12 May, '16
Floor Sanding - Do It Yourself Or Hire a Professional?
Sanding is something your floor will need sooner or later. One of the things you probably wonder about is should you get professional help or not? However, the budget is something we must be aware of at all times. What you need to do is analyse the situation, determine the severity of the problem and accurately evaluate your personal skills. If you lack the basics and you have never done this before, you better hire a professional. If you feel confident in your personal abilities, though, and you don’t mind a bit of hard work, there is no reason not to try!
A Few Things to Consider
Complexity. Floor restoration is not a simple task. If you want the best possible look, you have to get your hands dirty. There is no point sanding if your floor boards are uneven or unstable. Sometimes you have to level the entire subfloor to achieve levelled surface suitable for sanding. You also have to be aware how and when to use the sanding equipment, how to fill the gaps, stain and apply the finish properly. If you are unsure about something, don’t risk it.
Identify the problem. Often there is a specific reason causing issues with your floor. For example, a buckling floor is a result of excessive moisture. Is the subfloor causing this? Maybe it’s a leaking pipe? Has your floor even been laid properly? Find the problem, seek a solution and sand only after you know what you are dealing with. This will prevent such events from occurring again in the future.
Floor Size. To do a proper floor restoration you need two things. Good preparation and a lot of patience. If you know what you are about to do and how to do it, you are halfway done. Some people feel very confident before the start of a job but later find their will lacking. They see the process as boring, overly difficult or too time-consuming while It all comes down to is the amount of time and effort you are willing to invest.
Finish Condition. The more finish there is on the surface, the harder it is to remove. Worn and distressed coatings are much easier to abrade. Prefinished floors come with special factory protection from aluminium oxide. Those are very hard to remove and require a lot of stripping in order to uncover bare wood. Don’t begin tasks you are not sure you can finish!
Why Sand Yourself?
Cost. No matter what we do, it always comes down to money. If you manage to perform the task all on your own, you might save around a quarter of the price you originally had to use to hire a specialist. Keep in mind, this is only if everything goes smoothly. Floor sanding and restoration can be quite an expensive solo adventure if you don't know exactly what to do.
The feeling of satisfaction. Every real professional sander knows this feeling. The one that comes after you apply that last coat of finish and after mentally comparing before and after, you realise you actually did a pretty good job! A job that will be visible to everybody, a testament to your personal skills!
No cut corners. Some flooring companies like to do fast, rushed jobs and use cheap products. A man who works for himself should do a better job than a hired help as long as he has the skill, knowledge and patience to do it.
Why Hire a Professional Flooring Expert?
You pay for quality. Floor restoration is an investment. An investment of your own personal time and effort or one in money. A professional with the proper equipment will do a better job than the vast majority of the people and do it faster.
Time is money. Sanding equipment is expensive. You not only have to hire it but also pay for the consumable. If you lack the training and experience you will probably take a long time until you finish the job. A time that could probably be better spent somewhere else. How much do you value your free time?
No further complications. Some people attempt to sand their floor alone. They find that they don’t have what it takes to finish the task. Then they call a professional to complete what they have started, only to find that they have only managed to make the situation worse. Now those homeowners have to pay for the hired material and consumables and to the flooring company to fix the issues. The additional difficulty and time consumption caused by the first intervention will also be reflected in the price.