Factors Considered When Sanding And Refinishing Wood Floors
When carrying out a floor restoration project, different issues come into focus. From the gear to the experience of the personnel who will perform the task, to the processes required to end up with the right result. Here are considerations that the property owner needs to weigh before making a decision on the path that will be taken:
Money is probably one of the first things that will come to mind. After all, you want a solution that will be friendly to your wallet. There are different factors that affect the cost of the floor sanding and restoration, ranging from the size of the area to be covered, the type of flooring in question, whether it’s a new installation or whether there are existing finish coats that need to be removed.
Regarding costs, you also need to settle on who will do the actual work:
Here, one decides to do away with the labour costs and budget of bringing in a floor specialist, and takes on the job themselves. At face value, it seems that you will save lots of money, right? Well, the actual reality will be different. The first hurdle you’ll need to overcome is sourcing the equipment. With DIY you can hire floor sanding machines from the local dealerships. Ideally, one would use the machines correctly, and get the desired results. However, there could be a wide range of problems. For starters, the rented equipment has a lower capacity compared to the industrial-grade machinery that the professionals use, meaning that you will already be at a disadvantage when it comes to the power needed for a quick and thorough job. Secondly, due to improper handling by amateurs, the sanding machines could be damaged – and any malfunctioning could end up ruining your floor.
Mistakes during the sanding, such as a simple oversight like forgetting to drive down the exposed railheads, can cause the belt of the sander to get damaged, and the repair costs will be added to your bill. Imperfections on the floor, from divots, chatter marks, swirl marks and blunders during the coating – these will remove more resources to be used to rectify, since it will usually call for another round of sanding. In the end, you spend much more than you would have had you brought on a floor sanding specialist right from the word go – and not to mention the frustration that you would put yourself through.
Sure, at the onset this will cost you more than simply going the DIY route. However, when dealing with a professional company that has years of experience and a solid track record to boot, you will have the peace of mind that your floor is safe, and the task will be completed in a fraction of the time that a DIY job would have taken. What’s more, an established floor sanding and restoration businesses have invested heavily in industrial-grade machines that result in a higher efficiency for the job, enabling them to cut down labour costs and resource consumption, and the savings can then be transferred to you through affordable quotations. Speaking of which, after discussing the job with the contractor and settling on the terms, ensure that you get a written quotation.
Are you looking to sand one or two rooms, or do you want to refinish the entire flooring in your home? Are you dealing with areas like the hallways that have been worn down due to the high level of traffic being handled, or are you a property manager preparing the residential or commercial space for new tenants? Is it a new installation where finish coats are to be applied, or are you renovating an old floor? The size of the job will definitely impact on the resources required for the task. Here, it is recommended that you get quotations from different local floor sanding companies, to compare their rates and see the expected budget. You don’t want to fall for the unscrupulous contractors offering to carry out the job at half the market rates – and only end up ruining your floor and causing you lots of headache in the process, and you also don’t want to overpay for services that you would get at more affordable rates. The goal is to get value for your money’s worth.
- Skill level
The floor restoration project can be broken down into three stages:
- First, there’s the preparation for the job. This involves everything from lifting the carpet to removing the tiles or vinyl that’s on the surface. Damaged boards need to be repaid, and the exposed screws and nail heads driven into the floor.
- Next is the sanding itself. Here, aspects like the type of sander to use – from drum and belt sanders to the orbital and planetary sanders, edgers for the edges of the floor, to sections that will need to be hand sanded, grit sequences to follow, the directions in which to manoeuvre the sander – they all impact the final results.
- Thirdly will be the finishing process, from the wood stains and sealants that will be applied, to the coats of lacquer or varnish. Here, the preferred colouration and gloss level based on your individual preferences, level of durability desired and ease of application and maintenance also come into focus.
For quality results to be obtained, one needs to get it right at each stage. For this, professional help is highly recommended. Sure, there are lots of blogs and video tutorials on handy tips that can be used to get the job done, but the common result is the DIYer giving up midway and calling in the pros to come in and fix the imperfections created and complete the task. Rookie contractors, on the other hand, reel one in with unbelievably low prices, yet end up taking shortcuts during the job that end up damaging the floor and leaving you exasperated. Bringing on a licensed and insured company, with trained and experienced personnel, will ensure that the take is completed within the scheduled time, and that you maintain the floor’s structural integrity, and end up with the final look and feel that you desire.