Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Should I hire a Professional to Sand My Hardwood Floors?
Most of the time my answer to this question is yes. You see, there are a lot of things that go into sanding a floor rather than just putting some sandpaper on the floor slapping some varnish over it and moving on. There are several things that must be decided upon prior to actually sanding. First, you have to be sure that what you are sanding up is disposed of properly. There may be state and local laws on disposal of what ever product was used to finish your floor previously, IE: varnish, lacquers or moisture cured finishes. A professional hardwood floor contractor should be able to determine what types of finishes are on your floor and be versed in the proper disposal of said finishes. This step is very important as improper disposal could cost you a lot of money in the end. Second, it is very important that the grit selection of your sandpaper minimize the amount of flooring that will be sanded up. A solid hardwood floor should last you a lifetime, however, one bad sanding job could rip a lot of life away. Sanding too aggressively could cause deep machine marks and ultimately require board replacements. It is a common misconception that just because your floor is 3/4" thick that you can sand that much off of it. Nope. Only the top portion of the floor board is sand-able. There is a wear layer on the top of the board and once it is gone, blind nails will begin to appear. At this point, the floor has been sanded as far as it can go. Also, all sand paper is not created equal. Most of the paper on the rental market is not top of the line abrasives. If your sand paper begins to "throw" grit while you are sanding, low and behold, there will be tracking in your floor. You should also be aware that how you operate the machine will reveal itself on the finished floor. If you did not maintain straight lines or moved a little too fast or slow, it will be seen. Third, applying surface finishes to a hardwood floor is not as easy as it may sound. It is important to make sure that you apply the finish at the manufacturer's recommended spread rate. Too thin or too heavy can result in pooling and dry spots. The only time that I may recommend refinishing a hardwood floor on your own is in a inconspicuous place like a closet or small area. Most flooring contractors charge a job minimum price on refinishing because the equipment is very labor intensive. One very important point to remember when hiring a professional is that going with the lowest