FloorSand UK

Customer, Frequently Asked,

Floor Sanding Questions

Q. Is there any dust?

A. The service is, in the main, Dust Free Sanding, however, if your floor requires more brutal floor sanding to remove stubborn areas, then other machinery may need to be used and in this case, slight dust should be expected. We suggest that provisions are made regardless.

Q. How long will the sanded wooden floor last?

A. This depends on the general footfall, the type of footfall, cleaning and the general maintenance of the wooden floor. On average, domestic sanded and varnished wooden floors should last 5-10 years and commercial areas 3-5 years, however in all environments, we highly recommend that a maintenance contract is in place with an appropriate daily or deep clean process and a periodic ‘buff’n’Coat’ revive regime, which should create a lifelong finish to the floor.

Q. Existing Stains - What can be done about them?

A. We will always attempt to remove or improve existing stains but this cannot be guaranteed and does not form part of our standard floor sanding and varnishing service. If you request for repair work to take place, additional charges may be made for this and if repairs are required, we will charge accordingly. Please note that the integrity or quality of the wood may not be evident at the outset or even during the sanding - this does however usually become evident following the lacquering process. Please contact our office if you have any queries.

Q. What to do with pets when having your floors sanded?

A. Its best to have pets vacate the property whilst the work is taking place or at the very least, have them contained in a separate room. We are a floor sanding company, however if catteries or kennels are not an option for you, we can, by prior arrangement look after your pets with our floorsand dog sitting service and cat sitting service, whilst the work is taking place. They'll get all the care and attention they love. There is no charge for this service but we do ask their food to be supplied.

Q. How soon after can I walk on a newly sanded and varnished floor.

A. This depnds on the type of floor lacquer used. We have acid catalysed lacquers that are dry in around 15-20 minutes and this can vary up to around 1-2hrs, but we do recommend its left overnight. After this, albeit the room can be used, there is a curing period.

Q. How do I look after the floor?

A. Please refer to ‘Cleaning & Maintenance’ on our website.

Q. What area of the country do you provide the floor sanding service?

A. We primarily provide our floor sanding services in Manchester, Stockport, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Altrincham, Knutsford, Cheadle, Macclesfield and all surrounding areas. That said, large area floor sanding is booked nationwide from floor sanding, london to floor sanding, Edinburgh.

Q. Does the varnish/lacquer smell?

A. Water bourne and Oil based products have low levels of odour and clear as the varnish dries. Solvent based varnishes can be quite strong and this is exaggerated with the catalysed versions that have a rapid drying time, because of the accelerated evaporation, so be aware of this and ventilate the room with open windows/vents as much as possible and close off to the rest of the property. At the same time we suggest that the heating is on to accelerate the drying time and speed up the evaporation and the extraction.

Q. Why does the sanded floor go orangey/yellow when varnished and can I avoid not have this?

A. Some standard varnishes naturally make certain timbers yellow or become a tint of orange. This is not necessarily down to the quality of the varnish as many think (several varnishes at the top of the price and quality range, yellow floors) but more down to the actual make – up of the varnish itself. All varnishes and lacquers used by ourselves are at the top range of varnishes available and if you specifically want to avoid yellowing or orange, we have non-yellowing products and methods to help achieve this. In contrast, if you want to specifically create this effect, then we have methods to create it. You tell us want you want and leave the rest to us!

Q. We're not sure whether to have sanded floors or carpets. What's the most cost effective?

A. Wooden floors have become extremely popular in domestic environments in recent years, but they’ve obviously always been around. Apart from the general look and the warmth, this is predominantly down to the durability aspect of a floor, hence floor sanding in Hotels, floor sanding in Churches, floor sanded Dance Floors, floor sanding in Schools and school Halls, Gyms etc etc always have had wooden floors. Since double glazing, insulation and central heating, wooden floors have soared even more in popularity and because of their durability, offer a far more cost effective option to carpets.

Q. How much does your floor sanding cost, I've heard floor finishing costs a lot?

A. Sanding an existing wooden floor is usually the cheapest and most cost effective option! Go to our online quotation section for more information. Usually, we can also give you an accurate idea of the cost for sanding a wooden floor over the phone, and discuss the choice of finish etc. We will always give you a written fixed price quote before starting any work; this quote is completely free of charge, as is the manager's site visit (if req) and advice. As a guide, sanding and refinishing a wooden floor costs less than a mid range carpet. As an indication, a wood floor sanding cost can range from £9 to £12 per square metre for large areas and moving up in price per square metre for smaller areas. Smaller, one or two rooms can range from £15 to £20 per metre depending on the details of the work.

