Stairs

Stairs are tricky.  The installation and refinishing of stairs merits its own chapter in the book of hardwood flooring work.  To do them well, they require a lot more labor, time, precision and craftsmanship than most general floor refinishing.  For these reasons, stair work tends to be more costly and not every hardwood flooring company does them.

Planeta Works does hardwood stair work and does it well.  Artur is an expert in refinishing stairs and in the more custom work of installing brand new stairs.

Here are some fun examples of some of the stair installation and finishing work Planeta Works has done.

Below are photos of some new custom fir treads Artur cut, installed and finished at a house in Ballard.  He also installed and finished the ledge you see just above the stairs.
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These stairs in a Bellevue home originally had carpet.  The owners of the house wanted the stairs to match the rest of the flooring in the house.  Artur cut, installed and finished new custom american cherry stair treads, risers and two landings.

Bellevue Stairs Bellevue American Cherry Stairs Bellevue American Cherry Stairs 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this lovely, historic home in Ravenna, Artur refinished the original fir treads, risers and landing, getting rid of the old dark stain and modernizing the house to get it ready to sell.

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The new owners of this Kirkland condo wanted the carpet gone and had us install, stain and finish new oak treads and risers on their stairway.

Carpeted Stairs

Carpeted Stairs

New installation of wide-board oak with a grayish stain.

New installation of wide-board oak with a grayish stain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some other terms you might hear surrounding stair work are, stair return and skirt board. These are finishing pieces and are most often needed when the stairs are not enclosed by a wall or to continue a baseboard feature down the stairway.  Planeta Works is experienced in installing and recommending these important finishing details.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you have or to have us come give you a free estimate.

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Adventures in Refinishing Hardwood Floors – We’ve Been There

This summer, Artur and I bought our first home.  We had been looking for over a year and dreaming for more than that.

We knew that any house we bought would need some remodeling. With our budget, Artur’s skills, and what we know about real estate, buying a fixer was the best investment for us.  Plus, we aren’t turn-key kind of people.  We wanted a fixer. In July, we got the keys to our dream fixer.

Refinishing the hardwood floors was at the top of our new-house projects’ list.  Most of the house already had a mix of red and white oak flooring.  It was in amazing shape considering it hadn’t been refinished in at least 15 years. The living room and the kitchen were the only rooms that didn’t have hardwoods.  The living room had some very, shall we say, “dated” green carpet and the kitchen had a mix of hardwood and linoleum.

Kitchen before:

 

Living room before:

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To bring in a more cohesive look to our home, we decided to pull up the carpet and linoleum, install a new mix of red and white oak to match the existing floors in the rest of the house, stain all areas a richer color and finish them with a Swedish Finish.

Here’s the living room mid-carpet removal. (You wouldn’t believe the amount of dirt we found under this carpet despite having been taken care of over the decades, further reinforcing our love of hardwoods.)

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Here’s the kitchen mid-linoleum removal. (Sorry for the blurry picture.)

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After the carpet and linoleum were gone Artur started installing the new wood we had ordered.

NOTE:  Before installing new wood flooring it is very important to store the flooring in your home or installation space for at least a week prior to installing. Wood is very sensitive to moisture and heat and needs to acclimate to the new climate, lowering the risk of warping or bucking after installation.

To begin the installation process, Artur first lays down a moisture barrier.  Then, before nailing down the boards, he sorts them out in a way that looks balanced and nice, both in color variation and board length.  See below.

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Here are photos of the kitchen and living room after the floors have been installed but before staining and finishing.

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The stain we choose was Provincial from Daly’s.  We love how the stain pulls out the character in the wood, ties in the red and white oak, as well as adding a richness to the floors without being too dark.

Here are the floors after being sanded, covered with a layer of filler (always necessary), sanded again, stained and finished with three coats of Swedish Finish.

Living Room – After

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Kitchen – After

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A side-by-side view of the before and after of the kitchen floors:

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A side-by-side of the before and after of the living room floors:

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We love how the floors turned out!  Although we have worked with many many clients as they navigate decisions about their hardwood floors in their own homes, we hadn’t ever gone through that process personally.  After this experience, we now feel that much more knowledgeable and prepared to help our clients as they make decisions regarding their hardwood floors.

