The first questions most of our customers ask is, “can you sand my wood floors”? Can you seal my floor with a “non smelly lacquer” or “ can you change the colour of my floors”? The answer to all these questions is usually yes. The technology has progressed so fast that most people are way behind it.
Floor Sanding – Can you sand my wood floors?
In theory all semi solid and solid wood floors can be refinished at least once. Most professional floor sanding contractors are only removing the old pre-existing finish and replacing it with a new one. Old varnishes, waxes, polishes, paints, oils, etc. Over time and after years of use, all wood finishes will require refinishing. This operation will allow the wood to breath and increase its protection against traffic and moisture. Solid wood floors, like parquet floors and heavy floor boards, can be re-sanded over 50 times. Semi solid wood floors or engineered wood floors can only be refinished a few times. The top coat of wood on semi solid wood floors can very thin or very thick. Thinner semi solid wood floors can only be sanded 1 to 2 times. Laminate floors cannot be sanded.
As I said, all wood floors can be refinished in theory. Some solid wood floors or engineered wood floors that are over wet or damaged by years of humidity might not be suitable for sanding. Even if the floor might turn up decent, it will expand and retract depending on weather and it will never be right. So humidity can be a decisive factor.
Floor Sanding – Can you seal my floor with a non smelly lacquer?
Yes. For thousands of years wood floors were sealed with olive oil or animal fat. Fats and oils keep the moisture away and protect the wood. Then petrol was discovered in the 1800s and the floor lacquers and varnish industry has boomed big time. Even the ancient Egyptian people were sealing their floors with a mix of oils, resins and alcohol solvents. Then in the early 2000s water based technology took over and its looks like it is here to stay.
Oils or Waxes – these type of finishes are usually manufactured from olive oils or some types of synthetic oils and will maintain the natural look of the wood floors. Hardwax oils are available in clear or coloured finishes. Most floor oils will finish your wood floor in a matt or satin finish. The main issue with floor oils is the regular maintenance required and very long drying periods. But quality floor oils are still very popular. Over the past few years with the development of online blogs, people have discovered that oiled floors can be a nightmare if not maintained regularly and with the right products. The rule is pretty simple, refresh your wood floors regularly with quality refreshers and wash your floors regularly with proper oiled floor cleaners. Is that simple. If you are using bleach based or strong degreasers on your oiled floors, you will remove the finish and the floor will get water damage. Degreaser – removes oils and fat, Floor Oil – oil, common sense.
Solvent & Oiled Based Lacquers – these products have made history over the past 150 years but the end is near. Very few people ask for solvent based varnishes. The main issue with oil based finishes is the strong odour, the yellowing over time, long drying periods and the pollution generated in the process of manufacturing. You can still buy this this type of product but we can guarantee that there are better products out there.
Water Based Floor Lacquers – our company started using water based floor varnishes a few years back and we are addicted to it. It makes so much sense. Jobs that used to take up to 3 days to complete, can now be completed in 1 day. There are two types of water based floor lacquers, single pack and two pack. Just because a varnish is single pack it does not mean that is low quality or suitable for domestic only. Two pack water based varnishes come with a hardener for faster drying periods and are compatible with oil wood stains. If you are planning to stain a wood floor with an oil wood stain, most single pack floor varnishes will not bond well. Some will and some won`t but you will take a big chance. If you are using a two pack floor varnish, the compatibility is 100%. This is the main difference.
Some of our single pack water based floor varnishes are twice as strong as single pack water based floor lacquers but are pretty useless if used over stains.
The main advantages of water based floor varnishes are:
-fast drying times
-easy washable from tools
What is the best type of water based floor varnish? Is there a big difference between brands? There are many types of water based floor varnishes and lacquers from many brands but only 2 or 3 are in high demand. Over the past few years, since we have started using only water based floor varnishes, we have used many brands from many different countries. Some water based floor varnishes dry faster, others look more natural, some are suitable for commercial, others for domestic, etc. But most water based varnishes are more or less the same. Some floor sanding companies use Bona, others use Junckers, others use Tover and so on. Most of the durability is given by the proper maintenance.
Floor Paints – floor paint on wood can look very good but in the process you will lose the natural look of the wood floor and you will create an artificial finish. Some people love it while others hate it. We recommend floor paints or coloured varnishes for stairs or as a last option for very damaged wood floors.There are many colours and finishes available.
