Preparing Your Floors For Sanding And Refinishing

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Preparing Your Floors For Sanding And Refinishing

Preparing Your Floors For Sanding And Refinishing

Floor care is an intricate process, and you want things to go well for your installation – for your peace of mind and to achieve the desired aesthetics and functional goals of the new treatments that will be applied. Each part of the process plays a role in the success of the final outcome. 

Before the professional floor sanding and restoration contractors arrive, there are measures you can undertake to prepare the installation. For starters, clear out the area to remove previous items that could get damaged in the process. A round of cleaning is also recommended to remove the debris that may be on the area. Certainly, any furniture or plants that are in the work area should be removed. Also clear away the pictures, wall hangings, books and other objects that are on the shelves and countertops.  If the refinishing job is being done in the laundry room, remove the washer and dryer. 

Inspect the floor yourself, looking for issues like cracks, which you can then point out to the contractor. Also keep an eye out for exposed screw and nail heads, since these should be flush with the surface or they will damage the sanding equipment that will be used.

Dust will be generated during the floor sanding process, and the systems that the contractors use will determine how much of this escapes into the surrounding space. For instance, there are those who use sanders that have a vacuum and dust containment bags. This method still leads to quite a substantial amount of dust escaping into the environment. More efficient dustless floor sanding systems are already available, which makes it a cleaner process. In your individual capacity, you can put in place measures like having plastic covering in the doorways – just ensure they don’t reach the floor so that they won’t end up getting sucked into the machines. Seal all your food items and put them away, and also seal the cupboard seams and drawers using tape. You should discuss with the floor sanding contractor what kind of measures they have in place for dealing with the dust. 

  • Be keen when taping up surfaces. Remember that even the low adhesive taps can cause paint to peel off, especially if the treatment had not adhered well to the surface. You don’t want a case of the paint, wallpaper, and other finishes peeling off when the tape is removed later on. 

There are floor sanding and refinishing companies that also cater to the preparation tasks, including aspects like pulling up the carpeting, tack strips and staples. When discussing the project with the particular contractor that you’re interested in, ask them if they do this, and if it will be at an extra charge.


  • You should not use a screw driver when removing the tack strips from the floor, since this will result in more gouges being formed. Instead, work with a wonder bar or a pry bar. 
  • If you’re removing linoleum from the floor, also ensure to remove the paper backing. 

Do you have pets? One of the key issues to take into account is the level of noise generated.  While the personnel carrying out the floor sanding will have earplugs, the pets won’t have any such luxury.  The loud sanders may disturb them, causing the pets to become agitated. Also, the kind of finishes being used matters. While water-based products are generally safe when even pets are in the household, oil-based finishes will require the pets to be kept off the area as the finishes dry due to the solvents that are released into the indoor space. You also don’t want a case of the cats or dogs walking on the wet coats that will have been applied. It is recommended that you make alternative arrangements for the pets, such as taking them out to the park or having them stay at the neighbours while the floor restoration project is being carried out.  


Post-Restoration: Actions After The Project Is Completed

Once the floor sanding and refinishing crew have completed the task, the following measures are key:

  • Ensure that traffic is kept off the area that has been worked on for the recommended amount of time. This will be based on how long the finishes applied will take to dry. This usually takes 2 to 3 days, but factors like the number of coats applied, as well as the prevailing temperature and humidity conditions, will affect the timing. For some like water-based finishes, these can have dried within 24 hours. The specific time should be indicated on the product label of the formulations used, or explained to you by the contractor. While foot traffic can be allowed after this period, extra measures like mopping or restring carpets back onto the surface should wait until full curing has occurred. This takes around a week. 
  • Be careful when handling any items that can light a flame. This is key when the finish coats are yet to dry, especially those that have especially high solvent quantities. As a further measure, ensure that the area has been properly ventilated all through the drying period. 


Quality Care For Your Floor

Ensuring that you have hired a professional in the first place is vital, so that everything can go smoothly. This entails working with an experienced contractor whose team has quality equipment, and a track record showcasing their service delivery.  By going over reviews and testimonials that have been left behind by other personnel, you will be in a position to gauge the kind of services you will get when you hire the company in question. In addition to looking into how long the company has been in operation, also ask about their licence and state of insurance. Even the most experienced contractors can still get into an accident, and you want to be protected from any liabilities should this occur. This insurance should cover your property, as well as the personnel involved with the task. Have a discussion about what kinds of guarantees the company has in place for the services rendered – especially the measures that will be taken should you not be satisfied with the final quality of the results. 

Preparing Your Floors For Sanding And Refinishing

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