FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is included in the consultation? Should I buy material before or after the consultation?
Our in-home consultations include measurements, moisture readings, and a pre-installation inspection, as well as the final estimate. A consultation is also an opportunity to answer any questions or concerns you have about flooring materials and the installation process.
Most of our customers schedule a free in-home consultation before they buy materials. Our measurements help us provide an accurate estimate of the amount of flooring you'll need to purchase, as well as any other necessary materials. Simply order the amount of flooring needed and we'll take care of the rest. Call us at 615-416-9039 to schedule a consultation!
Do you refinish commercial hardwood floors?
Yes, we work with both residential and commercial hardwood floors. We can repair, install, and refinish commercial hardwoods or even incorporate a custom design within the floor.
Do you sell flooring?
No, we do not sell flooring materials or products; we specialize in flooring installation as well as dust-free sanding and finishing.
As we mentioned above, we are members of ProSource Wholesale Flooring in Nashville, which allows us full access to thousands of flooring options, including hardwood, tile, laminate, cork, bamboo, and more. We also have private access to their 4,000 square foot showroom, and can meet customers there any time.
Where can I buy hardwood flooring in Nashville?
It depends on what you're looking for. The big box stores of course carry some options, but if you're in the market for reclaimed wood or something more special, you'll have to venture out to other retailers. Good Wood, Middle Tennessee Lumber, and several others all carry superior products. You can read more about them here.
How much dust is created by sanding and finishing? Can I stay in my house while you refinish my floors?
Our dust-free sanding and finishing services eliminate much of the inconvenience once associated with refinishing floors.We use the latest vacuum technology, which captures 99.3% of sanding dust and other residue created by the refinishing process. While there are other variables to consider, in some cases it is possible to remain in your home while your floors are sanded and finished.
Can I install my own floors?
We'll let the National Wood Flooring Association answer for us:
"Installing wood floors is a lot more complicated than painting your walls or replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets. First of all, you will be spending several thousand dollars on material alone, so if you damage it, it’s not as easy as buying another $30 gallon of paint or $200 of hardware and starting over again. Plus, wood flooring requires special tools that you will likely have to rent and will have little experience using.
More importantly, however, you will need to make sure the room you’re working in is flat, that the subfloor material will work for wood flooring, and that no moisture issues are present that will damage the wood long-term. Testing for moisture requires special tools as well, and you must test both the subfloor and the flooring to ensure a successful installation.
In addition, you will need to know how to center the room, how much space should be left for expansion gaps, how to work around obstructions like closets, fireplaces, bay windows, staircases, and cabinets, and if you make cutting mistakes, you may end up running short on your material and not have enough to finish the job.
In some cases, you may not be able to exactly match the lot, much like running short of paint sometimes results in a slight color difference when mixing a new gallon.
The bottom line is that installing wood floors is not recommended as a DIY project. In the long run, you will save money and time by using a professional."
The same goes for tile, natural stone, and other materials. We love saving money and doing as many projects on our own as we can, but we've seen quite a few costly mistakes as a result of flooring DIY projects. If your heart (or wallet) is set on doing it yourself, at least call us first. Let us come out and give you some free professional flooring advice!
What does it mean to be NWFA certified?
The National Wood Flooring Association's certification process is a rigorous program developed to "recognize and promote competence of wood flooring professionals throughout the industry." One must have at least two years of experience, take two hand-written tests, and two hands-on tests to be come a NWFA Certified Professional; continuing education is required to maintain certification. More than 30 wood flooring manufacturers recommend using NWFA Certified Professionals to install their products. Southern Oaks Flooring owner Jared Fitzgerald is proud to be an NWFA Certified Installer and Sand & Finisher; he works hard to maintain his certified status and to uphold the standards of the NWFA, whose Certified Professionals are regarded as "the best in the business."
Do you deliver materials?
Yes. If you decide to purchase your flooring from anywhere that does not deliver, we'll gladly pick them up for you.
What is your service area?
We work within about a 50 mile radius of Nashville, depending on the size of the installation. We install flooring in Brentwood, Franklin, Gallatin, Hendersonville, Murfreesboro, and other communities throughout Middle Tennessee. Most of our work, however, is in Williamson and Davidson Counties.
I live in an older home. Do you restore historic hardwood flooring?
Yes, we are experienced in historic restoration. The process is very hands-on and is usually quite different than working in newer homes. It's extremely important to use the correct equipment to preserve historic floors. This usually means hand sanding or using a much more passive sander to remove the old finish, grime or other contaminants from the top layer of the floor, as well as other techniques unique to each project. Large drum sanders remove far too much of the wood's wear layer to ever be used in a historic home; if this is done even just a few times the floors can become so worn down that they can't be refinished anymore. If you consult with a company who wants to use a drum sander to refinish your floors, please run away!
We also encourage the use of hard wax oil finishes like Rubio Monocoat in restoration projects. It's been used in historic homes around the country, and is the perfect finish for older floors. Hard wax oil resembles the natural oils and waxes used on hardwood floors before synethic finishes first became available, but they are more durable and much easier to maintain (just as easy as polyurethane finishes.) While we do consider other types of finishes, we discourage the use of polyurethane, as it leaves a plastic-like coating on top of the wood and is not condusive to maintaining the original appearance of historic floors.
