Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood Flooring

Rubio Monocoat ice brown refinish

We recently refinished a strip oak rift and quartered red oak floor with Rubio Monocoat. The flooring manufacturer was Oak crest and the boards were 2 1/4 wide”. This house was located in Loomis California.

The owner had two dogs that frequently swim in a pool and come in and out by the slider. After discussing traditional finishing options they elected to go with a hardwax oil. They elected for this option because they wanted to see fewer scratches and are prepared to do a refreshing of the finish every year or two as needed. Rubio has a really low sheen so it does not show scratches as readily as traditional finish systems. Refreshing the floor is really easy and in this case can be done within a matter of two hours and the floors can be walked on the next day.

The floor color is called ice brown and has a brown coppery color but it definitely is a more reddish color which matched their cabinets. Rubio has over 50 different options for color and even more when you consider the EZ precolor system.

Rubio has a smoke treatment option that reacts with the tannic acid in the flooring. This is a very popular color treatment these days but keep in mind that red Oak has virtually no tannic acid content so smoke treatments are not possible.

If you have any questions about Rubio Monocoat or any other refinishing projects that you’re considering please give us a call and will help you understand the processes.

Dura Seal Provincial Red Oak Refinish

We just completed a refinishing project for our client in Meadow Vista, California. She is doing a remodel and requested a color that would compliment the copper sink and copper colored veining in her granite counter tops. The kitchen cabinets were knotty alder.

What finish was used:

Stain color – Dura Seal Provincial

Sealer – Glitsa Green Label Floor Sealer

Top Coat – Glitsa Multikote satin finish.

If you are looking through this page, there is something very important to know in order to achieve this exact color. You will need to use either a conversion varnish sealer or an oil modified product. Waterborne sealers and finishes applied directly to this stain will not achieve this exact depth of clarity and richness. So, if you are planning your project, then discuss with your contractor the importance of using a quick dry oil modified sealer if they elect to use waterborne finish for the upper finish coats. Also please keep in mind that this floor was “water-popped” in order to get the darkest and most even color for this stain that is possible.


Thanks for viewing.


Contact us with any questions: scott@auburnrefinishing.com 

We are glad to help answer your questions and guide you through your project.

Can Bamboo Flooring be Refinished?

About 10 years ago the bamboo flooring market was on fire. This proliferation of interest in bamboo as a flooring material meant that there was also a surge in manufacturers selling the product and it has ended up in a lot of homes. If you own a home with bamboo and it’s time for a renewed look, then this post is a good practical guide for you.

Bamboo is a product manufactured buy assembling pieces of bamboo together with adhesive. Different methods of bamboo construction are:

  1. Carbonized- a process of steaming under controlled pressure and heat. The carbonizing process can reduce the floor’s final hardness significantly compared to non-carbonized bamboo, rendering it softer than some pines and softer than more common red oak.
  2. Natural (vertical or horizontal grain)- Strips of the flooring are cut and re-assembled with adhesive.
  3. Strand Woven- A process that essentially rips apart the wood fibers and re-assembles them with heat and adhesives and tremendous pressure. Strand woven products are exceptionally hard, but also are extremely difficult to install. 


Because the process of manufacturing bamboo evolved at a rate that far exceeded the intelligence of most retail salespeople, many varieties of the product were sold with bigger promises than could be provided by the material. So, if you were one of the people who was promised a 25 year warranty, but you’ve experienced a lack of durability you may be frustrated. Don’t worry because you can refinish the floor in most cases unless your floor is strand-woven or a very thin veneer engineered product. Attempts to refinish strand woven bamboo by my colleagues at the NWFA headquarters have proven unsuccessful because the fibers of the bamboo constantly pull up and away from the glue substrate in the board resulting in a never ending “fuzz”. Thin veneer engineered products of bamboo simply lack the available surface depth to be sanded.

SO………………..If you have natural or carbonized bamboo, keep reading for what refinishing factors influence your floor:


  • Changing the color– Bamboo does not absorb traditional floor stains very well at all. The color tends to look blotchy and dirty compared to something like an oak floor. If you want to go darker with your bamboo floor, then I advise a system like aniline dye and a tinted sealer coat. This will yield the most even look. This method of changing the color is very difficult to do, so I encourage you to prepare for a much higher estimate if you want to change the color of your bamboo floor.
  • Beveled edges– Depending on your flooring the edges were likely beveled. You might consider the degree of bevel and if you want it removed or not. Removing a heavily beveled edge will also remove quite a bit of life from the floor.
  • Adhesion– There are a variety of finishes on the market such as oil modified polyurethane, conversion varnish, waterborne, and hard wax oil. All of my conversations with colleagues in the industry indicate that hard wax oil such as Rubio monocoat and Pallman Magic oil will not absorb into the bamboo. In my experience waterborne finishes and conversion varnish finishes work great when applied to bamboo.
  • Sheen– Make sure to determine what sheen you prefer your bamboo floor when getting it sanded.

Recently we refinished the bamboo floors at the Capitol Grill in downtown Sacramento. The floors were finished with a waterborne finish system to ensure that the smell upon re-opening would be minimal. Here are a few before and after pictures:



This project was originally a factory finished aluminum oxide floor. It was a tough finish to remove. The floor was able to be completed within a two day window in order to achieve proper curing before customers returned.

