Frequently Asked Questions

floor Sanding

My floor looks a mess I think it may be too bad to sand.

Most of floors we see are bad, most haven’t seen the light of day for years, and when they have they have been neglected. Sanding a floor strips away layers of wood; around 3mm is taken off to reveal a clean surface. Yes it will come up as new; we don’t stop sanding until it does.

How long does a floor take to do?

An average size room say 14 by 12ft or 4.5m by 4m will take a couple of days, depending on the condition and the amount of repairs that are needed.

What benefits do sanded floor have?

Finished Floors are hygienic, practical and very stylish , they do not harbour parasites like carpets do and they are virtually maintenance free .Very easy to clean, they do not have funky odours from the previous occupants pets or tobacco, wood is also a great heat conductor, cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Filling gaps between the boards, good idea?

Filling gaps is an effective way of eliminating draughts, 98% of houses have air bricks at ground level. There will be a continuous amount of air passing under the house, when you take up the carpet that air will create a vacuum and suck warm air from your room and pass it out the house through the air bricks. Filling gaps stops the warm air leaving the room maintaining the temperature of the room as you remember it was with carpet. Above ground level rooms; this stream of air is not present so it would be purely a decorative reason. Gap filling actually look great on most floors.

How do you fill gaps?

This is probably the most frequent question we’re hit with – we fill gaps with a mixture of three methods, strips of wood that are glued in to position. This method is with out doubt the best for look and for reliability. We use gap filler for really small gaps where stripes of wood can’t be used and also for fine line repairs in the boards, or recently we added a black expanding neoprene strip which has the benefit of retaining the oldie worldie look of the floorboards but stops draughts coming up through the floorboards.

Click link to see black expanding neoprene strip

http://www.draughtex.co.uk/gallery.php

What colour will the floor be after sanding?

Aged pine floorboards have a nice warmth to them, its hard to say as every floor is slightly different, golden brown is common, antique honey pine is also common, you cant tell until you start sanding, the colour depends on the age of the wood and its acclimatisation with oxygen. Block or strip floors are usually oak, beech, ash, maple, cedar, or dark hardwoods mixed together and laid in herringbone patterns or basket weave or in the case of strips length ways.

Do you use a quality floor varnish?

We want your varnish to give your floors year and years of protection, we do not use any of the varnishes found in D.I.Y shops or stores. We use only high quality professional varnish produced by Leading supplier Bonakemi. Its water based, has very little odour and gives a beautiful hard wearing finish. This varnish is sold exclusively to us direct from Bonakemi.

When will I be able to use the floor?

An average room with floorboards without gaps filled takes a full day. As our varnish is quick drying you can walk on the floor about 8 hours after its last coat, light traffic and ideally wearing just socks. However it takes an extra couple of days for the varnish to fully cure to its peak hardness so we advice this before placing furniture on the floor.

How long will the sanded wooden floor last?

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 of deep clean process and a periodic ‘buff’n’Coat’ revive regime, which should create a lifelong finish to the floor.

Who will do the work?

We will send a trained operative to come and give you an estimate completely free of charge. It will usually be the same operative who turns up on the day to do the sanding works.

Should I be decorated before or after?

Simple answer to that question is decorate first. What we would ask is that the last coat of paint to go on the skirting board is applied after we have done the floor.

How do I book you to do my floor?

Drop us a line via phone or e-mail with the dimensions of the room/s. We can give you a cost based on your measurements. If the price seems reasonable we will send a trained operative to come and give you an estimate completely free of charge. We then e-mail or post the written estimate which is both detailed and comprehensive. Our rates are always competitive and we can start the works within days of the quotation.

Will it be very dusty?

We are professionals working in your house and we will always respect that. Our machines are of the latest technology and have excellent dust extraction units. We mask up the gaps on wardrobes and cupboards, in a hallway, we put a sheet up around the stairwell to stop dust spreading.

Is there any dust?

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.

What to do with pets when having your floors sanded?

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 be supplied.

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

This depends 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 1-2 hrs, but we do recommend its left overnight. After this, albeit the room can be used, there is a curing period.

What are of the country do you provide the floor sanding service?

We primarily provide our floor sanding services in London & the Home Counties.

Does the varnish/lacquer smell?

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 version 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.

Why does the sanded floor go orange/yellow when varnished and can I avoid not having this?

Some standard varnishes naturally make certain timbers yellow or become a tint of orange. This is no 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 what you want and leave the rest to us!

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

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. always have 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.

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

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.

There’s black (or brown) paint round the edges of the floor – what is this, and can it be removed?

Before the days of fitted carpets, it was customary to have a central rug and to paint a bitumen type product around the edges of the room. This was usually in black or brown. When sanded, it immediately turns into a liquid tar-like product and, in doing this, quickly clogs the sanding belt/discs. The bitumen can be removed but here 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 the remaining floor has.

Can all stains be removed?

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 the wooden floors can be problematic as there is a high saturation level. This is 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.

What colour will my wooden floor be after you’ve completed the floor sanding and varnished?

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 comparatively 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 floorboards across houses in the UK. Of course, in instances where you have oak or mahogany etc., then your boards will turn our 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 mahogany etc. For example, you cannot CHANGE your 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 some 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 handpicked 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.

Does the price quoted include staining as well as varnishing?

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 per square metre.

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!?

Successful gap filling on wooden floors is one of the skilled parts of floor varnishing – 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 across 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

We have recently added a black expanding neoprene strip which has the advantage of retaining the floors oldie worldie look but stopping any draughts coming through the floorboards

Click link to see black expanding neoprene strip

http://www.draughtex.co.uk/gallery.php

What about badly damaged or rotten floorboards?

So long as are aware of these, we will come to site with reclaimed boards to suit and will replace these.

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

Yes. Dust mites are responsible for many asthma related conditions and allergies and the obviously live in carpets and sot 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.

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 out floor sanded?

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 the request. Every care is taken when doing this, but, unfortunately, our insurances do not cover us for any damage that 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.

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

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.

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

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

Will you remove my carpets?

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

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

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 applied to most commercial public environments. We are more than happy to discuss your individual requirements in more detail.