Q. I've got paint splashes on the wooden floor, can you remove this when floor sanding?

A. Yes, don’t worry about this, the floor sanding machines are able to lift this as part of the sanding process. The same applies with staples on the wooden floor. Nails or screws are best removed or hammered in and perhaps countersunk. We will check your wooden floor before proceeding with the work.

Q. There's black (or brown) paint round the edges of the floor - what is this, and can it be removed?

A. Before the days of fitted carpets, it was customary to have a central rug and to paint an insulated bitumen type product around the edges of the room. This was usually in black or brown. When sanded, this immediately turns into a liquid tar-like product and, in doing this, quickly clogs the sanding belts/discs. The bitumen can be removed but there may be a small premium payable to cover the additional cost of materials. Please be aware that, in some cases, there may be a very slight difference in tone. This is because the wood underneath the bitumen has not been exposed to the same levels of air/moisture as the remaining floor has.

Q. Can all stains be removed sanding a floor?

A. Mostly. This all depends on the type of stain, the level of saturation and the time that’s elapsed since the stain was made. Water stains on wooden floors can be problematic as there is a high saturation level. This also true with ink, however there is usually a lesser quantity and therefore the saturation levels are normally minimal and removable as part of the floor sanding process.

Q.What colour will my wooden floor be after you've completed the floor sanding and varnished?ha

A.The colour that your wooden floor will end up is hugely dependent upon the age of the floorboards / wooden floor and an indication of this is by the width of the planks. Narrower boards of, say, 5 inches are comparitevly newer than wider floorboards and, therefore, lighter when varnished and the older floor boards of, say, 6-8 inches and over, are generally older and, therefore, darker when varnished, even with a clear varnish. This refers more to pine, which is the most common form of wood used as floor boards in houses accross the UK . Of course, in instances where you have oak or mahogany etc., then your boards will turn out according to the relevant type of wood. Coloured varnishes are definitely not recommended.

Should you wish to darken your floors then you will have to have a floor staining process and we will advise you on your specific requirements. Please be aware not to go too dark in colour, as the only way to go lighter afterwards is to re-sand, attracting additional cost to yourself. Also, please note, that a stain is only a representation of the chosen colour, be it oak or mahoghany etc. For example, you cannot CHANGE you pine floorboards to oak floorboards merely by staining the floor boards. You would need to have Oak floor boards fitted, to have the floor boards look EXACTLY the way oak looks. Stains are, in the most, not opaque, the stains have transparency and with that, the grain and even a representation of the original colour of the wood is likely to show through.

In instances where liming or whitening is desired, it is advised to be very careful. Some home renovation/interior design magazines illustrate these types of floors as part of room sets. In most cases, these floors have been laid specifically for these room sets, using new or hand picked floorboards. They are subjected to various photographic retouching techniques and have been optimised by use of photographic lighting effects etc. In most real cases, floorboards are not as perfect as this and, therefore, do not turn out as refined as this.

Q. Does the price quoted include staining as well as varnishing?well as varnishing?

A. Unless staining/colouring is specifically requested, the price that you will have been given is for the sanding and varnishing of your floor with a clear varnish. The staining process is a separate application and will be quoted for in addition to the standard price. The current price for staining a wooden floor is around £4-£5 per square metre.

Q. How long does the job take?

A. It depends on the amount of rooms and the size. Usually 1 day for 1-2 standard sized room, 2 days for 3-4 rooms. However, we have multiple sanding machines and floor sanders (manpower), so please enquire - for example, if all rooms are available and free of furniture, we could floor sand 3 or 4 rooms simultaneously and effectively have 3 or 4 rooms floor sanded in one day! This is only done by specific prior arrangement and shouldnt be expected as the standard work completion times. Our 'Online Quotation Form' (go to 'FloorSand Services' dropdown, on the Home page) will automatically work out how many days it will take to do the work and reserve these days from the strat date that you specify on the schedule calendar. In commercial environments where there are larger single areas to be sanded, i.e. halls, gyms, dance floors, reception areas etc, we would carry out the floor sanding works with several floor sanding machines as we have the space available to do so. We can agree a time period specifically to your job.

