Tuesday, 9 August 2016

How to make a wood floor restoration project a success

You want to restore a wooden floor,  you know you'll need to sand down and seal the wood but what now? Where do you go? What do you do? Who should you ask for help?
This article sets out the steps you should take to ensure a successful project with as little stress and complication as possible using contractors.
For information on sanding the floor yourself visit
We have been sanding and restoring wooden floors professionally for years and have found the following advise to be a great guideline to ensure an amazing result you'll want to show off to everyone!

Start Early
We cannot stress this enough, start gathering information well in advance of starting the restoration.  Preparation is key.
We advise creating a folder for all of your sources, especially if you're working on this with other people, you definitely all need to be on the same page for this one!  We suggest creating sections or sub folders for each aspect of the project: the type of floor you have, sanding advice, reclaimer yards,  finishing process and of course, maintenance. Dropbox, Evernote and Yammer are all great online tools which can be accessed anywhere and you can always upload photos to your files too. This is a great idea for documenting the process, who doesn't want to show off a before and after photo?!

Good sources for information about floor sanding:
The following site sets out a handy list of 5 step guides for your whole floor restoration project. It starts with the subfloor and ends with the maintenance on your newly sanded wooden floor.

Managing your expectations
Once you've gathered some information you can start to create a list setting out your expectations. Be realistic in what can be achieved. Some wood floors, especially pine, are full of character. The beauty of wood lies in its subtle knots and colour changes, embrace them and you'll be better off in the long run. 

When dealing with repairs, consult a carpenter, especially if you have a few areas that require special attention. We strongly recommend using reclaimed floor boards especially if it's an older floor not only will you be making better use of sources but the colour will match far better than any new wood will. 
Here are a few reliable sources:
Dedicated Sources
Reclamation Yard around Cambridge:

Sanding conractors
The easiest way to find a floor sanding contractor is to look online, but you could also ask local wood floor suppliers for their recommendations, ask around and see who is suggested the most in your area.  
Research all timber floor sanding firms thoroughly before asking for a quote. Be very wary of firms who give you a price for sanding over the phone, we feel that it is practically impossible to give an accurate quote without seeing the floor first. It's far better for the contractor to inspect the wood before providing a price for the job. 
If you haven't already, make sure that all carpets and underlay are removed so the floor is fully exposed for the contractor's inspection, this way you'll both know exactly what treatments you'll need.
For more information read our article The 5 important factors to consider when choosing a wood floor sanding contractor [insert link}

Get a quote in writing
Getting a quote in writing  from your contractor gives you a clear indication of what you can expect not only in terms of cost, but also what is included and what isn't.  
We advise against a verbal quote, we've seen far too many clients who have been charged more than was discussed or have had steps missed in the floor's treatment.

Managing your timeframes
Wood floor sanding contractors (or at least the good one’s!) work to tight timelines and asking them to change a scheduled job can be a huge disruption for them. Try to allow a few extra days either side of the project just in case you run over with other tasks or the job is delayed slightly. Working with tradespeople you've used in the past can also help or firms that have been recommended to you.

Your floor is now ready for sanding, all other trades have left site and your floor sanding contractor is due in the next few days. What can you do to prepare?
Make sure that all your clothes are clean and your washing up is done. No, seriously! On the day the floors get sanded a tonne of electricity is needed to operate the machines. I you have your washing machine and dishwasher running at the same time it might cause power outages. Better safe than sorry!
The day before the sanding starts it is advised to clear the rooms where the floors will get sanded, store any furniture and loose items elsewhere. All power should be fully operational, floor sanding equipment doesn’t really like working off of extension cords!
It's really helpful if you can keep a space clear for the contractor's van, preferably close to the site, they'll need to carry in lots of equipment to ensure that you get the best finish possible and it's vital that they can get to it all. Make sure you offer tea or coffee, possibly the most important advice ever given. 

Once your beautiful new floor is finished by the wood floor restoration technician it is required to let the floor dry and cure as recommended.
Whatever you do, don't place any rugs back on the floor until 14 days after the sanding and sealing has been finished. Tempting as it is, don't walk on the floor too soon after it has been done, listen to your restorer's expert advise, they really do know best. And while we're at it, don't you dare go dragging heavy items over your freshly finished floor.
Make sure you use the correct cleaning equipment and products to keep your floor looking it's best.  http://www.floorsandingnewmarket.co.uk/#!maintenance/hbwr3

We trust the above guide is helpful and enable you to get the most from your wood floor sanding and restoration project. For more information please feel free to call us on
01223 863632 or email us at info@artofclean.co.uk