FLOOR SANDING ST ALBANS
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Over time, hardwood floors are susceptible to splits or cracks in the wood, gaps between the planks, buckling, warping, scratches and dents. Leaving them unrepaired can cause longer-term problems to your property – and decrease its value.
Before sanding your floor, we fix all loose boards, hammer all nails below the surface level and bond any damaged boards. If boards are beyond repair, we will replace them with suitable boards from new or reclaimed timber.
This is usually an option rather than a necessity in the restoration process. Leaving gaps does allow some lateral movement of the timber – but many customers appreciate the even look of a gap-filled floor.
Gap-filling does prevent draughts and the build up of dirt. As it tightens the floor, it also helps to prevent movement in the timber.
There are two main methods:
Resin: the most common form of gap filling, mostly used on parquet, mosaic and when floorboards have lots of fine gaps. Dust from the floor is mixed with a resin and applied to the gaps with a filling knife.
Solid fillet strips: strips of reclaimed pine and other timbers are glued, forced into the gaps, and chiselled back before sanding flat. This is a more comprehensive method of gap filling – it can fill large gaps and the strip will move with the timber.
Wooden Floor Staining
Staining is used on dull or decolourised floors - or when the floor needs to better match your home in
Stains alter the colour of wood - so you add colour to your room with a floor that looks completely different quickly and at an affordable price. Unlike paint, stains enhance the wood grain rather than hide it. How the grain appears depends on the stain’s opacity and the number of applications.
Wood stains come in the traditional forms of spirit-based and alkyl (oil-based). A great development has been the modern water-based pigments. Not only are these odour-free but come in many colours. These range from the traditional wood colours to contemporary pigmenting: e.g. white, red, blue or even pink!
And if the matching colour isn’t available, we can mix different colours to provide the exact pigment you want. Getting the exact match to an existing floor colour is a painstaking task. We eventually matched the floor colour in an historic castle – by mixing 75 different pigments!
For the full wooden flooring service in St Albans - call on Floor Sanding St Albans!
The final crucial stage is to seal and protect the bare wooden surface:
Water-based sealers and lacquer
Our first recommendation is to use lacquered finish - it outperforms other finishes on durability, look and maintenance. Modern lacquers are a world away from the high gloss ‘plastic’ look of 30 years ago. Their silky appearance mimics the organic finishes such as oil and wax - but the chemical bond they create with the wood makes them both very hard-wearing and stain resistant. Lacquers range from flat matt to high gloss.
We prefer to use water-based lacquers which are very safe in either domestic or commercial settings. Its inherent anti-bacterial properties kill bacteria on touch. Lacquers have a fast drying time and also bring out the natural colour of the wood – thus minimising the need for staining.
Hard Wax Oil
This is an organic product based on natural vegetable oils and waxes. Like natural oil, it brings out the inherent colour in the timber and emphasises the natural grain. Osmo hard wax oil has become popular in recent years: its good balance between natural oil and lacquer combines a natural look and feel with improved durability.
It is micro-porous and does not crack, flake, peel or blister. It is less prone to drying out than natural oil, so can be used in areas of high humidity. A floor treated with hard wax oil is easily maintained by applying more coats - or a thinned down version known as a ‘revive coat’.
Oil is an organic finish that comes in either matt or satin sheens. It has remained popular for its natural look and
ease of maintenance. Its virtues are the ability to repel water as well as abrasion and scuff resistance - although it is less durable than lacquer.
Although natural oil is prone to dry out in humid conditions it is easily maintained. Extra coats top-up the finish and restore minor damage. The main disadvantage is in very busy areas, where a new application every 3-6 months will require the removal of furniture.
Take the first steps towards your new floor - contact us today!
Decking: sanding, staining and refinishing
While decking is a great garden feature, it is very vulnerable to the elements. It can soon get weathered, dirty, scratched or sun damaged.
Yet sanding the entire decking brings it back to new – removing the top layer of old wood fibres and revealing those just beneath the surface. Stain or decking oil completes the attractive new decking.
Ahome can be enhanced with a stripped, natural wooden staircase. Stairs tend to be the most neglected area of flooring – covered for decades as they often are by carpeting or layers of paint.
We strip and sand the entire tread and risers – then coat them in a clear natural or stained finish. We usually leave them exposed - but the riser can be finished in white paint and the tread left in clear or stained sealer. Either way, you will gasp at the results. We usually only treat these parts of the stairs and don't tackle banisters.