Addressing Your Floor Sanding Queries
Sanding wood floors is one of those maintenance tasks whose result have wide ramifications on the rest of the restoration project. The condition of the floor after the sanding will determine the effectiveness of the treatments and finishes that are to be applied, the lifespan of the flooring, and even the normal comfort when walking on it. Here is a look at some of the concerns and questions that property owners have about the floor sanding process:
- How will I know if the floor is fit to be sanded?
You can carry out a quick check around and under the house to assess the condition of the boards and subfloor even before you go ahead to remove the floor coverings. Keep an eye out for dampness, water damage, and evidence of termites. When you schedule a site visit by the professional floor sanding crew, they will carry out an analysis of the condition of the floor as well, in order to determine if it can be safely sanded, or if it will be more prudent for new floorboards to be installed.
The costs affecting the floor sanding vary based on different factors, including the size of the space, to the type of finish that it has been treated with, whether it’s stained, has waterborne lacquers or a polyurethane varnish. Aspects like tending to staircases also come into focus. While you can get an estimate via phone, it’s recommended that you have a site visit, that way the condition of the floor can be assessed, for you to get an accurate quotation. Speaking of which, you should ensure that the quotation is in writing.
As part of the sanding process, filler products are used for the gaps, nail holes and knot holes. The filler is basically a formulation that is mixed with sanding dust from the actual wood itself, which enables the final result to have similar properties to the rest of the floorboards. That way, with the treatment processes that are to follow, you wind up with uniform results.
It depends on who you hire for the job. One of the largest issues with floor sanding job is dust. So much dust is generated as the finishes and top layers of wood are ground from the surface. However, how this dust is dealt with is what matters. As you can observe from the floor sanding gear that is available for dealership stores, these usually come with dust bags on the unit. The goal of this is to pick up the dust that is generated from the floor. However, the professionals invest in a different approach. Here, powerful vacuums are attached to the sanders directly. These suck up the dust particles – both fine and coarse particles, immediately they are ground off the floor. They are then directed, through pipes, to a dust containment unit awaiting disposal. This approach – popularly referred to as dustless floor sanding, enables over 99% of the dust generated to be effectively got rid of. This drastically cuts down the messes that should have been formed by conventional means, and saves you the hassle of the taxing cleaning job, thus reducing the amount of time taken before proceeding with the next stage of the floor treatment. This is actually one of the reasons why people turn to professionals for the floor sanding. What about taking it on as a DIY project? Let’s get into that next.
Only if you’re willing to accept the risks involved, and are ready to deal with the consequences of things going off the rails. There are many shops offering floor sanding equipment, and blogs with tips on how to get it done – yet the internet is flooded with numerous stories of enthusiastic DIYers who ended up ruining their floors, and complaints about the machinery being used. Floor sanding by itself is an intensive task. What’s more, it is at the very start of the restoration project, so any delays here end up pushing off the plans for the rest of the process.
Just what could go wrong? Well, for starters, the equipment that is available for rent is frequently used by amateurs, and occasionally the dealerships themselves do not maintain it. This means that it tends to come with lots of issues, with its component parts being damaged or not functioning properly. Assuming that you do actually get a well-maintained set of floor sanding gear, then there is the issue of capacity. For the floor sanding equipment to be easily portable, it comes with smaller component parts. From the motors to the drum, plus the suction gear for picking up the dust, they have lower capacity compared to the industrial-grade machinery that the floor sanding professionals use. This means that you will be working at a considerable disadvantage, causing the task to end up taking longer.
When it comes to skill, picking up tips from blogs and YouTube videos is different to the years of training and experience that the professionals have in the industry. There are so many factors to consider during the sanding process, from the type of wood species being dealt with, the optimal setting of the machinery being operated, direction to follow with the wood grain, the thickness of the floor to be sanded off – with each area presenting room for error. Cases of DIYers digging dents into their floor, causing nicks and divots due to improperly handling the machinery, and even damaging the equipment itself – which they end up having to repair at their own costs, ends up making it a tall order. Then there is the need to ensure that the floor is uniformly sanded, and dealing with the copious amounts of dust that are generated, which poses a health risk and fire hazard – and not to mention the intensive cleaning chore that will result from it. So, while it is possible to sand the floor yourself, the risks far outweigh the benefits.