In this document you will find some Commonly Asked Questions for our Wood Floor Sanding Service, and their answers. We hope that these answers will help you understand the service better. For any further information you can always contact Great Floor Sanding‘s representatives on 020 3404 9697!
Will there be much dust?
Quick answer: No , Our state-of-the-art machinery is dust free
Obviously the sanding machines make enormous amount of dust, but the floor sanding machines are all attached to a dedicated automatic dust extraction unit, that extracts about 98% of the dust produced, and we vacuum for several hours a day with a powerful industrial vacuum cleaner, keeping your premises as clean as possible. A tiny amount of dust will get out into the air, so we would recommend you to remove any sensitive electronic equipment, such as TV’s, Computers and Sound systems in the room. We will always ensure the room is spotless once the work has been carried out.
Is the process noisy?
Quick answer: Yes, the machines are quite powerful and noisy.
The preparation stage (punching in nails) and the sanding process is very noisy. The sanding machines have powerful electric motors and we will be wearing hearing protectors during the sanding process, but in the next room and with the door shut, it will not be unpleasantly noisy. We would take into consideration all your requests, show understanding in dealing with your neighbors and we can work in the requested from you hours and accommodate your needs.
Should we decorate the rooms before or after we sand the floor?
Quick answer: Before is best.
In reality it really is up to you and your decorators. We would recommend getting the decorating completed before the sanding process starts. The truth is that we usually take much more care of the decorators’ work and are much cleaner (much less dust believe it or not) than they do of our floors. It is much easier to remove little sanding dust from a freshly painted wall, as long as it is completely dry, than it is to remove paint from freshly finished wooden floors. Whilst we endeavor to take every effort to be careful there may be some slight scuffing or coating residue to the skirting boards which is largely unavoidable as we sand and finish right up to the edge, the skirting may need to be touched up afterwards.
Do I have to clear the room before you arrive?
Quick answer: Yes, please. It is best if you can clear the entire room before we arrive.
- Carpets and other floor coverings:
We cannot quote for the works without seeing the whole floor first, as repair works can sometimes form a considerable part of the cost for your restoration project (especially for old pine floors in London), so we will need to inspect all of the floor carefully during our free site survey. We offer carpet removal service as well, so this can be organized before the viewing (see our price page for your reference)
- Furniture and other bulky items:
Furniture will need to be removed in the rooms being sanded. Anything that is not removed can be sanded around. Also, for obvious reasons if you absolutely cannot move an odd item or you need some help we can send a team to move furniture before we start, and clear the area upfront (please see our price guide for additional charges). Have in mind that the furniture should not be put back in the room for at least 36hrs to give the floor finish time to begin hardening.
- Electronics (TV’s, Computers and other sensible equipment), fixing and decoration
We would recommend you to remove any sensitive electronic equipment, such as TVs, Computers and Sound systems from the room, as well as any paintings or any other decoration from the room’s walls.
How long will the job take?
Quick answer: 1-3 days per average size room, depending on the scope of works. May be more if extensive filling and repairs are needed.
All jobs are different. Even small rooms take a full day, so the job would never take less than 1 day. Most jobs take about two days to complete if you want a high build and smooth finish. Larger areas , multiple rooms and repair works can take longer. It would be best if you can insure that the areas to be sanded will be free of traffic for this period of time. We will discuss approximate timings with you when we give you a free on-site consultation, so we can work round you to minimize any disruption. Commercial jobs with minor repairs can normally take 2-3 days / nights for about 200 – 300 m2 in one area (we can work during night time where and when possible).
Can you fill gaps ? Would you recommend this and how do you do it?
Quick answer: Yes, we do, and we recommend it. We use resin & sawdust or wood slivers.
We recommend that any gaps in between floorboards be filled. This leaves your flooring with a seamless surface and prevents any droughts. Furthermore, gap filling prevents dust and dirt from falling between floorboards and building up in open crevasses, making cleaning of your floor much easier. Gap filling can also stops insects from invading your home from underneath the floorboards and leaves a smooth, seamless finish, giving you beautifully sealed floors for years to come.
There are different methods for Gap Filling, and we advise on a job by job basis, as there is a lot to consider. Here are some of the methods we use:
- Gap Filling with Resin (for small gaps under 4mm)
The conventional way of gap filling floor boards is to mix clear resin filler with saw dust collected during the floor sanding process with the 80 grit or finer sanding, to create a thick putty with the same color as the floors, applied with a spatula between the floorboards. This method is mainly used for gaps on parquet floors and floors where the gab is less than 4mm wide. This is the least costly method, but also the least effective since it can easily crack and fall out. The advantage of this gap filling method is that it provide basis for smooth floor finish, it dries quickly and the gap filling mixture has identical color to your flooring. The down side of resin gap filling is that it is suitable for solid and stable planks over solid base / joist support. On non-grooved floors such as the original pine floor boards, it is difficult to guarantee its durability any movement caused by weak, cracked or over-sanded boards as well as movement in the joists, will cause displacement of the filling.
