What is water popping, and why do you need it?
Water popping is part of the finishing process, which helps prepare wood to evenly receive a stain color. After sanding, the bare hardwood is finely misted with water. As the water soaks in, the wood grain reopens. Then the stain can be applied to the flooring.
If you skip the water popping step, you risk a blotchy, uneven floor—and the darker your stain, the more obvious the mistakes will be. Each type of hardwood has a different kind of grain, which closes during the sanding process and may or may not absorb the stain evenly. When you use water popping, the wood grain opens up and takes the color deep into the wood, ensuring deep, bold color with more depth.
If you’re not planning to stain your floor, you won’t need to water pop your hardwood. This is the only time we recommend skipping this step and proceeding to the rest of the finishing process. Otherwise, take the time for water popping—the results and peace of mind are worth it.
The water popping processWater popping is a simple process that has a lot of room for error. While at its core it’s just spraying water on hardwood floors, plenty can go wrong—you don’t want to stain or damage your newly-sanded flooring, after all.
To get great results, we focus on the details. The water spray needs to be very fine and even, so we suggest handheld sprayers. Use distilled spring water to avoid any contaminants that might ruin the look of your flooring. Once the water is applied, it should be wiped down with a dry rag on a dry mop, in the direction of the wood grain.
The most important part of the water popping process is ensuring no one walks on the wood while it’s drying. With the grain open, your flooring is extra-susceptible to dents, stains and other imperfections—don’t ruin your flooring with a footprint. It’s also crucial to make sure the water is sprayed everywhere, or you risk highly noticeable light spots in the stain.
If you’re planning on installing stained hardwood floors in your home, make sure to include water popping on your to-do list. You’ll love the rich, deep results that this simple and easy process provides.
The Floor Source is your go-to for all your flooring needs, whether you need luxury vinyl planking for your bathroom remodel or beautiful hardwood floors in Monroe County, PA. Call us today to get started with a consultation and estimate.