Myths About Floor Sanding And Refinishing
Just like every other maintenance project, floor sanding has its fair share of myths and misconceptions. Some of these have a glimmer of truth in them, others are outright lies. Here, we will look at the points circulating out there, to clear your worries and make you well versed about the process. This information is also important to have before you set out to hire a floor sanding company, that way you will know what to watch out for and avoid falling into scams. Let’s delve right into it.
- It’s just about sanding the floor
It’s not just a simple matter of grinding away at the top layers of the wood and removing the old finish. It’s an intricate process, since the surface needs to be ready for the new treatments that are to be applied. Exposed nails need to be driven deeper into the wood, dents and gaps should be filled with wood filler products, scratches and gouges got rid of, and the grain pattern of the wood followed. The floor sanding contractor then applies the finish products that you choose for your installation, from the wood stain and sealants, to the preferred lacquers and varnishing. Having the entire process carried out by the professionals will enable you to get quality results at the end of the process.
- The process can be 100% dustless
Dust is one of the main problems encountered during the floor sanding process. Rental equipment and most sanders available to DIYers usually come with dust bags to collect some of the dust generated, but large amounts still wind up covering the space. Companies offering professional floor sanding services kick things a notch higher by working with dustless systems. Here, powerful vacuums are attached to the sanders to suction up the dust the moment it is ground off the floor. It is then directed off the property through a system of pipes into dust containment units. Technological advancements have enabled most of the dust to be picked up, but it is not currently possible to have a completely 100% dustless service. What is promoted as being dustless usually has systems that pick up 97-99% of the dust. This is still better off compared to the conventional sanders with dust bags, as it reduces the amount of cleaning required after the process.
- You can sand the floor with visible nail heads
Some contractors come forward to tell you that simply because the nail heads are showing from the floorboards, then you need to have new boards installed. Before you proceed, there are a couple of issues that you should note.
Firstly, it is true that hardwood floors have a limited number of times that they can be sanded throughout their life. This is determined by the thickness of the wear layer, which is the section that is to be sanded. Once it has been sanded through, then there’s not much else that can be done, otherwise it will damage the floor itself. In such a situation, then replacement may be considered.
However, nail heads become visible for more than just the wear layer getting depleted. For instance, it can be a case of a weak underlayment, or the floorboards were not properly installed to begin with. In such a situation, the floorboards begin moving, and even pushing themselves up. Here, the floor sanding personnel will simply drive the nails into the wood, and continue with the task. So, before you accept to replace the boards, ask the contractor to show you more evidence that it’s the only choice you have – specifically focusing on the wear layer of the wood, and how many times you have had it sanded before.
- The floor needs to be sanded and refinished annually or every two years
If the contractor tells you this, they are simply trying to get you to sign up for more services that you don’t really need. Be wary of those contractors who want you to have the floor redone often. The fact is that a properly sanded and refinished floor, where the coats have been professionally applied, can last for even 7-10 years without you needing to have it redone. The emphasis here is on a quality job, which is why you should take your time when selecting a floor sanding and refinishing contractor to work on your project.
- Any wood stain can blend with any finish
You can’t just mix up different products. They have to be chemically and structurally compatible. For instance, applying an oil-based wood stain and topping it off with a water-based finish on the same day will lead to a ruined result. The finish will end up peeling off, and then you will need to have another floor sanding and refinishing done to fix the situation. When applying the treatment and finish products, the contractor hired needs to use compatible products, to ensure that they will properly bond. Aspects like drying time also come into focus.
Get Your Floor Sanded And Refinished Professionally
So, is it time for the refinishing? You can carry out a quick water test to check. Here, simply pour a small amount of water – a tablespoonful should suffice – on a section of the hardwood. This is especially for the sections where it already looks worn out. Observe the behaviour of the water droplets. If they pool together and not seep into the wood immediately, then you can rest assured that the sealant is still intact. However, if the water starts seeping into the wood, then it’s a sign that the refinishing is due. The faster that the water seeps into the hardwood, the more deteriorated the existing finish.
There are other signs that you should watch out for. These are the likes of too many scratches on the surface of the floor, fading of the finish, the floorboards turning grey, all through to issues like splinters and worn out edges. They have different causes, but the floor sanding will get rid of the imperfections and give your installation a fresh start. Given that it is an intensive task with lots of room for error, it is recommended that you stick with the professionals, who will ensure that the job is carried out properly right from the start.