Do you install tile?
We no longer offer standard tile installations. If a project includes a specialty tile, design, or is integrated into hardwood, we will take the project under consideration.
Do you install carpet?
No, we do not. Because we cannot control the quality of others' work, we also do not sub-contract carpet installation in Nashville.
GENERAL FLOORING QUESTIONS
What is the difference between solid and engineered hardwood flooring?
They are both real hardwood, but one will often work better in a space than the other, depending on the type of subfloor and other variables. Please read our in-depth blog post to understand the difference between these two materials.
What type of floor should I have installed?
That is entirely up to you. We advise you to think about your budget, decor, and especially your daily lifestyle; how will your floors be treated on a day-to-day basis?
Customers often realize after they've bought material that the floor they had their heart set on isn't the best choice for their home. Marble tile bathrooms are beautiful, for instance, but they are very high maintenance. Marble is easily scratched, pitted, or stained, so we make sure our customers understand the upkeep they're in for when they choose that material! Often we can find more durable flooring options that look similar, especially for homeowners with indoor pets or small children.
Hardwoods tend to add the most value to homes, and if properly maintained can last a lifetime, often even longer. Hardwood flooring also offers an endless variety of species, finishes, range of prices to choose from. We install hardwood more than any other type of flooring. Laminate, bamboo, and cork flooring are also popular options; they tend to be more affordable and lower maintenance than hardwood flooring and have become more popular as better products have become available.
Our consultations give us the chance to discuss our customers' flooring needs, as well as answer any questions they have about any type of flooring they're interested in. Meeting at one or more flooring stores in the Nashville area provides a great opportunity to talk with our customers and view different products. This free service is our way of helping our customers find the floor that works best for them and avoid a costly mistake before it's time for the installation!
Is it possible to refinish engineered hardwood floors?
Yes, depending on the wear layer. An engineered floor is made up of from 3 to 12 cross layers of plywood that are glued and pressed together. They layer of wood that will be seen when the floor is installed is then fused on top, which is known as the wear layer.
Some engineered flooring have a very thin 0.6 mm wear layer that can only be re-coated and cannot be sanded and refinished after they are worn. They usually last about 20 to 30 years. Other brands or styles can have a thicker wear layer of 2 to 6 mm that can be completely sanded and refinished one to five times if they ever needed to be. These engineered floors can last from forty to eighty years before needing to be replaced.
Should I choose pre-finished or site-finished floors?
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Site-finished floors allow customers to basically build their floors from scratch. You're able to choose the species, width of the boards, stain color, and type of protective finish. We install the unfinished flooring, then sand and finish it on site. The disadvantage to sanding and finishing is the inconvenience. Even with dust containment systems, dust can still enter the home, and customers cannot walk on their floor until they are completely done. Sanding and finishing is often used in new construction homes, while other work is still being performed and customers are not living in the space yet.
Pre-finished flooring has come a long way since it was first introduced. You can find numerous colors, widths, and species from various manufacturers. Pre-finished floors do not allow the level of customization available with site-finished floors, however. It would also be very difficult to match an existing floor, as you can when sanding and finishing. The main advantage of using pre-finished flooring is convenience. There is very little dust and dirt when installed, and customers can walk on them immediately after installation.
Why do I need to order extra material?
You should plan to order 10% more flooring than is needed for the installation. Much of the material will be cut to fit the exact space, and once the boards or tiles are cut, they usually cannot be used elsewhere in the room. You may need to order slightly more or less depending on the room. For example, if you need to work around stairs and a closet, you may need to have more than 10% coverage, but if the room is square with no interruptions, less than 10% may work.
Having an extra box or two of material is also important in case of later repairs. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to match flooring years after an installation. If you need a floor repair, you'll have the exact material on hand; you won't have to install a completely new floor or settle for something that doesn't match.
How do I maintain and clean my hardwood floors?
We suggest always following manufacturers' instructions when it comes to cleaning your hardwood floors; it's the best way to ensure your floors look their best for years to come. That said, there are some general cleaning and maintenance rules to follow. We go over them in detail in our two part series on maintaining and cleaning hardwood floors. You can also watch a short video tutorial here!
Are hardwood floors environmentally friendly?
Yes, they are. In fact, hardwood floors are the most eco-friendly flooring available. Trees are a renewable resource, and the US has experienced a 90% increase in hardwood volume since 1953, thanks to planting practices that replace harvested material. Once installed, hardwood floors are carbon neutral and produce minimal emissions. If a floor is site-finished, some finishes are more eco-friendly than others. We prefer to use water-based polyurethanes and Rubio Monocoat, a zero-VOC hardwax oil that produces a beautiful matte finish that maintains the natural texture of the hardwood itself.
I have Brazilian cherry hardwood floors. Is there any way to tone down the red color?
Brazilian cherry is a beautiful hardwood, but the red tone doesn't suit every home or design aesthetic. We can sand and refinish Brazilian cherry floors, removing much of the red overtone in the process. To learn more, please contact us at 615-416-9039.