This method is often more efficient when applied on parquet flooring or lock joint floorboards where the gap filling will not fall through. To minimize the risk of gap filling falling through, we use an exceptionally high quality of resin filler products
- Solid Wood Strips / Wood Slivers (for gaps larger than 5mm)
Larger gaps from 5 – 12 mm can be filled in using strips of reclaimed wood, and the strips are cut to a tapered shape then glued and hammered into the gaps before being planed off and sanded smooth. This method works slightly better as the seasonal expansion of the wood moves with the slivers. Wood slivers are usually very time consuming to fit and cannot be installed into thinner gaps or unevenly spaced gaps. We have a stock of specially machined slivers made from reclaimed wood stock.
Can we change the color of the floor (wood)?
Quick answer: Yes, we can stain the wood floor.
Staining a floor a different colour is possible. After the floor has been sanded the floor can be stained a darker colour. We use a number of water based stains and have a wide variety of shades to choose from. The function of stain is more than just making the wood look better. It also helps protect it against the elements and wear and tear. When a piece of wood has varying grain patterns, the function of a stain will make certain grains in the wood stand out more, If the wood is of a singular grain, the stain will work as protection against the grain of the wood itself. Stains are economical to maintain, and they resist cracking, peeling and blistering. After we sand the floor, we can do a small test on different areas, so you can see how the stain will change the colour and you can choose from.
What finish options are there?
Quick answer: Very durable lacquer (Varnish), traditional less durable wax and oil.
- Water based lacquers (Varnish)
The majority of the floors we do, we finish with high performance light commercial water based floor lacquers from Junkers or Bona. These lacquers are natural looking, environmentally friendly, odour free, and give excellent durability with virtually no maintenance, as used in bars, museums, hotels and retail outlets. They come in different finish – matt, satin and gloss. We advise matt or satin finishes, as the gloss version does not show as good clarity. A lacquered flooring will give a shiny reflective effect, leaving the room feeling fresh and clean. Usually water-based finishes are very durable
- Hardwax Oil
Wax is completely natural floor finish, safe for you and your family. It offers the softest and most mellow of finishes and leaves your floor able to breathe naturally. Wax finishes usually require two applications. This organic product is based on natural vegetable oils and waxes. As with natural oil, hardwax oil emphasis the natural grain of the wood and brings out its inherent colour. An oiled flooring has an aged feel to it giving a room an authentic warm atmosphere. Great for areas that have high traffic volumes such as receptions. An oiled floor will require a maintenance (revive) coat to be applied every 16 – 24 months for residential or 4 – 6 month for floors with commercial use.
How long should my refurbished floor last for?
Quick answer: Varnish – about 7 – 10 years before re-coat, Oil – Regular re-coating
Longevity depends upon a number of factors and no company can give an honest full guarantee for how long it would last. There are two main threats to your floor, minimizing these will make any floor last longer. First one is Dirt Ingress and Scratching, brushing and physical deformation of the actual wood.
All the finishes we use move with the wood and deform with it when it gets compressed. Light commercial and solvent based lacquers should last about 7 to 10 years before a re-coating is required (in a domestic environment), depending on how carefully the floor is maintained. Modern single component wax and wax oil floors will require regular maintenance and re-coating every 18 to 36 months, depending on the colour and level of traffic, and less for areas exposed to water.
Useful Floor Sanding Terms and Tools
Hypoallergenic Floor – If your wooden flooring is well sanded and sealed, there is no place for pollen, mold and animal dander to hide and thrive. This makes wood floors perfect for people prone to allergies of all kind.
Belt Floor Sander – Every belt sander has two rollers – an idler and a powered one. The machine is perfect for performing a sanding on flat surfaces (floors). Most high-end belt/drum floor sanding machines have a dust pick-up devices attached. This way the amount of dust particles in the air is reduced significantly.
Wet-Dry Vacuums – Vacuum cleaners of this kind are extremely powerful and are used for cleaning huge amounts of sawdust.
Floor Sanding Rolls – Such sanding rolls are ideal for coarse sanding and removing urethane floor finish on the first cut.
Edge Sander – The edge floor sanders are compact devices. They can reach spots that the ordinary belt sander can’t be used. Moreover, most edge sanders are easy to manoeuvre. Some of them have a lamp which makes sanding of dark places much easier.
Floor Buffer – This professional device is often called rotary floor machine or floor polisher. Its soft round pad rotates at over 1100 RPM and makes the buffed surface smooth and clean. It’s perfect for freshly sanded and polished floors.