Coloured Varnishes – we use a great range of water based floor varnishes from Tover. These amazing floor varnishes are very durable and have a very natural looking finish. It will change the colour of your floor but the fibre of the wood is still visible. Very professional looking and very long lasting.
Sealants – some people don`t want any type of hard wearing floor finish and instead they will go for floor polish or a floor sealant. This type of finish will provide great protection against moisture. There are matt, satin & glossy finishes.
Wood Stains – many people don`t understand how wood stains work and what its point is. We will explain in detail. A wood stain is a colour. A wood stain has no protective qualities and can only be applied over new floor surfaces or newly sanded wood surfaces. The wood stain will penetrate the wood and it will change the colour of the floor in whatever colour you need it done. Dublin Floor Sanding uses two types of oiled based wood stains. Junckers Wood Stains and Tover Wood Stains. Both types of wood stains are available in many colours.
A wood stain cannot be left unsealed. Over the wood stain we will apply three coats of two pack water based varnish. The water based floor lacquer or varnish has no colour so the final finish on the floor will be the colour of the stain.
Rules for wood staining :
-only apply on raw wood surfaces
-do not over-soak the wood with stain
-do not use single pack varnish
-do sample test on small areas
-wear protective equipment
A wood stain can be applied with a cloth or towel or with a buffing machine when treating bigger surfaces. You can also mix up a few types of wood stains but make sure to mix up enough wood stain for the whole surface.
Floor Sanding – Dust & Dustless Floor Sanding
You want your floor sanding project done with dustless floor sanding technology. The dust collection for standard floor sanding equipment is close to 0 while the dust collection for proper professional belt sanders is somewhere around 98%. This is amazing innovation. You could have a restaurant floor sanded without having to remove the glasses from the bar.
There are two types of systems for collecting dust. Special dust bags or special vacuuming systems. Both types are efficient in some cases and inefficient in other cases. But this should be your first demand when asking for a quote for floor sanding, are you using dustless floor sanding technology?
Floor Sanding – Floor Refinishing Issues
Humidity is woods biggest enemy. Many domestic customers and also many commercial customers of ours are mopping their floors daily with a lot of water. All this water will wash off the finish of the floor and will create water damage all over the floor. Black dots all over the floor or around the areas where the finish was scratched means that your floor is in bad need of restoring. We recommend flat mops and wood floor cleaners.
A wet floor will not bond well with a wax or a varnish, it will not be durable and it will create black patches under the varnish. Many people had their floors refinished only to notice that a few days later the floor finish is wearing away.
Floor Sanding – Gap Filling
Gap filling is a very important job for two good reasons. First of all it will stop the draft and it will keep your home warmer and it will stop liquids leaking down. If you have wood floors upstairs, the chances of water spillages and then ceiling water damage is pretty high. Gap filling also make wood floors look more prestigious and levels up imperfections. We highly recommend this service.
If you own wood floors you need to be aware that there is no permanent floor finish. Any type of floor finish applied to your wood floors has a life expectancy of 1 to 10 years, depending on maintenance and traffic. The best high traffic floor varnish in the world can be damaged in seconds after a quick wash with a bleach based product. Using a degreaser on oiled floor will reduce the protection of your floor instantly. Most of the guarantees given by floor sanding companies is based on recommended maintenance.
The gap filling cream is not a ready to use product. Dust from the floor itself will be mixed up with a special acrylic solution that will look 100% like the floor itself. This cream is very elastic and very durable. There are two types of gap filler, water based and solvent based. For bigger gaps or jobs with high pressure, you can use the solvent gap filler because it fully dries in less than 15 minutes. For jobs where natural looks are important, water based gap fillers are highly recommended. Dublin Floor Sanding uses Junckers Basefill and Junckers Prefill Gap Fillers. Amazing quality products. Gaps up to 0.5 cm can be filled up.
Floor Sanding – Should I paint my house before or after i sand the floor?
It is highly recommended that floor sanding and floor refinishing should be the last job done. All trades carry tools and heavy ladders. These ladders can easily scratch the finish of your wooden floors. Dust from the painters and paint spillages also can damage the finish of your floors. From our experience we recommend that you complete all the building jobs before you hire a floor sanding contractor.
Floor Sanding – Stairs Sanding
Stairs sanding and stairs refinishing is very fussy work. It has to be done by hand and it takes a lot of time. Stairs sanding cannot be priced per square meter. Old stairs cases that were refinished many times over, might not look like new after refinishing. You need to understand that before you hire a floor sanding company.
If you are looking for professional floor sanding services in Dublin, please call us now.