You’re normally told to keep water away from your hardwood floors as much as possible as it can permanently damage and stain them. But, water can actually be an important part of the manufacturing process of hardwood floors as a way to improve the appearance of your floors. Learn all about the process called water-popping in this blog and why it’s used.

What is water-popping?

Water-popping is simply the process of applying water to a hardwood floor after it has been sanded to finish. This can be done in a number of ways, including spraying the floor with water or applying a soaked carpet pad to it. Purified water must be used in this process as the chemicals and minerals that tap water might contain can damage the floors.

Why is it done?

Water-popping is done to a hardwood floor before stain is applied to it. The process helps to open up the grain, which can become tightened and closed off after the wood has been sanded. If stain is applied to flooring in this state, then it will not absorb into the grain properly, so the color will not take properly. Most of the stain will be wasted and must be washed away.

By applying water to the wood in the correct way, the grain will open up and become more porous, allowing the stain to be absorbed properly and applied more evenly. This will result in a more even and attractive finish as well as helping to hide any marks left behind by the sanding process.

The risks of water-popping

If not done correctly, water-popping can leave your hardwood floors worse off than they were before. Improper water-popping can cause your floors to absorb the stain in an uneven manner, leaving darker blotches of stain in some areas. It can also lead to scratches and scuffs occurring during the water-popping process as the moisture makes the wood softer and more susceptible to damage.

It is quite a precise procedure that requires the correct amount of water, proper handling, knowledge of the type of wood, and the right amount of drying time. For all these reasons, water-popping is something that is better left to the professionals rather than attempting it yourself after your floors have been installed. Hiring a professional team for flooring installation and water-popping ensures that you’re left with high-quality flooring that looks great.

If you need hardwood floors installing or water-popping in the Piedmont Triad area, get in touch with us at University Flooring Center for services around Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville.

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