New! An “Eco-Friendly” Finish

What do you think of when you hear the word “whey”?  Do you think of the nursery rhyme of little Miss Muffet?  Or do you think of a health food missmuffetpictureprotein powder?  You probably don’t think about it in conjunction with hardwood floors.  If you are looking for an eco-friendly, “green” flooring option you should!

Hardwood flooring is one of the most eco-friendly flooring materials there are.  It’s renewable, and many manufacturers work with suppliers to ensure that the trees are harvested in a responsible manner.  Now, thanks to whey protein, it can be finished with the only finish made from a 100% recyclable material.

refinishing_floor1Typically, hardwood flooring is stained, and then a polyurethane top coat is applied to protect the floor.  The polyurethane seals and protects the finish on the floor.  There are two types of polyurethane used – oil based or water based.  Water based polyurethane dries quickly, provides a clear finish and has a low odor.  It can require up to four coats to provide maximum protection. Oil based polyurethane requires fewer coats, but the drying time is longer and there is a stronger odor.  It also lends an amber glow to the wood.  Oil based polyurethane tends to be more durable than water based.

A new product, PolyWhey® by Vermont Natural Coatings, combines the high durability of an oil based finish with the application advantages of a water based finish.  Plus – it’s made from a renewable resource!

CheeseWhey is a by- product of cheese making.  It is what is left after the milk has been curdled and strained.  PolyWhey® started as a collaboration among farmers, furniture makers, and the University of Vermont scientists to expand the value of Vermont’s agriculture and forest industries. What began as an interest in whey, as a possible ingredient in woodworking projects, has emerged as a revolutionary new science.  The whey acts as a co-binder and co-solvent, replacing other, more toxic substances.

Other than the ease of application and durability of PolyWhey®, the number one advantage to homeowners is that Polywhey® has the lowest VOC level in the industry.  VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds.  VOC’s evaporate into the air from many substances and can cause or contribute to many health problems.  Petroleum products, like oil based finishes, carpets and vinyl flooring can have harmful levels of these VOCS which are easily identifiable by their noxious smell.   The VOC level for Vermont Natural Coatings finishes is ≤180g/L (grams per liter). The toughest indoor air quality standard for wood finish in the United States is California’s 275g/L.

Here at Yankee Classic Flooring we are proud to add PolyWhey® Wood Floor Finishes to its line of floor finishes.  It is a beautiful finish that brings out the richness of Northern Grown Oak and Maple.  Available in a matte, satin, semi-gloss or gloss finish there is a look that is just right for your home.   With so many options, we can customize your floor any way that you want.  And with PolyWhey®, your floors can be refinished without the smell!

As always, Yankee Classic Flooring offers free consultations.  Give us a call, and we will show you how beautiful your wood floors can look.  For more information on PolyWhey® or any of our flooring options, call Tracey or Jerry at 608-467-2551 or email us at

Polywhey finish


Time for a change

Sometimes there is absolutely nothing wrong with what a customer already has in place, they are just looking for a change.  Updating flooring can create an entirely different feel in our homes.  Darker to lighter, lighter to darker, carpet to hardwood or tile, or any other combination can make us feel differently when we walk in the front door at night.  Such was the case with one of Yankee Classic Floorings’ customers. They already had hardwood through much of their home.  It was an older cherry floor that really didn’t have anything wrong with it.  But they were tired of it, and wanted something different.  After consulting with Tracey and Jerry, they decided to replace the cherry floor with a number 2 grade Maple floor. When logs are milled into boards, they are graded based on appearance. A clear grade will have uniform color, longer board lengths and no knots or checks. A number 2 grade will typically show a lot of character, with different colors of light and dark, larger knots and more variation.  Board lengths are generally shorter. One grade isn’t necessarily better than the other, what you choose depends on how you want your home to feel.  Do you want it to have a clean, sophisticated, more modern look or a more rustic look? The Maple floor that this customer picked had just the right feel for their home.

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Removing an older cherry floor for reuse later

Since there was nothing wrong with the floor in place, the homeowners decided they would use it in their study.  So Yankee Classic Flooring carefully removed the old floor, and saved it for installation in the study.

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Acclimating the floor

The new wood floor would be sanded and finished on site, so the next step was to bring the new flooring into the home, and allow it to acclimate.  This means letting the wood sit in the room where it will be installed for a few days so that it adjusts to moisture and temperature levels in the home.

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Acclimating the floor.

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New Underlayment

Because wood is a natural material, it reacts to different moisture levels and temperatures.  If you install a hardwood floor before you acclimate it to the new environment, the floor could shrink or expand, buckle, cup or develop structural damage. So before wood flooring is installed, Yankee Classic Flooring will deliver it to your home and let it sit for a few days in the rooms where it will live. Once the wood has acclimated, a new underlayment is laid down.  In this case, Yankee Classic flooring used a product that would help reduce noise.       After the floor is installed, it is sanded in place.  Yankee Classic Flooring uses special equipment when sanding in an existing home to ensure that your home is filled with sawdust.  After sanding, the floor is stained.

Floor sanded and stained

Floor sanded and stained

As you can see in this picture, the floor is stained and finished, but the stairs are not done.  In this home, Yankee Classic Flooring also updated the stair system to the second floor.  The main floor was completed before the stair system was begun.

New stair system

New stair system


New rail system

New rail system

Once the new stair system was in place, a new handrail, spindles, baluster and newel post were installed.     Rail System overlooking family room The rail system overlooking the family room was also updated to match the rail system to the second floor.

Finished Floor

Finished Floor

A hardwood floor is certainly beautiful on its own.

 But what makes it truly beautiful is how it looks in your home, with your furniture and accessories.

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Finished Kitchen

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Finished living room

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Finished Stair System

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Finished Dining Room

Whatever flooring you put in your home, it has to fit your lifestyle…and your style.   If your home doesn’t reflect who you are, and it’s time for a change, let Yankee Classic Flooring show you how updating the floors can truly make a difference.  As always, consultations and quotes are free.  Just give us a call today.