Wooden floors are beautiful, hard wearing surfaces and very desirable for period and more modern properties alike. In theory the job of floor sanding is pretty straightforward. You don’t need a qualification like plumbing or electrical work so it’s understandable when people are tempting into think they can go down the DIY route.
In practice the job is difficult to do well. And it needs to be done to a professional standard as you will be living with the results for a very long time.
Why floor sanding is difficult in practice for DIYers
Sanding machines can be hired. However sanding machines are incredibly powerful and need a lot of practice to master. There is a risk that they can destroy your floor if you have not used them before.
Floor sanding is very strenuous labour and requires a lot of strategic effort and planning. It’s difficult to estimate how much effort it is if you have never done it before. There is also the issue of protecting yourself, your family and pets and your furniture from the dust and mess.
For a large floor, you’ll need lots of tarpaulins and dust sheets and your room will be out action for longer than it would be if a professional was doing the job.
Selecting the right varnish for your floor
Once the floor has been sanded then the finish needs to be selected carefully.
For environmental and safety purposes you might be tempted to choose a water based varnish. Unfortunately this is not suitable for some woods. For example a water based varnish on Rosewood may cause discoloration in a very expensive product.
If you use a solvent based varnish then the worker needs the right personal protective equipment which is expensive to buy or hire.
In short, unless it’s a very small job, you should always get a quote from a professional. When you get the quote think about how long it would it take you to do the job, how much extra equipment you need to buy or hire costs and the disruption involved from taking everything out of a room and protecting your walls and ceilings.