We have compiled the most frequently asked questions about the installation of different types of flooring, as well as care and maintenance, repair, and more.

From the difference between materials to the best kind of flooring for each room of your home, here are our expert answers to your questions.

Installation questions


How do you clean wood floors?

When it comes to how to clean wood floors, we provide every client with a cleaning kit for their newly installed floors and also provide maintenance and care instructions. We recommend that you vacuum using a non-beater bar vacuum or use a dust mop. Clean your floor with manufacturer cleaning products or products specially made for your floor. Using a microfiber cloth, spray the back of the cloth with the recommended wood floor cleaner and clean your floor. We don’t advise the use of soap-based cleaning materials or ‘mop & shine’ products, as these may leave a dull film and damage your floor. We also don’t recommend to wax, polish, or flood your floor with water. Using “Wet Jet Swiffers” or steamer-type cleaners is not recommended as well. Abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or scouring powder can scratch your floor. Following these simple guidelines will protect your investment and will keep your floors looking beautiful for years to come.

Can engineered wood floors be refinished?

Engineered wood floors can be refinished depending on the thickness of the wear layer and the condition of the wood. If you would like the option to refinish your engineered wood, make sure to select an engineered wood with a thicker wear layer. It is essential to understand when sanding a hand-scraped wood floor that once you alter the existing texture of the wood, you will no longer have the original scraping and texture, depending on your current wear layer. However, it can always be hand-scraped again if desired. If properly maintained, engineered wood floors can last a lifetime. Refinishing wood floors is an excellent option if you would like to change the appearance and color of your existing engineered wood multiple times over the life of the wood.

Hardwood floor resurfacing vs refinishing. Which is better?

Many people use the term “resurfacing” but the term actually means to “screen and re-coat” or “recoating.” Screen and re-coat is a less extensive method of refinishing your floors. It does not require sanding of the wood; instead it involves lightly abrading the original finish and reapplying a new top coat. This option is available for both solid and engineered wood flooring and can be done multiple times. The refinishing process involves sanding down the finish of the floor, filling joints with matching filler if needed, and applying a new stain and finish on top. This method will change the overall look of your floor. If your original wood floor had texture (wire-brushing or hand scraping) this will be removed in the refinishing process. Depending on the thickness of the wear layer, it can easily be added to the wood. At Definitive Designs Flooring, we use dustless sanding methods and systems on all of our refinishing projects as well as low VOC materials.

Refinishing hardwood floors vs replacing them. Which one should I do?

Deciding whether to refinish your wood floors depends on the wear layer and overall condition of the existing wood floors. If the floors are too damaged to repair then, we suggest replacing your floor. This will be determined upon a site visit and thorough examination of the floor. We will make every attempt to preserve the original wood floors. More often than not, we can save the original wood floors. We have refinished multiple historic homes and buildings as early as the 1900’s. Bringing back the classic beauty of wood is something we are incredibly passionate about and one of the best parts of our job!

Is steam cleaning engineered wood floors okay?

Many steam clean machines claim to be safe for wood floors. We never recommend steam cleaning wood floors, as they will potentially damage them. Please refer to our “How to Clean Wood Floors” answer above on how to properly clean your floors.

What is a floating floor installation?

A floating floor installation refers to laminate or luxury vinyl plank installation. Laminate or luxury vinyl plank does not need to be glued to the concrete and actually “floats” on the concrete. Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring has become increasingly popular over the years because of there durability, affordability, and the fact that most are 100% waterproof. We offer a variety of luxury vinyl plank flooring with wood textures and real wood resemblance. Most of our luxury vinyl plank (also known as engineered vinyl plank) flooring comes with an attached pad and planks up to 72” long, creating a more realistic wood look.


Materials questions

Can you have wood floors with pets?

Our most asked question from clients! Many people assume you cannot have wood floors with pets, but you can! The finish on wood floors is sturdy and durable. However, scratches will inevitably happen whether you have pets or not. Most of the time the scratch will be on the surface of the wood, not in the wood itself. We recommend putting small rugs at the entrances to your home to minimize dirt being brought in and trim your pets’ nails regularly.

Can you have wood flooring in Arizona?

Absolutely! Arizona has an excellent environment for wood floors and the manufacturers we carry offer extremely durable products that can last a lifetime.

What are the different types of hardwood floors?

The two main types of hardwood floors are engineered wood and solid wood. What is engineered wood flooring? It’s made up of natural wood and is constructed in multiple, cross grain layers. On the other hand, solid wood is 100% natural wood product. Engineered wood floors take less time to install than solid flooring. Both solid and engineered wood floors can be refinished, although solid wood flooring can typically be refinished many times compared to engineered wood. Solid wood or engineered wood flooring will last a lifetime if properly maintained.

Engineered wood flooring vs laminate. What should I choose?

Engineered wood flooring is simply real wood flooring and typically glued down to concrete. Engineered wood comes in prefinished and unfinished and will last a lifetime if properly maintained. The difference between laminate and hardwood flooring is the former is not real wood, and it floats on the floor on top of a moisture barrier or pad. The top layer of laminate is a print to resemble wood, so all of the planks of laminate will have a repeating pattern, whereas engineered wood flooring planks will differ due to its nature. Laminate or engineered wood are fantastic flooring options. Talk to us about your needs, and we’ll guide you to the right choice that suits them.

Unfinished wood flooring is raw wood and needs to be sanded, stained, and coated on site after installation, which will incur dry time. Since unfinished wood flooring needs to be finished on site, there are no grooves in between the planks, creating a smooth floor. A significant benefit to unfinished wood flooring is you get to create the look of your floor from start to finish, creating a unique one-of-a-kind floor.

What’s the hardwood floor hardness scale?

The Janka Scale provides a good indication of how likely the wood is to dent. The Janka Hardness Test gauges the force needed to push a .444 inch steel ball into the wood until 1/2 the diameter of the ball is embedded in the forest. Wood species are rated for their durability and hardness. The higher the number of the Janka Scale, the harder the wood. Refer to the Janka Scale to see the ratings. Source NWFA.