Giving Your Floor A New Look
When your wood floor was new, it exuded elegance and class. From the character of the grain, to the aesthetic appeal with the wood stain and finish coats applied – it all made the interior space pop. Over the years though, that charm gradually fizzles out. Just like any other surface in the household, the wood floor is bound to wear down – and it comes under a greater load of pressure and abrasive agents. From the soiling getting grinded against the surface by foot traffic, solar radiation causing it to fade out, those intense cleaning sessions as you attempt to scrub out the stubborn stains and dirt spots, to footwear like heels and spiked shoes adding to the strain on the surface – after some time the elegant floor begins looking like a pale shadow of its former self. Scratches all over the floor, be they from the kids’ toy cats that were being played with, the pet’s claws as the cats and dogs run around the house with their claws drawn out, or even those instances where furniture gets dragged across the floor instead of being carried – these will ruin the appeal of the installation.
Water damage is also an issue. Being hygroscopic, wood absorbs and loses moisture depending on the gradient with the surrounding. Steep moisture gradients like when there is a spill that has been allowed to remain on the surface for long, plumbing leaks that resulted in a flooding incident in your home, or the underfloor that the wood was installed on not having fully dried will all lead to the structure absorbing more water, putting it at risk. Cupping or crowning of the floors, buckling or warping of the floor – these are all signs of water damage. The surface may also gradually become grey, which occurs when the finish coats wear down and allow the floor to absorb more water, leading to oxidation within the tissue. Here, getting the floor sanding and refinished is a matter of urgency. If left unchecked, the affected floorboards will become black, and at this point they will need to be replaced.
Fortunately, one of the benefits of having wood floors is that you don’t have to overhaul the entire installation when you want to bring back that original charm and appeal. Simply schedule a floor sanding and refinishing session, where the current worn down treatments are removed, and fresh new ones applied onto the surface. It can be part of the occasional floor maintenance, or you simply want to change the look of things by having a new colour of wood stain applied to keep up with the trends. There are different factors that come into play with regards to the floor sanding, and a key one is dust. Since the sanding process will generate dust, how will it be dealt with?
Dustless vs Sandless Refinishing
One of the issues that people get mixed up over is “dustless floor sanding” and “sandless refinishing”. Clients looking for the restoration services need to differentiate between the two. Let’s expound further.
Usually, for the floor restoration, the surface is sanded down, with the existing finish coats being removed, getting to the bare wood underneath. The raw hardwood that is now exposed can be applied a new wood stain and layers of lacquer, depending on the preferences of the homeowner. A complete floor sanding and refinishing will restore the floor, and this is what is normally recommended, unless the floor is still in good shape, and only a light touch-up is needed. With “sandless refinishing”, the floors won’t be sanded, as you can tell from the name. Instead, the surface is simply screened or buffed, and a clear polyurethane coat applied over it. The underlying coats and blemishes are not resolved. It’s basically like applying a clear nail polish coat on the nails – if there are chips or scratches on the base colour, these will still continue showing even after adding the new coat of gloss. As such, it is only practical when the floor is still in a good condition, and where the imperfections can be overlooked.
So, with sandless refinishing, the key takeaways are:
- The existing treatments on the floor are not removed.
- The colour of the wood stain is not changed.
- It is only a slight touch-up to accentuate the surface and buy you time before a full sanding is needed.
For dustless floor sanding, the focus is dealing with the dust that is generated. The floor will be sanded, grinding off those layers of varnish and wood stain and exposing the wood. However, since the sanding process generates loads of dust, systems are used to capture the particles before they escape into the indoor environment. Otherwise, it will become messy and also pose health risks. Note that, despite the name, no process is 100% dust free. Instead, powerful suction is used, and depending on the quality and capacity of the machinery, some systems get to achieve even up to 99% dust removal.
During the dustless floor sanding process, blemishes of the floor, like the stains that are set into the structure, scratches that were in the wood, gaps that developed over time, all through to chips and cracks can be resolved. For instance, the sanding dust is mixed with a filler product, forming a paste that is applied into the gaps, while for the scratches and gouges different grits of sandpaper are used to even out the surface.
In summary, for the dustless floor sanding:
- Old finish coats are removed
- Imperfections are fixed
- New wood stains and lacquers can be applied
Looking to revitalise your wood floor? We’re here for you. Our personnel have years of experience carrying out floor restoration projects for residential and commercial establishments alike. We have invested heavily in equipping our crew with industrial-grade machinery for the task, and their professional development to keep them up to date with the latest technologies in floor care. With a verifiable track record and solid reputation, you can rest assured that your property will be in the hands of professionals.