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If you’re considering replacing your carpets with hardwood floors or would like to revitalize your current hardwood floors with sanding and refinishing, you are probably wondering how to prepare for an installation or refinishing project. We have the answers to some of your most common questions about the process.

One of the first decisions you will have to make is when to have the project done.

There are pros and cons to any time of year. You may choose to have the work done in the summertime so that you can open the windows to air things out. But there is no reason not to do the project in the wintertime. In fact, the biggest incentive may be the fact that we offer great discounts in the winter. The best time is the time that works best for you.

You will also want to know how long your routine will be disrupted by the project. That depends. There are many variables in any given project. The first is whether you are having a new wood floor installed or are having an existing floor refinished.

Refinishing an existing hardwood floor

The process of sanding and finishing an existing floor starts as you might expect with sanding the floor until the surface is to raw wood, free of any previous stain or finish. Roughly 500-600 feet can be done in a day. Then, the floor will receive one coat of sealer and two coats of polyurethane. The last day of the project is a 12-hour dry time. So, a 3-day project means you can be back in on day 4.

Installing a new floor

A lot more goes into installing a new hardwood floor. Boards need to be cut and placed. Because of this, the layout of the room can affect the amount of time the project takes. More small corners mean more cutting. The width of the boards also makes a difference. Skinny boards mean many more will have to be cut and laid than if they are wider planks. In general, an installation can take a day per every 200 feet of flooring. Then, you have the dry time for the sealant.

Prefinished flooring

There is a faster installation option. A 400-foot prefinished floor can be installed in 2 days with no dry time necessary.

What do you need to do before we begin your project?

When planning a project, don’t forget about the preparation.

  •       All furniture must be removed from the flooring that will be replaced or refinished.
  •       Pull up any carpeting, including tack strips and staples. The subfloor should have a smooth surface
  •       Remove any linoleum or vinyl floor covering

We have options to help homeowners who are ready to get their hands dirty as well as those who would rather leave the preparation to the professionals. We offer tear out and disposal services for an extra charge.

What should you do to control dust in your home?

Our sanders are equipped with a vacuum and dust containment bags, but they will never be 100% effective. There are a few things that you can do to cut down on the amount of dust that invades your home throughout the project.

  •       Hang plastic in doorways (Note: Plastic should be kept off the floors so it doesn’t get sucked into the machines)
  •       Clear countertops completely
  •       Keep all food sealed and put away
  •       Seal cupboard seams and drawers with painter’s tape

We can hang plastic at an hourly rate.

Should you remove doors, baseboards, and trim?

You can remove baseboards and trim prior to the work being done and later, replace it with new baseboards and trim or reuse the originals. We can, of course, do this for you at an hourly rate. Most doors can be left in place. We will let you know it they need to be removed.

Where will the installation professionals cut the boards?

The closer we are to the floor being worked on, the more time we save. Our saws have vacuums, just like our sanders. So, the best place to work is right in the room where we are installing your floors.

What about small pets? 

People often ask if it is safe to leave their small pets in the home during the project. This depends on a few things. We use two types of finish: water-based, and oil-based. Water-based is safe for pets to stay in the home, but oil-based is not good for animals. The other consideration is noise. Animals don’t have the option of wearing earplugs and will likely be disturbed by the staple guns and other loud machines. And any critters not caged may slip out the door when we enter and exit. It is best to have your pets stay elsewhere until the floor is in.

A little preparation makes a big difference in how smoothly the project goes. The professionals at Dave’s Floor Sanding and Installation will make sure the final product will be beautiful for years to come. Call us today to find out how we can help with your flooring needs.