I’m concerned my floor is too damaged to be sanded. Can you help?
Many old floors actually look worse than they are. Infact the ones that do have layers of old paint and varnish on them are usually the best protected underneath. Once we have begun sanding you will see the beauty of the natural wood coming through very quickly. Any remedial work such as repairing cracks, dents or spot-sanding will be carried out once the main sanding is completed.
Do you sanding machines make lots of dust?
It is inevitable that some dust will be produced, however our professional sanding machines are 98% dust free. In some instances, where we encounter a very uneven floor this may generate a slightly higher percentage of dust than would otherwise happen. We also use high–powered dust-extracting machines so please let us know if low-dust is a critical factor for you. Additionally we tape up doors to other rooms and cupboards and if we’re working on stairs we isolate the stairwell with plastic sheeting so dust does not spread throughout the house.
How long does it take to sand a floor?
An average-sized room (bedroom, lounge or hallway for instance) should take a day to sand and a further day to hand finish and varnish/wax or oil. However unforeseen circumstances such as repairs to the main body of the floor or the replacement of some boards will mean the job will take longer. However you need to factor in additional time which will be required to let the varnish, wax or oil finish cure fully and during which time the floor should not be walked on. We will advise exactly how long as this will depend on the floor finish chosen.
Why should I consider a wooden floor?
Where should we start? They’re warm in winter and cool in summer, hygienic, hypoallergenic, don’t harbour parasites or odours and they are easy to clean and maintain. Oh, and they look really, really good too!
Should I consider filling the gaps between my floorboards?
Filling gaps between floorboards is a good idea if you are keen to eliminate draughts. As the majority of houses have airbricks at ground floor level this will result in airflow beneath the floor of your house. When you remove old fitted floor covering draughts will be created. Gap filling will stop these draughts, but can also be used on upper floors for aesthetic appeal as a gap-filled floor creates a seamless visual appearance.
How are the gaps filled?
We use narrow strips of wood glued between the floorboards and then sanded down to be level with the boards. Occasionally when the gaps are very small we will use a filler.
What colour will the floor be after sanding?
It all depends on what wood your floor is made from, in their natural form hardwoods like oak, mahogany and maple tend to be darker and softwood pine can vary from a pale honey colour to a dark, golden brown. However most woods can be stained, bleached, waxed or oiled to be whatever colour you’d like them to be.
Should we use varnish, wax or oil?
Each floor finish has its particular strengths and weaknesses but for a home environment with average levels of foot traffic there is little to choose between them. Wear and tear on a commercially-used wooden floor such as in a restaurant or museum is far greater and therefore much heavier-duty products will need to be used.
If you chose wax or varnish finishes for your home they will require care and periodic re-coating. The protective barriers created by any floor finish will eventually wear through and a new coat will need to be applied prior to this occurring. If it does wear through to the bare wood dust and dirt will quickly be trodden in to the wood grain. To remove this dirt the whole floor will have to be sanded again as local repairs are almost impossible to carry out invisibly.
Oiled floors on the other hand, do not create a protective barrier above the wood but instead the wood absorbs the oil meaning it can repel liquid and dirt. The key benefit of an oiled floor is that local repairs can be carried out to damaged areas as they will readily blend into the rest of the floor. Re-oiling needs to be carried out far more frequently than varnishing; on average about every 18 to 36 months.
And what are the maintenance options for each finish?
The main advice for varnished or waxed floors is to have good clean door mats which will trap any grit and outdoor dirt, to sweep and vacuum regularly and to watch for any signs of wear and tear on areas that get a lot of traffic. A fresh application of lacquer or wax will be required if this happens. The key here is maintenance – if you keep grit, dirt and dust off your floor it’s unlikely you’ll need to carry out much re-varnishing or re-waxing.
Oiled floors need to be re-nourished periodically as daily floor usage gradually removes the oil which is impregnated within the wood. In a domestic environment re-oiling should ideally be carried out every 18 to 36 months but this is very straightforward and can be carried out by a competent DIYer. Daily cleaning should be with a vacuum or dry ‘dust-catching’ mop. Damp wiping can be carried out using the correct floor cleaner but be careful not to puddle the liquid on the floor.
Why do you use a stain and a varnish? Why not use a coloured varnish?
This is a very common question. If you visit your local DIY outlet, a lot of the floor varnishes on offer have a colour included, such as teak or oak. The only real advantage of this is basically time and convenience during application. The disadvantage is that, with each coat you apply, the colour changes and darkens. You are guessing what the final appearance will be. Most importantly, as a coloured varnish wears with time and traffic, the colour starts to be affected immediately. With our process, the seal is protecting both the wood and the colour stain, ensuring that the stain remains consistent for far, far longer. When we get to the staining stage, we can apply 2 or 3 different options to a small section of the floor for you to choose from. We simply sand these samples off once you have decided and apply your choice.
How long can I expect my new floor to last?
The general rule is the more foot traffic the greater the wear. In an average family home of two adults, two children maybe a medium sized dog, it will be the hallways which will receive most traffic in the house. Without a quality entrance mat and with very minimal maintenance and cleaning you could expect the floor to last no longer than 4-5 years. With regular cleaning and sensible precautions like felt pads on chair legs and furniture coasters under sofas, your floor will last much longer.
How can I get hold of you?
You can contact us via phone or email or click the call-back button on our website and we’ll phone you. We’ll have a brief chat about what you’re hoping to achieve with your floor and if we can help we can arrange an appointment for a site visit.
Who will carry out the work?
In response to your enquiry, we will make an appointment for one of our managers to attend a site visit at your home or office to discuss exact requirements with you in person. We can talk through the process we undertake and explain everything you need to know. Don’t worry – these are not sales people, they won’t pressure you to place an order. We will then prepare an estimate which we forward within 3-4 working days. This can be done by email or post. We’re always available to answer further questions should you have any.
Once you commission The Floor Sanding Experts to renovate your floor our fully-trained sanding team will arrive at the pre-arranged time. These operatives are all employed by Floor Sanding Experts and are trained not only in the restoration of wooden floors but in customer services too. The same team will work on your flooring project until it’s complete and you are fully satisfied with the result.
Should I decorate before or after the sanding?
Definitely before! It’s easier to wipe a small amount of dust off new wallpaper than it is to remove gloss paint from a newly-varnished floor. We would suggest that the only thing you leave until after the sanding is completed is a final coat of paint on your skirting boards. This is in the event our sanding machines slightly scuff the paintwork. Of course you should mask the floor carefully to avoid any paint spots.