Floor sanding is a big part of most floor refinishing services. But if you’ve heard about the disruption, mess, and health hazards linked to hardwood s
Before you apply a new coat of finish to wood flooring, you need to do two things. First, you need to deal with the old layer of finish. Then, you need to prep floors to ensure strong adhesion. Traditionally, both of these steps are accomplished with floor sanding.
But today, homeowners no longer need to sand their floors for refinishing. Thanks to new refinishing methods, like the one-of-a-kind process used by N-Hance®, you can refinish floors without sanding. This way, you can avoid the wood dust generated by sanding, and you can refinish non-sandable floors.
That leaves homeowners with a choice: Do you stick with traditional refinishing methods? Or do you choose a refinishing service that doesn’t use sanding? Are there any other options?
That’s a tough question if you’re unclear about the role sanding plays and the pros/cons of sanding your floors. So here’s everything you need to know about floor sanding to find the right answer.
The Role of Floor Sanding in Refinishing
Historically, floor sanding has been an integral part of refinishing hardwood floors. That’s because, for a long time, it was the only way to prep floors for refinishing.
Floor sanding removes the previous layer of finish, which is the first step on any refinishing project. Once the previous layer of finish has been removed, the wood itself is sanded and smoothed. The floor can then be either stained or just sealed with a natural finish, followed by new finish coats.
Today, the vast majority of floor refinishing projects still involve sanding.
The Pros & Cons of Floor Sanding
The Upside of Floor Sanding
There’s a reason why floor sanding remains popular with hardwood refinishers. Despite its drawbacks (which we’ll get to in a moment), sanding is among the most effective and efficient ways to remove worn down finishes and prep hardwood floors for refinishing.
Also, sanding is often the best way to restore damaged floors, including floors with deep scratches or heavy physical damage, including water damage. Sanding can also typically remove color damage on floors, caused by things like UV exposure (sunlight) and stains.
In these cases, sanding removes the damaged layer of hardwood, revealing the healthy wood underneath. After sanding and refinishing, floors will look almost as good as new. If you refinish floors without sanding, you’ll have trouble restoring areas where damage has fully penetrated the finish layer and reached the wood.
Sanding is also generally necessary if you want to change the color of the wood floor. When you sand, the wood can be stained a new color before being coated with the protective finish.
The Downside of Floor Sanding
The most prominent downside to floor sanding has to do with wood dust. Sanding hardwood floors generates a lot of wood dust, which is hard to contain and a pain to clean up. More concerning, indoor air pollution from wood dust can lead to a number of health problems. Households with pets, young children, or family members with respiratory conditions may wish to avoid sanding entirely.
Additionally, certain types of wood floors can’t be sanded, such as those made of stranded bamboo, or those with insufficient wood depth. This can include floors that have been sanded multiple times, some engineered floors, deep hand-scraped floors, and some beveled floors.
Another issue with the traditional floor sanding technique is time. The hardwood floors in a typical American house will likely take 4 to 7 days to sand and finish, with potentially an additional 2 days to let the finish cure. You might be removed from your house for over a week…maybe even longer!
The N-Hance Approach to Floor Sanding
N-Hance is one of the few refinishing companies where homeowners can choose between sanding and our sandless recoating technique.
At N-Hance, we offer a sandless recoating technique for most floor refinishing projects. This allows us to refinish floors without any of the mess or health hazards caused by wood dust. It also allows us to refinish wood floors that can’t be sanded, including stranded bamboo, some cork, and deep hand-scraped hardwood. Finally, your floors can be finished in as few as 1 to 2 days, with no added curing time.
Many of our locations also offer floor sanding as part of their floor refinishing services. Our sanding services use a special type of sander that delivers virtually dust-free results, minimizing issues associated with wood dust. Our sanders can also be used on parquet and engineered wood floors, which aren’t usually suitable for sanding.
Whichever option you choose, N-Hance will give your floors a like-new appearance with a gorgeous, non-yellowing finish. Our refinishers use water-based polyurethane finishes, which means you don’t need to worry about strange smells or highly toxic VOCs from off-gassing.
What’s more, you have the option of our proprietary Lightspeed® instant floor curing system. Lightspeed® uses a UV-light curing system to instantly cure your finish, allowing you to get back into your house – and back to living your life – immediately!
Learn more about our floor sanding services and our sandless recoating option, or to request a FREE refinishing estimate, call N-Hance today at (855) 642-6230!