They didn’t like the natural red oak look and the finish on them was a cheap oil based polyurethane that was already scratched up despite only being restored 2 years earlier.

hardwood floor refinishing Wilmington DE

Their 2-story home had roughly 3,100 square foot of original flooring that needed to be restored. This comprised the living room, dining room, kitchen, office on the main level and the staircase up to the second level where the 4 bedrooms were located.

Sanding Office

In the pictures above you can see the original state of the floors in the office. The wood was in great shape, but the finish was very thin and inadequate for the traffic it would see. Plus, that amber color had to go.

Setting Up Dustless System

The photo above was taken after the old finish was removed. This is in the main living area downstairs. We’re getting ready to make the second ‘cut’ with the sanders. Here you can see me setting up the dustless system for the belt sander. This sander removes the wood from the main field of the floor.

Dustless Edging

And above you can see the special sander we use for around the edges where the belt sander can’t reach. Again, this machine is connected up to our dustless sanding system.

Changing Sandpaper on TRIO

Because this was a premium level project, we used a special finishing sander called a TRIO. You can see the 3 sanding discs being set-up in the photo above.

Using TRIO

This machine blends the sanding marks from the edger and belt sander and makes the floor very flat and smooth. Not all floors need this level of sanding (rentals etc.) but when you want your hardwood floors to be extremely flat and as perfect as you can achieve, this is the machine we use to get there.

Staining Prep

Once the final sanding was done, it was time to choose a stain color. Unfortunately, both Mark and Jessica had very different ideas for the shade they liked. Mark wanted a dark grey shade while Jesica wanted something much lighter. So we had no choice but to put a few samples on the floor so they could see each in real life...

Rubio Fume Sample

The first product I’m applying above is not a stain but a special pre-treatment by a company called Rubio Monocoat. The product is called Fumed. It reacts with the tannins in the wood and the result is the color you see above.

Grey Stain Sample

The second color I’m applying above is Bona DriFast grey stain. The third color we applied, which we didn’t get a photo of, was Bona NordicSeal. It provides a white-washed Scandanavian look without having to use caustic materials like bleach.

As soon as that went down, both Mark and Jessica agreed that it was the look they wanted. Not sure if Mark just caved in to his wifes pressure for a light floor or not but either way - color issue solved :)

Now onto applying the finish...

Wilmington DE hardwood floor refinishing

Above you can see the second coat of NordicSeal going down. Eash subsequent coat turns the floor lighter.

Cutting In Edges

Above is the same coat. This time you can see the corners and edges of the room being ‘cut in’ with a smaller special pad.

Coating Stairs

Then the wood stairs get the first of 4 coats. The edges of the treads and risers are exposed here because a custom wall and railing still need to be installed once we finish the floors.

Buffing Between Coats

Inbetween coats of sealer and finish we use this machine called a buffer to abrade the last coat. This makes the floors smooth and provides a mechanical bond for the new coat to adhere to.

This is the dustiest machine we use, sending clouds of dust everywhere, which ends up contaminating the finish. Not a good look for a light colored floor like this. We have ours hooked up to our powerful dustless system which prevents this.


Even with the powerful vacuums, micro-dust still gets on the floor (although not airborne). We vacuum inbetween every coat to remove it. By the time we finish each project, the floors have been vacumed at least half a dozen times!

Tack Cloth

After the vacuuming, we have one last step - using a damp tack cloth to remove any remaining particles. This provides a completely contaminent free surface.

Then the final coats are ready to apply...

Coating Hallway

Above we’re coating the upstairs hallway and in the photo below we’re doing the edge of the landing...

Coating Landing

The photo below isn’t in sequence but it shows you the difference the coats of NordicSeal make from one coat to the other. You can clearly see the floor getting lighter with the second application here...

Applying Last Coat

And in the photo below you can see the finished product...

Finished Floor

When Mark and Jessica have finished all the remaining renovations - kitchen, trim, stairs etc. we hope to be able to come back and take some finished photos for you. When we do we’ll add them here.

The chosen finish system - Bona Traffic Naturale - is an extremely durable 2 component water-based finish. The VOCs are very low with a level of <230 g/l. Because it is a matte sheen, any scratches will be far less visible compared to a semi-gloss or satin sheen. It also allows for seamless localized touchups should an area be scratched or damaged down the road... instead of having to recoat the whole room for the sheen to blend. All in all a great finish choice and it has our highest recommendation.

We really enjoyed this hardwood floor refinishing project in Wilmington, DE. Mark and Jessica were wonderful people to work with and we’re glad we were able to provide them with the floors of their dreams. If you would like more information on any of the products we used here, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Wood Floor
My floor is gorgeous and I paid a very reasonable price. My experience with them was fabulous and I would recommend them to anyone. If you need flooring or polishing etc. and want it done right with a beautiful outcome use this company. Gabrielle Cirino-Jacobs - Smyrna, DE | Review on Google
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