Hardwood floors offer a combination of durability and timeless beauty. They add elegance to any room and only get better as they get older. When they get worn and scuffed, they don’t need to be replaced, they can be refinished. Hardwood floor sanding will remove a layer of wood and leave a fresh, clean, level surface that is ready to be treated with stain, polish and sealant. This is a good investment in any home whether it is for sale or for living. Sanding will increase the value of the property, is less expensive and much easier to maintain than carpet and looks great.
A professional will do the job as quickly as possible depending on the type of floor, the weather and the kinds of stains and finishes required. When you are looking for a floor sanding company, there are a few questions you should ask to make sure you get the results you want.
Five questions to ask a hardwood floor sanding professional.
1. Do they use the latest technology and machines for dust-free sanding?
If not done right, floor sanding can create a full storm of fine wood dust which can wreak havoc with curtains, upholstery and carpets, and the whole house may need a thorough cleaning after the floors are sanded. However, it is a common misconception that this is always the case. There is dust extracting technology that does the job and leaves a very small amount of dust. This involves collecting the dust in vacuum bags. The floor is also vacuumed often throughout the sanding process and thoroughly cleaned when the job is done. Even if the floor sanding professional says he can eliminate any dust, it is recommended to cover or remove any electronic equipment such as televisions, computers, game consoles and DVD players.
2. Do they clean up after or is that left to you?
Most professionals use dust collecting machines to reduce the amount of dust during sanding and what is left in the room when the sanding is finished. However, this doesn’t remove all of the dust, and there will be some fine dust on the walls and around door and window frames. This will usually need to be cleaned by the homeowner or someone else. It is recommended to use a soft-bristled brush on a vacuum cleaner. The walls should not be washed because water makes the dust stick to the walls and more difficult to remove.
3. Do they also polish and finish the floors?
Once the floor is properly sanded and the dust is cleaned away, the floor is ready for finishing. The types of finishes can be matt, glossy, traditional, modern, light or dark. A top quality floor sanding company will have the experience and knowledge of all types of finishes and sealants. Oil, hard wax oil or floor lacquer can be applied directly to the wood or a stain can be applied first if a different colour is required. There are two types of polyurethane sealant. Moisture cured takes 24 hours to dry and is solvent-based, so it has a strong odour. Water borne takes up to 4 hours to dry and is the most environmentally friendly solutions.
4. How long will the job take, is the quote fixed or will it change depending on the length of time the job takes?
The floor sanding company will examine the floors, to see if the floor is new or old, what kind of wood it is and the size of the room. They will discuss the best finishes with the homeowner, who will select the one he wants, before giving an estimate. The estimate may include workmanship, and the cheapest estimate may not produce the best results.
Most coatings need to dry overnight, but water-based varnish needs two to three days to cure before furniture is replaced. The total average time it takes to complete is two to three days of work plus drying time. It is estimated that most sanders can sand about 40 square meters per day.
5. Will sanding repair all the damage to the floor?
The professional sanding will not be able to remove deep cuts or gouges in the boards. Some stains also cannot be removed. Nail holes, gaps in the board ends and knot holes will be filled with the appropriate filler for the type of wood in a matching colour. Old finishes or adhesives will also be removed. However, repaired boards don’t have the same feel as freshly cleaned timber after the coatings are applied. If there are boards that are too damaged to leave in the floor, a good professional sanding company will have a carpenter who can repair major and minor damage using matching timber boards.