Sand and Finish

Darrell Black

Custom Wood Flooring, Inc.

Many of Austin’s older homes will have existing oak or long leaf pine flooring that has been covered with carpet.  If you suspect that you have wood flooring under carpet an easy way to check is simply pull the carpet back in a closet corner or other out of the way area.  The carpet can be put back into place without being stretched if wood is not found.  You can also give us a call and we will come out and look with you and measure your home for sand and finish. We have been providing sand and finish work in the Austin area since 1973.

We have incorporated dust collection systems for our sanding machines. This has greatly reduced the amount of dust that settles in surrounding areas.  If you are planning to have an existing wood floor sanded in your home look at our check list.  This will help you prepare for the work within your home. 

We have a page that discusses the finishes we use, so please read this page. It will help you understand the pros and cons of the different finish choices. Look at the different finishes and how you live on or treat your floors. This will help you make the best choice for you and your family.

The following is a general discussion about how a sand and finish job will proceed.

1. Estimate and discussion of scope of work.  This will include a general discussion of color and finish choices.  Then we will submit an itemized estimate. Example: Carpet removal xxx amount, repair xxx amount, and sand and finish xxx amount. The itemized bid allows you to understand the scope of work proposed. When you receive your estimate we will discuss the amount of time to complete your job.  Completion dates are estimates only.  These could change due to unforeseen factors. Some examples would be;  termite damage that needs repair, found an old floor furnace filled in with plywood that needs repair, carpet man used staples to apply carpet padding and went overboard with staples, flooring that is very cupped, and floors coated with spar varnish. Extra time is needed for sanding and applying finish if a dark color is chosen.

2. The same crew that sands your floor will also apply the finish.  Crews start their day applying finish at their previous customers home before proceeding to their current  sanding job. They will not arrive at your sanding job early morning.  Arrival times vary depending on the size of the previous job needing to be coated, but generally are late morning 10:30 - 11:00 or early afternoon 12:00 - 1:00. If we have a general idea of the color you are trying to achieve we will leave color samples on your floor the first day of sanding.  It is preferable to make color choices from samples left on your wood floor, rather than using sample boards or color chips. Floor colors are affected by many factors; e.g. walls, furniture, the amount of light, and the wood the finish is being applied to.  Our crews like to meet our customers on the job site to look at color mixtures and discuss finish choices. This also gives us a chance to walk your job and discus stains or damage found during the sanding process. Our guys are really good about working around your lunch hours to help you out if time is a problem, just let us know.  “No”, bleach will generally not remove stains and can cause damage and deterioration to wood fibers.  Bleach will often times leave a halo around the area it was applied. “Rug shadow,” typically seen on long leaf pine floors after sanding down to raw wood. You are able to see where a rug stayed in one place for a long period of time.  This rectangle or square, “shadow,” will generally be a lighter/darker  than the rest of your freshly sanded wood.  If you are using a natural color only time and aging will allow these areas to blend properly.  .

3. After the sanding is completed we will apply Dura Seal penetrating sealer for color. Normal coating schedule will take two days after the sealer is applied.  We will start our day at your home the next two days.  You will not be able to walk on your floors from the time the sealer is applied until the final coat has dried. The Coating schedule will depend on your choice of color. See finish discussion. Examples:  If you chose a very dark color and wanted a water base finish, the color should sit 48 to 72 hours before the finish is applied.  With oil base polyurethane this same dark color should sit 24 to 48 hours before coating. If you were doing oil and wax with the same color we could add light color to the second coat and coat the next day. 

4. Moving you back into your home is important to you and our company.  Don’t rush your finish cure time if you want the best performance.  See finish discussion.  You can walk across any of the finishes the next day, in socks, but remember the oil base polyurethane will be tender. We suggest you do not put furniture back for 5 to 7 days and area rugs down for at least 10 to 14 days. Climate directly affects cure time for finishes.  It is time to turn on the AC or Heater depending on the time of year.

5. How long does it really take to sand a wood floor? We operate our schedule based on approximately 350 square foot a day.  Sometimes we are able to finish jobs ahead of schedule, other times there are factors that will cause us to fall behind schedule. If we see something that is going to slow us down we will let you know as soon as possible.  We do what we can to rearrange our schedule or work longer hours to complete the job.  If your sanding job includes stair treads, add 1-2 days, and stair risers add 1-3 days, depending on the current condition of the treads and risers.

6. Remember, this is intended to be a general guide to help you try and plan your schedule.  The most important aspect of sanding and finishing your floors is the improvement and value added to your home and life. One should never invest time and money into a project without doing it right.

7. Sand Finish Check List This list will help you prepare before we arrive and what to expect during your job.


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