If you want a spectacular looking house or any other living space, a beautiful looking floor is an integral part of achieving this goal. When you have timber flooring the effort that goes into sanding and polishing the floor will make the difference between it looking mediocre or spectacular!
Timber flooring is definitely the mark of a classy home regardless of whether it’s a modern vintage or another style. Hence, careful thought should be made when choosing a floor sanding company as any mistake can ruin the entire look of the floor as well as cause a huge disappointment.
Why should you be careful when looking for timber floor sanding services?
As we stated earlier, timber flooring is an integral part of bringing the desired look to the entire home and It comes down to the fact that once floor sanding is complete, it is quite difficult to rework it and make changes.
Since some mistakes in providers of floor sanding services are quite common and we see over and over again, we would like to highlight a few of them, so that you can keep them in mind when you decide on your next floor-sanding project! In order to choose wisely, it is important to understand some basics of floor sanding to avoid the pitfalls.
The right amount of sands and right varnish imperative!
First and foremost, the right amount of sands a timber floor is given, impacts on how smooth and even the colour the floor will appear once varnished. The sanding procedure is quite lengthy and time-consuming if done correctly. Normally a floor first needs to be sanded with a very coarse grit paper (around 24 grit) this removes any existing varnish, stains, scratches and levels out any minor existing steps between the timber floorboards. Once this sand is complete, the floor can appear to the untrained eye, quite good as the natural timber colour will be now visible. However, coating the timber at this stage would only serve the purpose of highlighting all the indentations made by the rough sanding paper and make the floor look like it has claw marks running across it.
In order to remove these scratch/claw marks the floor needs to be sanded with higher grit papers to smoothen out the sanding marks. Jumping straight to say a 100grit paper, would not do the trick as the 24 grit creates quite deep markings that cannot be removed by the finer grit paper. Doing this would leave the floor looking patchy and scratches still visible. It has to be done by gradually incrementing the grit papers used until you finally get the floor to an even, smooth surface ready for coating. This usually means the timber floor needs to be sanded anywhere from 4 to 6 times depending on the age and condition of the floor in question. Every section of the floor needs to be sanded repeatedly or you will notice patches that look darker and rougher than others. The ability of the floor sander to manipulate the large sanding machine correctly is also imperative in getting a smooth beautiful finish otherwise you will end up with unsightly drum marks (dints) in places on the timber floor.
Most people don’t realize a floor that is insufficiently sanded also means the coating will last less and the entire timber floor will need coating again sooner! Why do you ask? Well, a rough finished timber floor is more porous, this means that more of the varnish will actually be absorbed into the grain of the timber rather than sitting on top of it if it were smoother and therefore less porous. This inevitably means less varnish is coating and protecting the actual timber and will, therefore, wear out quicker meaning spending more money in the long run.
The type of varnish used is also a factor to consider as there are various types of products on the market and they vary in durability, quality and pricing. Water-based, solvent base, waxed and oil-based ones all different and all with Pros and Cons. The final colour of the floor will also appear different from one product to another. For example, water-based finishes leave the floor looking considerably lighter than solvent-based products. A professional floor sander will be able to advise you of which product best suits your needs and lifestyle.
Varnish that has not applied with the correct procedure can in the long term actually peel off the surface looking a little like a snake shedding its skin. For example, say you just want to freshen up the floor you currently have without having to sand it back to bare timber. This treatment is generally called a re-coat or maintenance coat. If the timber floor is not treated correctly before applying a new coat of varnish, there is a very high chance the new coat will not adhere to the existing coat and peel away after a couple of years. Micro abrasions made with a large orbital sander need to be created on every section of the existing coating for the new varnish to adhere to properly. Unfortunately, peeling floors is something we have seen happen all too often when we are called out to quote jobs.
How do I tell if the floor sanding service company is going to do a professional job?
When I’m looking to hire trades professionally in any field, I ask myself… ‘how does the quote look like? Is it a detailed written quote mentioning exactly what services will be performed, the type of products that will be used and other relevant details or is it a scribbled dollar amount on the back of a business card or piece of paper, or worse still a verbal quote? Having things in writing protects you as you will know exactly what services and products you can expect for the price quoted.
Other things to check for:
- It might be a good idea to ask to view photos of previous work that allows you to see their standard of workmanship?
- Maybe you could check the internet to see if they have positive reviews and referrals from previous customers?
- Ask them how much experience the floor sanding person has and ensure they sound like they know what they are doing and explain thoroughly the various options available to you.
- For peace of mind, I would also check if they have liability insurance?
The most significant error people make while choosing timber floor sanding services is that they do not consider it important to choose experienced companies and instead opt for novice service providers to save a few bucks! This can cause them to pay hugely in the long run when the sanding results they desire are not achieved. The floor may need to be re-sanded and at times even replaced. Thus, it is extremely important to reach out to experts in the field.
Eurostyle Timber Floors is dedicated to offering the best products and service possible. We want you to recommend us to your family and friends and the only way we can ensure that you do that is to ensure the quality of our workmanship is impeccable. Get it right the first time and call us to get a free no-obligation quote.