Frequently Asked Questions
The Sanding Process and Other Tradesmen
Can you explain the process involved in getting my floors sanded?
Firstly, the customer ensures the floor is cleared of all furniture. Where required, we punch and colour fill all nail holes, then we sand the floors ready for the first coat. A sealer is applied, followed shortly by the second coat. You should not walk on this at all as this coat takes 24 hours to dry. We will return the following day to apply the third coat. You can walk on your floor 24 hours after the final coat has been applied. However, we suggest removing your shoes and avoid moving furniture for at least 48 hours. It takes 7 days for the polyurethane to fully cure.
Can I stay in my home while you are sanding & polyurethaning my floors?
Preferably not. We recommend that you find alternative accommodation as access to the floors will be restricted due to the need for a certain amount of drying time each day, which means you are unable to walk on the floor. The smell is also very strong and toxic if moisture-cured polyurethane is used.
Can you do the floors around other tradesmen?
For the best results ensure all other tradesmen have completed their work or are away from the floor before the floor sanding begins. Carpentry, electrical, plastering, plumbing and glazing must be completed before work on the floor can start. We require full use of the floor area and can not risk foot prints being left in our coating by careless tradesmen.
How much dust is involved when sanding my floors?
One of the most common misconceptions is that having your floors sanded can result in a house full of dust. This is simply not true. There will be some dust created, but to be honest we want the dust to be minimal too as it can ruin the finish of the polyurethane coating. Any floor sanding professional who says he can eliminate any dust problems is probably exaggerating as its naturally always around us. As part of our process, the floor is vacuumed numerous times throughout the job and afterwards we vacuum thoroughly to remove any remaining dust. When it's possible, we open doors and windows for the duration of the sanding which assists in minimising dust. We advise to cover or remove from the sanding areas any electronic equipment such as televisions, stereos and game consoles etc.
How long will it take to have my floors sanded and polyurethaned?
Depending on the size, condition of the floor and additional flooring requirements i.e. nail hole punching and filling, staining/blonding etc…
- 1/3 Days to complete up to 40 square metres
- 2/4 Days to complete between 40-80 square metres
- 3/5 Days to complete more than 80+ square metres
What is the difference between moisture cured and water borne polyurethane?
- Moisture cured takes up to 24 hours to dry. It is solvent based and is very strong and toxic smelling.
- Water borne only takes up to 4 hours to dry. It is water based and is non-smelling and non-toxic.
What types of finishes are available to me? Will my floors be shiny?
Low Sheen (Matt)
Is hard wearing and hides scratches and marks on the floor. It is a flatter finish and focused more on the wood rather than the gloss level. A great finish for all timber species and is particularly good for use on floors with children or pets in the home. Ideal for kitchen and living areas.
Satin (Semi Gloss)
Is a moderately shiny, hard wearing all round finish that combines the glow of gloss with the subtlety of a traditional wax finish, being less reflective.
Is the shiniest and most reflective finish. It is hard wearing, but shows scratches and dirty marks. Glare can be a problem in areas with direct sun and shows dirty marks due to highly reflective finish. Not a good finish with children or pets in the home. Looks fantastic on dark timbers.
Please contact us to discuss which finish will be best suited your requirements.
How long will it take for the smell to go?
From the time the solvent based polyurethane has dried it takes approximately 24 hours. We recommend opening all doors and windows to allow ventilation to assist the smell to disappear faster. If you choose water based polyurethane, there will be no smell.
PAINTING OR INSTALLING NEW CARPET
How long will it take for the smell to go?
Paint the ceiling and walls prior to sanding and coating your floors. The skirting boards should be painted after sanding and coating as our machines may rub and mark them during the sanding process.
We are also getting new carpet installed in another area. When should we install the new carpet?
We recommended completing the floor sanding and polyurethaning before laying as new carpet creates dust which may give a dusty speckled finish on contact with the wet polyurethane.
GAPS, HOLES, STAINS, CARPET & STAPLES
My floor boards have gaps between them. Can they be filled?
We can trowel fill your floors with filler which is a similar colour to your floor, however the epoxy has no flexibility, so when the seasons change and your floor moves the timber can crack. I can fill the gaps if you wish, but this is why I don't recommend or guarantee it's longevity.
Do you fill nail holes, gouges and other holes?
Some floors may require nail hole filling while other floors should not be filled so they keep its unique rustic look. Nail hole filling is generally a customer preference. We can discuss whether to fill or not at the time of the quote.
Can you sand out the black water stains in the wet areas and around the nails?
If the stain is not deep into the wood it may come out. But generally water stains don't come out, it’s all dependent on how deep it is soaked into the timber. Once we commence sanding these areas it will become apparent. There are no guarantees that water marks ever come out.
Do you remove carpet, lino, tacks and staples?
Yes. You can either remove carpet and vinyl etc yourself and you can carefully remove tacks and staples with pliers - try not to break them, otherwise they end up ripping the sandpaper off the machines. Otherwise, talk to us and can remove carpet and vinyl, tacks and staples, this is an additional cost which and can be discussed during the quote.
FURNITURE REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT
Do you move the furniture and replace it?