If you have any questions, then feel free to email us or call us.

Thanks for reading!



Forget Yelp if you’re serious about hiring a real pro

Our company initially started out pretty well on Yelp and then we fell victim to the sales scam of Yelp. I’m not the only one, just click here



Our phone instantly started to explode with calls to advertise shortly after we were leading the pack with 5 star reviews. In the final phone call with the sales rep I actually hung up on them and sent an email to the corporate headquarters to insist they leave me alone. The sales rep insisted Yelp was filtered based on a proprietary algorithm beyond her control. Interestingly though, within two weeks of the sales call chaos we went from all five star reviews to consistently 3 stars average with all negative reviews present.By the way, only 1 of the three negative reviewers ever used our service. Since then, we have no longer been popular with the Yelp crowd and I am very happy about that.

This evening while watching the Colbert report I saw a report where I saw a segment about Yelp reviews of correctional facilities that was very entertaining. Here are links to the reviews.



If Yelp is such a credible source for reviews, then why would they allow reviews of correctional facilities if they are in fact true? You cannot really choose to pay for service at a correctional facility. It’s actually free to evaluate the service as long as you commit a crime, usually a felony.

So that leads me to this article:


I understand reviews are very important. I promise with full honesty that real people have written all of our reviews and no other compensation than a thank you e-mail after getting notification of the review.

Where am I going with all of this banter? I actually would suggest that if you are serious about choosing a contractor around Portland, then you should consider the following approach:

1) Review the formal credentials of the company. Do they have any certifications of knowledge at all?

2) Are they members of prominent trade organizations with good standing?

3) Check out their company’s complete licensing history at oregon.gov/ccb. BTW you can actually check for things such as workers compensation, bonding and insurance. If they have employees, then workers compensation is required. If they do not have it and their employee falls down your stairs, then prepare to get sued and pay the bill for the related injuries and long term health care.

4) Are they generally upbeat and helpful? Broke contractors are desperate and bid low. Broke companies cease to exist. The price may be cheap now, but wait until you need a repair in 2 years and they filed bankruptcy, then you need to find someone else and hope the new contractor can make a good guess at what stain was used on your floor.

Reviews are part of the process, but professionalism and expertise come from knowledge obtained from experience and networking with other skilled contractors. Hiring the right professional is an insurance policy that safeguards your time and your sanity.

Take care everyone!

Water-based finish versus oil based finish color

We recently refinished the hardwood floors at a house in north Portland and they were old growth fir flooring. The floors had previously been refinished using a waterborne finish and judging on the color and age they were probably done somewhere in the 5-10 year period beforehand.


The kitchen floor on the left was a little too worn through to refinish, so we left that portion in its original state. The floor on the right was after our process and was refinished using a Glitsa conversion varnish finish. Conversion varnishes are regarded as the true “Swedish” finishes and really enhance the warm caramel/amber color of a fir floor as you can see from the photo.

We hope that this photo does a good job of illustrating the color enhancement difference of hardwood floor finishes over time.

Community Cycling Center floors restored!

We had the honor and privilege of being selected to refinish the hardwood floors at the community cycling center in northeast Portland in the Alberta area. The cycling center is a non-profit organization that helps educate consumers on bike maintenance, provide bikes for low income residents so that they have transportation to work, and restores bikes that otherwise would end up in a landfill. Having seen their work, I can tell you that they do an amazing job bringing bikes back from the dead.

Up to the challenge and believing that almost any floor can be restored, we refinished the fir flooring in the center. The turnaround time for our part had to be done very quickly. We used a low VOC hardening oil on the floor that has a 12 hour cure time. The video of the project shows the before and after conditions of the floor.

Undoing the past…Tough but high in value

Most people have really become great evaluators of service and value in the contracting industry. By the same token, realtors and home purchasers have become very adept at historically accurate features within Portland’s older homes. That brings me to one of this week’s projects, a linoleum removal and fir floor refinish.

The home is a Laurelhurst dutch colonial and has two bedrooms that were originally fir flooring. We have had to scrape, sand, and pry away the linoleum that was originally in place. One of my employees Andrew and I finally got to the original fir floor after three days of effort. So what does the floor look like? It is one of the most pristine fir floors I have seen in Portland.


Other companies in town looked at the job and said it wasn’t possible to remove the linoleum and tried to sell the homeowner on a new flooring installation. In my opinion, it would be very awkward in appearance to have a 3/4 height change in a doorway to each bedroom when the hallway and another bedroom were fir flooring. I’m not the only one who would think that either. Most home buyers looking in the Laurelhurst neighborhood are also keen enough to see the oddity of a new floor and covering over the original 100 year old floor.

Some realtors will tell you a comp is a comp based on RMLS data. However, the detailed old house buyer and savvy realtor know that a historically accurate house is move in ready and has a greater value as opposed to a house where people have made a ton of very modern updates that are not integral to the original design.

Pics of a dark floor refinish

These are some recent shots of a total house hardwood floor refinish in southwest Portland. The floor was sanded and final finished using a Lagler Trio. The floor was water-popped to open the grain and Dura Seal Antique Brown stain was applied followed by two coats of a Glitsa finish system.

Normally, we use DeSantis Photography for all high end floors. In this instance, the floor was similar enough to a previous project that we decided to take a couple of shots in house and post within the blog.