Commonly Asked Questions About Floor Sanding
- What affects the floor sanding costs?
Every situation is unique, and is handled as such. From the size of the floor- in the rooms being worked on, how many rooms are to be covered, whether the floor in question is old or new, the kind of timber involved, type of installation- is it solid hardwood or engineered wood, all through to the timing of the service- including those cases where the residential or commercial clients want the task to be carried out outside normal working hours. A site visit is usually required in order to accurately determine the scope of operations that will be carried out.
- How do I find a good company?
There are a couple of pointers that you should look out for. Whether you’ve made an online search on social platforms, business directories, or directly on the search engines like Google and Bing, or a company has been recommended to you by friends and family, different aspects will enable you to weigh whether a particular floor sanding business will be good for your needs. First, there’s the experience that it has. How long has it been in operation? What do its current and past clients have to say about it? Checking out the company’s reviews on the various social media platforms and business directories that have the feature, following up on the referrals that are on the site itself, will enable you to gauge the level of quality of service to expect. Be keen on how the company handles negative reviews. Did they follow through to reach an amicable solution with the client? The company should also be licenced and insured. No matter how professional one is, there is always a risk of accidents, hence it is necessary to deal with a company that has obtained insurance coverage to protect your property. When it comes to the prices, remember that ‘you get what you pay for’. Don’t be quick to jump at the cheapest offers. These come with issues ranging from poor service delivery, inexperienced personnel or low capacity machinery that drags out the process, to the company skipping out on the insurance and leaving you exposed to liabilities, and even cases of hidden costs cropping up down the road. Speaking of which, ensure that you get a written quotation stipulating exactly what is being paid for, and that your queries are addressed before the task has commenced.
- Will it be a messy job?
This is a common concern with the floor sanding jobs. After all, there will be lots of dust being generated- there’s no getting around that fact. Focus then shifts to how the dust itself is handled. The conventional sanders that are available in the market nowadays come with dust bags attached to them, to help in collecting the particles and controlling the quantities that escape into the surrounding environment. This approach is usually witnessed for the DIY floor sanding jobs. In this scenario, the property owner will still need to invest in lots of plastic sheets to cover up the various surfaces, vents, dunks, electronics and sinks in the room to protect them from the dust that will not be collected by the setup.
The professionals use a different approach: dustless floor sanding systems. These are purposely designed to collect over 99% of the dust that gets abraded off the floor surface. High-powered vacuums are attached to the sanders, with a series of hoses. The suction involved picks up the dust particles, which are then safely directed out of the room into containment units immediately. This makes the process far much cleaner and safer compared to the conventional practices. This also means that it cuts down the workload that would have otherwise been necessitated by the clean-up job after the sanding, allowing you to get through it faster and proceed to the finishing processes that are to follow.
- Will 12 grit sandpaper be used?
When it comes to sanding, the lower the grit level, the coarser and more aggressive the sandpaper will be. Most cases of floor sanding start out at 24 – 36 grit, and proceed on to the medium and fine grit sandpaper. However, there are situations that call for grit levels as low as 12. There will be circumstances where removing the old finish and defects that are on the floor will call for the big guns. You don’t have to worry about too much wood being sanded off and ruining your installation. When you hire professional services where the technicians have undergone stringent training and come with years of experience, they will determine the appropriate approach to take for your particular installation. That way you won’t be in a situation where your floor has been ground down more than it should.
- Why is the sanding usually carried out to 80 – 100 grit?
If the goal is to create a smooth surface, why not go all the way to 150 grit? 80 is just above the medium grit, and the floor doesn’t get that glossy smooth finish- so why do contractors tend to reach this point? Well, remember that this is not the same as making a fine piece of furniture. Floor sanding has multiple purposes- including removing scratches, and other blemishes on the surface. It also prepares the floor to receive the treatments that are to follow. As such, there should be enough texture left behind for the finish coats to bond to. Aiming for a mirror-smooth finish will be counterproductive, as it will negatively affect the bonding process with the finishes that are to be applied. Don’t fret- by the time the wood stains, finishes and other treatments have been applied, the actual wood fibre texture will not be detectable through those layers. The final grit used for the sanding is not set in stone. The contractors assess the condition of the floor, and work following the grit sequence until the scratches, sander marks, and other blemishes have been removed, and ensure that the final result allows for optimal bonding with the treatments to be applied.