Should I paint before or after the floor is sanded?

Yes. If practical complete the painting first as any paint on the floor can be sanded off. Care should still be taken to get as little paint as possible on the floor as spills can be difficult to remove from gaps and cracks in the timber. Painting after the completion of floor sanding is ok too, but extra care should be taken as there are limited opportunities to remove drips and roller spatter from a finished floor.

Do you use environmentally friendly products?

Yes. SF prefers to use waterborne polyurethane in most cases. They are low VOC (<5% solvent). They do not have toxic chemicals in them such as Formaldehyde, Xylene and Benzene which are found in solvent based polyurethanes. So this means it’s safe to be in the house during and immediately after the application.

Can I stay in the house while the floor is being sanded?

This depends on the configuration of your house and how much of the floorplan is timber. If you have entrances to the residence  that access rooms that do not require sanding (carpet, tiles etc) and your can live within these areas for a few days then staying is fine. The raw timber can be walked on during the rough and intermediate  sanding stages, but after fine sanding and the also after the finish is applied there should be no foot traffic.

Houses can be divided up into smaller jobs and completed in stages, but this is less cost effective.   

When Spirit based stains are used to colour timber and also when Solvent based finishes are applied SF does not recommend staying in the house for at least 24hrs after the application due to their high VOC content.

Is there much dust?

All the premium quality machines SF uses have inbuilt dust extraction vacuums or can have an external vacuum attached. This captures most dust, however there are some fugitive emissions of very fine particles through the canvas dust bags or out the filtered vacuum exhaust.  SF sheets off bookcases, adjoining rooms, fireplaces, aircond ducts, light shades, curtains etc to ensure the dust is contained. Then all other surfaces are dusted or wiped down before the job is complete.

How long after the floor is coated do I have to wait till I can walk on it.

6 – 24 hours (variation in different finishes) after application of the final coat light foot traffic (socks only) is permitted. It’s good to wait at least 48 hours before placing furniture on the floor. The leading waterborne finish is at almost full scratch resistance after 24 hours while solvent based finishes can take up to 7 days  to cure.

Do I have to remove the carpet?

No. SF can do this for you. However it can be time consuming pulling up smoothedge (used to secure carpet) and staples that secure the underlay. Doing this requires few tools and little expertise so DIY can save you some money.

What type of finish?

Waterborne polyurethane is SF’s most popular type of floor finish for a number of reasons. It is low VOC so toxic fumes are not affecting the job site. They dry and cure considerably faster than other finishes. They are non-yellowing so your floor retains its natural colours and variations. The latest generation formulas are just as scratch and wear resistant as solvent based polyurethane.

Solvent based polyurethane is more cost effective than waterborne. It is less reactive to tannins and oils in some timbers too. The finish has excellent self-levelling qualities.

Tung oils can bring out rich colours in timbers and have their own unique lustre. However They can take days to dry and require protective coatings of gemini polish to be applied on a very regular basis in perpetuity.

There are many other types of finishes including stains, waxes, molecular oils, and estapol to name a few. They all have their pluses and minuses. So do some research and discuss your options with your floor sanding professional or representative from the coating company.  

How long will it last?

Between 5 and 10 years before a quick buff and recoat depending how the floor is treated. A family with kids and hyperactive Jack Russell Terrier is more likely to wear or scratch the surface than an elderly couple with a lazy labrador.

Sweeping or vacuuming regularly reduces the damage done by grit being walked into the surface. Only use a damp mop. Wet mopping causes water damage and moves dirt into cracks and indentations.  Households that take there shoes off inside usually get extremely good longevity from timber floors.

How much does it cost to get my floor sanded?

As little as $10-15 per square metre for recoating.

Around $30-40 for sanding, polishing clear coating.

Staining and limewashing are slightly more expensive than clear.

Can a floating floor be sanded?

Some can be. The veneer of timber on the top can be 3mm, 6mm or 12mm depending on the type. The 6mm and 12mm are usually ok to sand. The 3mm can be sanded but it is not recommended. Cracking and peeling of the veneer can result as most of the original depth will be removed in the sanding process.