Coming soon, more personal experiences from the Project Planeta Remodel and why you should always do your thorough research before hiring a contractor.

Patterns in Hardwoods

I’ve been having a lot of fun on Pinterest lately exploring some of the amazing wood floors in various spaces across the world.  I finally created my own board dedicated just to wood floors that I find interesting or inspiring.  There is some stunning craftsmanship out there.  I especially love some of the herringbone or chevron patterns I’ve come across and of course anything with inlay work is always exciting.

Here are some photos of some beautiful inlay work we did for some clients in Snoqualmie a couple of years ago.  These floors were such a treat to do.  Like most craftsmen, Artur has an amazing attention to detail and takes great pride in the completed product.

After - Newly Installed Maple With Custom Mahogany Inlay - Snoqualmie

Newly Installed And Finished Maple With Custom Mahogany Inlay

Detail of Maple with Mahogany Feature Strip Installed Before Final Finish

Detail of Maple with Mahogany Feature Strip Installed Before Final Finish

Detail of Maple with Mahogany Feature Strip Installed Before Final Finish

Detail of Maple with Mahogany Feature Strip Installed Before Final Finish

After The Final Coat

Here are the care guidelines we recommend for the first two weeks after the final coat of finish has been applied to your floors.

– No walking on the floors for 24 hours.  *See below for airing out your house post-finish.

– After 24 hours, you may walk on the floors with no shoes.

– We recommend you keep shoes and pets off of the floors for a minimum of three days.

– After three days, you may put furniture back on the floors but NO AREA RUGS.  In order to best protect your beautiful new floors from scratches we suggest you put some sort of felt pads (like these) under all furniture.

– After two weeks you may put down any area rugs you have.  Putting them down before the two week period will compromise the full curing process of the finish and may lead to discoloration.

What’s the safest and quickest way to get rid of the odor from the finish?

The best and quickest way to air out your house after the final coat has been applied is air movement.

–  Open up as many windows and doors as possible.

–  Please do not do this until 24 hours has passed as to avoid any dust or particles landing on potentially wet finish.

–  Fans are great for getting air movement in the space as well.

–  In the winter, it’s ok to leave the heat off for a day or so while you are airing out the house but please turn it back on after a day to ensure the proper curing process of the floors.

–  In addition, you may want to change the filter in your furnace.  We take great care in sealing off any heating vents and areas of the house that are not having work done but dust and odors can still escape the work area.

Patching The Pet Pee Stains

Sometimes when a client calls us to come over and look at some floors that they want refinished we find some unexpected surprises hidden on the ares of the floors that have been coverd by carpet or rugs. Often these surprises come in the form of unpleasant pet pee stains. Unfortunately, no amount of sanding can eliminate these stains. In comes the art of patching. Except in extreme cases, we generally do not have to replace the entire floor and can fix the stained areas by patching the damaged areas. Artur skillfully pulls up the damaged boards and installs and blends in new boards. See the photos below for an example of a floor stained with pet pee and how Artur resolved the problem with patching.

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Award for Super Service!

As we have said many times, customer service is of the utmost importance to Artur and me.  We  get great personal and professional satisfaction from impressing our clients from the first phone call they make to us to the final product.  Our committment to an outstanding experience for our clients was recently recognized by Angie’s List.  They awarded us the 2012 Super Service Award.  We are thrilled and honored to have received this award.  See the official press release below.

             Planeta Works Earns Esteemed 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award

 Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

 Planeta Works has earned the service industry-coveted 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor awarded annually to approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.

“It’s a select group of companies rated on Angie’s List that can claim the exemplary customer service record of being a Super Service Award winner,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Our standards for the Super Service Award are quite high. The fact that Planeta Works earned this recognition speaks volumes about its dedication providing great service to its customers.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2012 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum number of reports, an excellent rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2012 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

 Angie’s List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 550 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. More than 1.5 million paid households use Angie’s List to gain unlimited access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine, and the Angie’s List complaint resolution service.