We use our own tradesmen to sand and coat all the new floors we lay as part of our supply and installation work.
These sanding crews are also available to undertake Floor Sanding of existing floors as stand-alone jobs.
We are happy to discuss the pros and cons of the various coating options to achieve the best coating for your circumstances.
Standard Coating options
Rubio Monocoat Oils are VOC free and an attractive and natural looking alternative. Touch ups and repairs can be completed without the need to re-coat the entire floor. The Rubio Monocoat Oil includes a transparent option (known as Pure) as well as a range of 40 colours, plus optional pre-colour, fumed or smoked pre-treatments.
Water-based Polyurethanes are now well developed and perform very well. They have the advantage of being more user friendly, particularly as there is no solvent smell. It is possible for homeowners to stay in their home when this product is applied, so long as they can access the house without walking on the areas being coated.
Moisture-cured Polyurethane is the traditional solvent-based polyurethane which has been used for decades. This coating is hard wearing and cost effective but there is a strong solvent smell when first applied. This smell dissipates in a couple of days. We recommend that homeowners relocate for a couple of nights when this product is applied. Our preference is not to use solvent-based products because of their toxicity and possible long term effects on our tradesmen.
The typical process we follow for floor sanding and coating includes: punch the nails (if needed), sand with a drum floor sander as the primary cut, fill the nail holes and obvious cracks with a coloured putty, sand with a rotary floor sander using higher grit paper to ensure a smooth surface to key with the coating, sand with an Edger to complete the corners and difficult to access areas. If applying polyurethane we apply a sealer coat to bind the top coats securely to the timber floor, apply a second coat - normally a gloss coat for its hard wearing properties, buff sand to ensure a strong bind between the two top coats, apply third coat - normally a Matt or Satin sheen finish. With Rubio Monocoat Oil it is the same sanding process and then the oil is applied and buffed onto the floor.
Our typical requirements
We need reasonable access to the site as our machines are heavy and awkward to carry. The area to be sanded has to be clear of furniture, other tradesmen and their equipment. Any floor coverings should be removed unless we have already agreed to uplift the floor coverings as part of our proposal. Electricity needs to be available on-site with a minimum of two 20 amp power circuits. This is the standard electricity supply found in an occupied home with modern wiring. We cannot operate our sanding machines off a builder’s temporary site box or from leads run from a neighbour’s house, due to the voltage loss running power through long leads.
Particular care is needed with Asbestos
Some vinyl made in the 1970s can have a backing that contains asbestos. If asbestos is found we can coordinate its removal using a specialist asbestos removal firm. Asbestos can only be removed by a specialist contractor and they must certify their work. We need a certificate confirming the asbestos is removed before our floor sanding crew can start work. If you have any concerns, obtaining an asbestos test through a certified laboratory is a straight forward process and costs less than $100. We can coordinate this for you.
How to manage the dust
Our sanding machines are modern and have dust collectors, however there will inevitably be some dust escaping into your home or building. We do our best to minimise this happening but recommend you use sheets to cover any furniture or items that you want to protect. We vacuum thoroughly before applying the final coat of polyurethane.
Hazards to consider for a newly coated floor
During and after the floor has been sanded and coated particular care needs to be taken to avoid introducing moisture onto the floor. Any moisture that is introduced will affect the rate of drying and will affect the final look. Moisture can sometimes be accidentally introduced by walking on the floor with damp shoes or sweaty socks before it is fully dry. If this happens the damage may take up to 12 months to appear and is known as “ghosting”. The remedy for ghosting is a re-sand and coat.
You should be able to walk on the floor from about 24 hours after the final coat has been applied, depending on the drying conditions. The top coat takes about 14 days to fully harden so it is important to treat the floor carefully throughout this period.
You should secure all cat flaps to avoid pets walking on the partly sanded floor or through wet coatings.
Dirt and grit introduced into your floors will result in scratches, and reduce the floor's sheen. It is important to sweep or vacuum your floor at least once a week to remove any dirt and grit. Suitable door mats placed outside and inside each external door can capture a lot of grit. High heels shoes can be worn on a wooden floor. However a broken stiletto heel (that is when the rubber pad has been lost and the metal pin is exposed) will dent most wooden floors.
Over time direct sunlight can cause changes in the colour of your wooden floors. Some timbers will rich-up in colour and others will fade. Wherever possible you can avoid fading by closing curtains and blinds. Rugs on the floor can cause the timber to fade unevenly, so moving the rugs and other furniture occasionally will allow it to 'even out'.
Wooden floors should be cleaned with as little water as possible. If you wet mop it is important to use hot water and then dry off thoroughly straightaway. Sweep or vacuum your floor, finish with a slightly damp mop and use a PH neutral cleaner specifically designed for timber floors. Do not use abrasive household cleaners on your floors as they may contain chemicals which can affect the floor finish. Liquid spills should be wiped immediately using a soft cloth.
If you have dogs, remember to clip their toe nails occasionally as large dogs changing direction at pace can scratch the floor.
Self-adhesive carpet tiles can be cut and placed under the feet of furniture to protect the surface.