Q. I have heard a lot of different replies to my question about gap filling. Some floor sanding companies I asked, promote filling gaps on wooden floors, while others are completely against the idea!?
A. Successful gap filling on wooden floors is one of the skilled parts of floor finishing - a lot of floor sanding companies can't or won't do this. The most successful way despite taking longer is,(for gaps less than 4mm or so), to use a mixture of polyvinyl resin and the finest grade sawdust from the floor that is being sanded, (we use a wood floor resin specifically for this job). The mixed resin is spread accross the wooden floor at a specific time of sanding the floor and when dried, is sanded off leaving the remaining residual filler held within the gaps. For floor gaps larger than 4mm, slivers of wood (of the same type) are glued on both sides and carefully secured in,- if it is a pine floor, we use reclaimed pine slivers so they blend in and oak slivers for oak floors and so on. Please note that, when choosing any of these methods, this does not create a 'perfect floor'. There could be some degree of compromise on the final finish, as both floor filling and slivers filleting, do require adding third party separate pieces and/or filling with an artificial resin filler. Wood floors will naturally continue to expand and contract with temperature and age and, whilst the resin product is designed to expand and contract to a point, higher levels of movement can result in gaps re-appearing, (albeit usually to a lesser degree)

Q. I'm want my floors sanded and varnished but I'm also having my room painted and decorated. Which one do I do first?
A.If you have the luxury of choice, we would recommend that you have your floors renovated prior to decorating and then to protect your sanded floors sufficiently to avoid any damage, when your room is going to be decorated. When protecting your wooden floor, we would recommend a plastic cover to prevent paint spillages from seeping and a cloth dust sheet also. (Cloth and plastic dust sheets are now availalble as one sheet). You may also want to consider using some form of wood ply cover (say 6mm) to prevent any damage as a result of decorators’ ladders etc. We can arrange to do this for you at an additional cost or ask your decorator to ensure they practice due care and cover their ladder feet appropriately. In fairness, most decent decorators are familier with the process when floor have been sanded. If you prefer to have the decorating done first, then we'd ask to at least ventilate the room with open windows whilst the work is taking place. We have dust free sanding machines, however if a stubborn area requires more brutal sanding, then minimal light dust can occur and should be expelled through open windows.

Q. What about badly damaged or rotten floorboards A. So long as we are aware of these, we will come to site with reclaimed boards to suit and will replace these at our standard hourly labour charge.

Q. I have asthma. Is it better to have sanded wooden floors?

A. Yes. Dust mites are responsible for many asthma related conditions and allergies and they obviously live in carpets and soft furnishings. Dust mites are significantly reduced by having wooden floors and are, therefore, ideal for asthma sufferers, as well as providing a far healthier environment. Rugs etc. can be washed or dry cleaned to kill any dust mites. Dust mites are not visible to the naked eye but under a microscope they look like this:

Refer to www.healthyflooring.org for more information.

Sanded wooden floors does not provide the environment to harbour dust mites and therefore provieds are far healthier living area.

Q. I have a piano and/or grandfather clock and/or heavy furniture, which we can’t move. Can you help us with this if we have our floor sanded?

A. Whilst we ask you to remove all items for the room being sanded, we are happy to assist in moving more bulky pieces of furniture upon request. Every care is taken when doing this but, unfortunately, our insurances do not cover us for any damage as a result of us moving any items. Therefore, in the unlikely event that damage does occur, we would not be able to cover the repair or replacement of the item. Items like pianos and grandfather clocks are generally moved minimally, to avoid disturbing any delicate mechanisms, and we have a process that we use to floor sand and varnish in, around and under these items.

Q. I have a concrete hearth. Can you do anything with this?

A. Yes, we are able to remove a top section of the concrete and prepare it to have reclaimed boards installed. There is an additional cost for this. Please mention this when requesting a quote.

Q. There are staples in the floor and nails protruding on the surface. What should I do with these?

A. Staples can normally be removed as part of the floor sanding process. Any protruding nails need to be counter sunk and we are able to do this for you when sanding a floor.

Q. Will you remove my carpets?

A. Yes, we can arrange carpet removal upon request. Commercially, we are charged at refuse sites for disposing of trade waste and, therefore, a minimal charge is made for this service.

Q. We are a hotel wanting floor sanding. How do you deal with the need for customers to continually walk on the floor?

A. We are able, by arrangement, to work weekends and/or overnight and, if need be, we can separate sections of a floor and barrier tape off, to avoid any footfall whilst the floor is being renovated. This applies to most commercial public environments. We are more than happy to discuss your individual requirements in more detail.

You are probably asking yourself many questions – obviously we cannot list them all - please email us at info@floorsanduk.com with your questions and we'll answer them usually straight away. Otherwise, call: our Manchester Office on: 0161 300 9983 or Cheshire Office on: 01625 582567 or our Staffordshire Office on: 01606 835 148 and we'll be happy to help you with any questions not listed. In addition, we were awarded a Platinum Recognition Award by the Floor Sanding Federation - for more advice visit: www.floorsandingferation.com/forum