No, the customer is solely responsible for their furniture due to liability and insurance.
When can I put my furniture back?
We recommended 72 hours after the final coat is applied (with carpet or protective felt pads under all furniture and heavy objects), however if you need to return earlier, you can put your furniture back at your own risk after 48 hours. Avoid dragging furniture, always lift and place. Large area rugs need to be kept off the floor for the first 30 days. Use a breathable perforated rubber pad under rugs which are available at most carpet stores.
BENEFITS OF A TIMBER FLOOR
Why should I sand and coat my timber floors?
Timber floors are durable, long lasting and beautiful. The natural colours and patterns found in natural wood create a comfortable and inviting living environment.
Should I have timber floors in my rental properties?
Yes. Polyurethaned timber floors are ideal for rental properties as spills can easily be wiped up before they stain, ensuring you will never have to worry about maintaining a stain filled carpet again.
Do timber floors provide a cleaner sanitised environment?
Absolutely. Carpet may attract and contain many allergenic spores, dust-mites and other unhealthy microbes. Vacuuming does not always remove these.
ESTIMATES & BOOKINGS
Do you give free estimates? How much does it cost to have my floors sanded and polyurethaned?
Yes. We can give you a rough estimate over the phone or we can travel to your site and calculate a free in-home estimate. The cost will depend on the size and condition of the floor. Floor sanding is often more cost effective than alternative floor coverings (e.g. vinyl, carpet and tiles). Generally polyurethaned floors are easier to maintain and keep clean and have a longer life expectancy. Please visit our Pricing & Estimates page for more information.
How far ahead do I need to book in with you?
We recommend you book in as soon as you have a confirmed date, however, two weeks is normally sufficient.
DO IT YOURSELF?
Can I sand and coat the floor myself?
Floor sanding equipment is heavy duty, industrial machinery. If the machines are not used properly and kept constantly moving, evenly across the floor, the resulting unsightly sanding marks will damage and lower the value of the floor. Should you have any doubts over sanding your own floors, you should consider employing a professional to carry out the work. We have all the equipment and experience to do the job efficiently and correctly the first time and we guarantee the results.
We strongly suggest that the average homeowner not try to sand and finish their own floors with rented equipment. It's not that you can't refinish a timber floor, there are just too many pitfalls for the homeowner to hurdle such as:
- Poorly adjusted and maintained rental equipment.
- An out of balance drum or vacuuming system with excessive vibration (which can cause chatter marks).
- Levelling wheels on the sander that are out of adjustment, which can cause grooves and sanding lines.
- Use of incorrect sanding grits for the particular wood being sanded. Each type of wood requires a different combination and grade of sandpapers.
- Not having all of the necessary equipment i.e., edgers, buffers, vacuums, stains, polyurethanes and sandpapers (and a large assortment of smaller, yet necessary items essential to the trade).
- Little or no support from the rental operator.
- A lack of experience which can result in too much, too little, or uneven sanding.
- There are no guarantees on the final results, whereas, we guarantee workmanship on all jobs we undertake.
The sad part is that poorly refinished timber floors cannot show the true beauty of our craft. We have had to rework many "do it yourself" jobs over the years.
How do I clean and maintain my floor after the work has been completed?
Polyurethaned floors should be swept frequently, so that grit (which may scratch the coating) is removed. Use protective mats at entranceways to ensure that grit is not walked on to the floor. Wash the floor using a mop and a bucket filled with 3 litres of hot water and a quarter cup of methylated spirits, killing germs and leaving your floor disinfected and clean. Do not use abrasive cleaners or household detergents which can be abrasive and dull your floor over a period of time.
My current floors are looking worn and dull? What can I do to revitalise them?
Your floor may need a re-glaze (maintenance coat). This is where we wash your floor down with a re-glaze solution then lightly sand back the floor, vacuum, then apply 1 or 2 coats of polyurethane in your choice of finish. They will look near new again, but for a margin of the price! For long term maintenance, keep an eye on the highest wear area of the floor. Recoat your floor before the seal has worn through and you will avoid costly re-sanding. As soon as the first signs of wear are visible, we can refinish the floor. This renovation process is much cheaper and quicker than a full sand and recoat. If this is done on a periodic basis, your floor will last forever. Note that this refinishing will not remove any physical damage (gouges, scratches etc.) that may be present. Once a seal has worn through, the floor will have to be re-sanded.
This refurbishment technique is also useful for rental properties, to renovate the floor between tenancies. It can also be beneficial when you want to sell your property.
Can I wear my shoes or stilettos on the timber floor?
If you really want your floors to last you might consider making the house a shoe-free zone and certainly never wear stilettos on a timber floor as the heel point damages the floor and leaves unsightly indentations.
How long do polyurethaned timber floors last?
Polyurethaned floors can last a lifetime when they are properly maintained. Re-glazing your floors when needed will ensure they remain in peak condition. On average carpet needs to be replaced every 10 or so years.
My floors have been sanded and coated previously, can they be re-sanded again?
Most timber has numerous sands in them, if sanded correctly. This is all dependent on the condition of the floor.