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


Another take on staircases

In our last blog, we talked about a staircase reflecting the character of the home.  This week we wanted to show you how a staircase can really make a statement, and reflect the homeowner’s personality as well.

Staircase 2 before

This homeowner was tired of how tired his staircase looked.  Covered in carpet, it was hard to keep clean, and no longer worked with the new American Cherry flooring that he had just had us install.  Working with Tracey and Jerry, he decided that he didn’t want to simply carry the same cherry floor up the staircase.  Instead he wanted to create more of a statement look.


There were actually two staircases, one to the upstairs, and one to the third floor.  In addition to wanting to create a “WOW” look, he also wanted the two to have a cohesive feel.




Staircase 2 after #2Because he is very concerned about the environment, this homeowner wanted to use sustainable materials to redo his staircases.  He already had cork flooring on the basement level, so to tie everything together, we used cork for the treads and risers, and American Cherry for the nosing.  Combining the two gave the staircase a unique, one of a kind look that was also a “green” choice.

Cork as a flooring option has many benefits.  The cork itself is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree so the tree itself isn’t cut down.  A cork tree can have a lifespan of 200 years or more, and the bark can be harvested every eight to 14 years without harming the tree.  It is easy to care for, comfortable under your feet, safe, wears well, and versatile. Cork can come in tiles or planks and in many different colors.  Unlike vinyl, the pattern and color goes all the way through.  Because cork has a natural insulating property, rooms with cork flooring are warmer, and quieter.

By combing cork and American Cherry, this homeowner was able to achieve a unique, one of a kind statement look, all while keeping to his goal of using sustainable materials.

Staircase 2 after

Are you interested in using more environmentally friendly, sustainable materials in your home?  There are many options to choose from. Yankee Classic Flooring can help you design a look for your home that is unique AND green.  Consultations and quotes are always free, so give us a call today.