My floor looks a mess I think it may be too bad.
The majority of floors are bad, most haven't seen the light of day for years, they have been neglected. Sanding a floor strips away layers of wood to reveal a clean surface. It will come up good.
It's in a bad way what can be done?
If you have floorboards chances are they will need some repairs or replacement boards. In the past boards were lifted to lay pipes or power cables leaving a floor that needs attention before sanding can
Block or strip floors are usually ok maybe a few loose blocks which can easily be stuck back.
I do not recommend using reclaimed boards.
They usually come from industrial sites and are actually thicker than the pine boards used in houses. They are also pre sanded which brings them up very pale and looking like brand new boards. I recommend using old floor boards from houses uncleaned, and not sanded.
How long will it take?
An average size room say 12 by 12ft or 4m by 4m will take a couple of days, depending on the amount of repairs that need attention.
What are the benefits of a sanded floor?
Sanded floors are hygienic, practical, sleek, they do not harbour parasites like carpets. They are low maintenance, easy to clean, they do not smell of the previous occupants dog or smoke. They are great for potty training, cool in the summer, warm in the winter, they have a character all of their own.
And the drawbacks?
They can be noisy especially in kids rooms, sanded stairs can be slippery (consider a runner) if you have children, apart from that not much.
Will Furniture need to be moved out completely before sanding ?
Ideally yes, although I know sometimes that isn't possible. If you have a sofa that you can't get out I can work round it. If you have a through room, all of the furniture can go at one end of the room and a sheet dropped down the dividing wall to seal off the two spaces.
What about filling gaps between the boards ?
Gap filling is an extremely effective way of cutting down on draughts, if you have a cellar or lots of air bricks at ground level there will be a constant stream of air passing under the house, when you pull up a carpet that air will rise through the gaps. Filling them stops the cold air coming into the room making it warmer than it would if the gaps had not been filled. In an upstairs room this stream of air is not present so it would be purely a cosmetic exercise. Having said that gapped floors look great where ever they are in the house.
How are they filled?
Large gaps are filled with strips of wood that are glued in place. Small gaps, holes and cracks are filled with a specialist resin mixed with the actual floors sanding dust to form very good colour matched filler.
What colour will the floor be when it's sanded?
Old pine floorboards have a nice glow to them sometimes they are a reddish brown, sometimes a rich warm brown to a yellowish brown, you can't tell until you start sanding. The colour depends on the climate the tree grew in before it was felled, how much light the wood has seen once laid in the house etc. Block or strip floors are usually oak, beech, ash, maple, cedar, or dark hardwoods mixed to gether and laid in herringbone patterns or in the case of strips length ways. If you have a particular colour in mind I can stain the floor to match your ideas.
What varnish do I use?
I do not use any of the varnishes sold in D.I.Y shops and stores. I use a professional matt silk varnish made by Bonakemi called Sprectra. It's water based, has very little odour and gives a beautiful hard-wearing finish.
How long will the room be out of action ?
An average room with floorboards without gaps filled takes a couple of days. As the varnish is quick drying you can walk on the floor about 4 hours after its dry. However it takes an extra couple of days for the varnish to fully cure before placing furniture.
How long will it last.
The general rule is the more traffic the greater the wear. In a house with adults a couple of children maybe a dog a hall floor which receives most traffic in a house, without regular vacuuming or washing might last 4-5 years, a bedroom 9 years or more, sitting room 6-7 years. The floor will last longer with regular cleaning as the dust and grit from outside wears down the varnish, felt pads on chairs, castors on sofas also helps.
How much does it cost?
Prices start at £18 per sq Metre for sanding floorboards or a block floor with no repairs to do. To sand the floorboards and seal with three coats of varnish is currently £22 per sq Metre. Gap filling is charged at £6 per sq Metre. All my prices include labour and materials. I do not charge VAT
Who does the work?
Me, I am a one man band, I will come and do the estimates which are free of charge and turn up on the day to start the work myself. Occasionally a trained operative may help me, if there's a lot to do in a short space of time. I do not subcontract the work out.
Should the room be decorated before or after ?
I know what's involved with decorating a room, stripping wallpaper endless filling and rubbing down painting, steps and ladders being dragged around the room all potential disaster hot spots for a freshly sanded floor. At the end of the day I create a small amount of dust which is easy to get rid of thanks to a powerful vacuum which I use often, and when I am ready for varnishing. Whilst we're on this subject all plumbing, electrical and any other works should be carried out before sanding.
Is it dusty?
It can be but I am a professional working in your house and I always respect that. The machines have effective vacuums on them; I empty the dust bags a lot, if there are wardrobes or cupboards I mask up the gaps, in a hall I'll put a sheet up around the stairwell to stop dust spreading. I also sweep up a lot and vacuum as well as having windows open which draws out the dust.
Is it noisy?
Yes, I spend most of the day wearing a mask and ear defenders. You should warn your neighbours what is going on.
I want a sanded floor what happens next?
Call or email with the dimensions of the room/s. I can give you an idea of cost based on your measurements. If the price quoted seems reasonable I will make an appointment, usually in the evening, to see the floor. I will then go home and type you an estimate which you should receive after a few days. The estimate will outline what work will be needed and the cost. All prices include labour and materials.