Debunking Floor Sanding Myths And Outright Lies
As you plan to have your floors sanded and carry out your research on the right company to hire, there will be a couple of assumptions and misconceptions that you will come across along the way. Let’s go through them, breaking down what’s important to know, to ensure that you’re well-informed as you engage the different contractors.
- Dustless floor sanding = Dust FREE sanding
It’s not just about the semantics here. The services marketed as being dustless mean that the amount of dust generated during the process will be significantly less compared to when conventional sanders are being used. On the other hand, dust free means that there won’t be any dust at all – which is a service that currently doesn’t exist. Technological advancements have enabled most of the dust that is produced during the sanding process to be quickly and safely removed, with an effectiveness of even as high as 97-99%. Professional dustless floor sanding services are in this category. Here, the sanders being used are connected to powerful vacuum systems. These suction up the dust immediately it has been produced, and it is then directed to dust containment units through pipes. This approach is far more effective and less messy compared to simply working with a sander that has a dust bag. It ends up reducing the amount of time taken for the cleaning that will follow, and enables the rest of the floor restoration project to be proceeded with much sooner.
This is another assumption that is widely peddled, especially by contractors who want to make a quick buck by scoring a complete floor installation project. Most of the situations where the nails are pushed up from the floor are caused by issues like a weak underlayment, moving foundation that causes the floorboards to gradually shift, and also cases where the installation was not properly done to begin with. In fact, one of the floor preparation measures dune before the floor sanding is hammering the nails into the surface, to ensure that they don’t interfere with the process or damage the sanders. If the contractor is insisting that the floorboards should be replaced, they’ll need to provide more reason and not just say it’s because the nails are showing. For instance, looking at the wear layer will be an indication of just how many more times the floor can be sanded in future.
Speaking of the wear layer, one of the reasons why it is insisted on having a professional carry out the floor sanding is because of DIY blunders like sanding away too much of this layer. Note that each wood floor has a limited number of times in which it can be sanded. When DIYers or rookie sanding companies grind away too much of the surface, then it means that you will find yourself in a situation where you’re forced to replace the boards much earlier than had been anticipated.
It’s not that straightforward. Lot’s of preparation goes into the process, together with planning and factors to consider during execution of the task to ensure that the optimal results are obtained at the end of the floor sanding. Since this is the first stage of the floor restoration project, the outcome here will determine how successful the product will be. Nail settling, fixing damaged boards and filling the gaps and holes in the floor – these all need to be factored into the process, since the goal is to have a uniformly sanded and refinished floor that will remain elegant for years.
Don’t fall for it. As is with any other home renovation projects, if the deal sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is. When you get estimates from different floor sanding companies for your project and notice that they are within a particular price range, and then a random contractor is offering to do the same tasks at 20 -50% less, then that’s a red flag. Why the cheap price? It can be due to different reasons, some of which will leave you frustrated seeking repair services to rectify the damages made. It could be a bait-and-switch tactic that forces you to end up spending far much more than had initially been agreed upon, or it could even be a security threat. Let’s expound on these.
Starting off with the sub-par jobs, some companies offer floor sanding services at cheap prices because they simply have cheap labour or low capacity machinery. Cheap labour means that they are likely relying on unskilled professionals, who will be learning the ropes on your project – exposing your floor to risks of damage. Anything from mishandling the sanders, working with the wrong pace, sanding too much into the wood, or leaving patches of the old finish on the surface – they will all result in problems. Cases of divots or depressions being dug into the floor or the boards themselves getting damaged will all be costly to rectify.
For the bait-and-switch tactics, the contractor basically reels you in with the low price, then once the job has been started, they begin to bring additional costs into the process. Speaking of which, you should always ensure that you get a written quotation when engaging the floor sanding companies. For the security threat, an example is when you invite the “contractor” to conduct a site visit or carry out the job, and they use the opportunity to scope out the place. A couple of nights later, you suddenly have a burglary attempt, only to realise that the individuals that had come to your premises earlier are the ones behind the attack. To avoid this, stick to licensed and established floor sanding companies, which have a track record that you can verify.
As you discuss your project with the prospective companies, focus on the details of the task. The quotation should have a detailed breakdown of the services being paid for. It’s also recommended that you compare rates from different providers before committing to a particular company, that way you will have a better estimate of how much your specific project will cost you.