Hire a Floor Refinisher Home Improvement DIY Network

Hire a Floor Refinisher Home Improvement DIY Network

Hire a Floor Refinisher

All About

Written by Matthew Power

Produced By Nicole Sforza

Redoing wood floors used to be a dirty business, filling your home with clouds of sawdust and fumes. but times have changed: sanders with attached particle collectors and quick-drying coatings now make the process relatively painless. How will you know if your floor needs refinishing? Itll be obvious if the wood looks dull, or is gouged or badly scraped. In cases where youre not sure, pour a tablespoon of water onto a suspect area. If the liquid beads up, its fine; if it soaks in, call a floor pro. Here, we discuss the issues to keep in mind when hiring a refinisherthe cost involved, the types of available top coats, and what the job entails. Remember: whether your floors are solid or engineered, they can only be sanded two to three times before they become too thin and must be replaced.

Contract Basics

It is essential that you and your floor refinisher draw up a contract before any work begins. The pact should be dated, written on company letterhead, contain your pros license number (if your state requires one), and list both his and your contact information. It should also:

1. Provide a detailed description of the work to be performed, with a dollar amount associated with each task.

2. State an estimated start and finish date, with a clause offering financial penalties if the end date is severely overshot.

3. Outline a specific payment schedule.

4. Clarify how change orders will be handled. For example, will there be additional fees if the homeowner requests a different stain once the work is in progress?

5. Contain two clauses: one explaining the rights of both parties to cancel the contract, and the other protecting the homeowner from the contractor if he requests more money once the set amount has been paid in full.

6. Note if a permit is required for the work and, if so, whether the homeowner or the contractor is responsible for obtaining it.

Find a Pro

When deciding whom to hire, ask friends and family for recommendations. Call a few refinishers, explain the scope of the job, and get written estimates. before settling on your pro, check his references, and make sure hes insured and licensed (although not all states require the latter). Also mention any special concerns you have before the work begins. For example, if you have allergies, ask the floor refinisher to use a dust-collecting system equipped with HEPA filters.

Consider Costs

Regardless of wood species, expect to pay a pro from $1 to $5 per square foot to refinish a floor, a process that includes sanding, staining, and coating it with finish. Dont just look for the lowest price; workmanship and the quality of products used will vary. Standard practice is to include three layers of finish. If youd like additional ones to increase the floors durabilityin a high-traffic area, for exampleeach should not cost more than $1 per square foot.

Choose your Stain and Finish

If you decide to stain your floor rather than leave it natural, youll need to pick a tone; there are various shades to consider. Next, its time to select a finish. There are two main types: oil-and water-based, both of which are available in satin, semigloss, and gloss sheens. Oil-based versions will make the wood grow richer and darker in color with age. Each coat takes five to 12 hours to dry. Most water-based coatings dry clearso the wood retains its original colorand often in less than an hour; theyre applied in thinner layers than oil finishes, so they will require more coats. Since they are more scratch-resistant than their oil-based counterparts, they are ideal for pet owners. Water-based coatings also tend to be lower in volatile organic compounds (VOCs)toxins that can adversely affect your health. As with oilbased finishes, they off-gas (emit VOCs), but since this happens only during the drying and curing phase, they do so for a shorter period of time.

What to Expect During the Process

Hire a Floor Refinisher

All About

Written by Matthew Power

Produced By Nicole Sforza

Redoing wood floors used to be a dirty business, filling your home with clouds of sawdust and fumes. but times have changed: sanders with attached particle collectors and quick-drying coatings now make the process relatively painless. How will you know if your floor needs refinishing? Itll be obvious if the wood looks dull, or is gouged or badly scraped. In cases where youre not sure, pour a tablespoon of water onto a suspect area. If the liquid beads up, its fine; if it soaks in, call a floor pro. Here, we discuss the issues to keep in mind when hiring a refinisherthe cost involved, the types of available top coats, and what the job entails. Remember: whether your floors are solid or engineered, they can only be sanded two to three times before they become too thin and must be replaced.

Contract Basics

It is essential that you and your floor refinisher draw up a contract before any work begins. The pact should be dated, written on company letterhead, contain your pros license number (if your state requires one), and list both his and your contact information. It should also:

1. Provide a detailed description of the work to be performed, with a dollar amount associated with each task.

2. State an estimated start and finish date, with a clause offering financial penalties if the end date is severely overshot.

3. Outline a specific payment schedule.

4. Clarify how change orders will be handled. For example, will there be additional fees if the homeowner requests a different stain once the work is in progress?

5. Contain two clauses: one explaining the rights of both parties to cancel the contract, and the other protecting the homeowner from the contractor if he requests more money once the set amount has been paid in full.

6. Note if a permit is required for the work and, if so, whether the homeowner or the contractor is responsible for obtaining it.

Find a Pro

When deciding whom to hire, ask friends and family for recommendations. Call a few refinishers, explain the scope of the job, and get written estimates. before settling on your pro, check his references, and make sure hes insured and licensed (although not all states require the latter). Also mention any special concerns you have before the work begins. For example, if you have allergies, ask the floor refinisher to use a dust-collecting system equipped with HEPA filters.

Consider Costs

Regardless of wood species, expect to pay a pro from $1 to $5 per square foot to refinish a floor, a process that includes sanding, staining, and coating it with finish. Dont just look for the lowest price; workmanship and the quality of products used will vary. Standard practice is to include three layers of finish. If youd like additional ones to increase the floors durabilityin a high-traffic area, for exampleeach should not cost more than $1 per square foot.

Choose your Stain and Finish

If you decide to stain your floor rather than leave it natural, youll need to pick a tone; there are various shades to consider. Next, its time to select a finish. There are two main types: oil-and water-based, both of which are available in satin, semigloss, and gloss sheens. Oil-based versions will make the wood grow richer and darker in color with age. Each coat takes five to 12 hours to dry. Most water-based coatings dry clearso the wood retains its original colorand often in less than an hour; theyre applied in thinner layers than oil finishes, so they will require more coats. Since they are more scratch-resistant than their oil-based counterparts, they are ideal for pet owners. Water-based coatings also tend to be lower in volatile organic compounds (VOCs)toxins that can adversely affect your health. As with oilbased finishes, they off-gas (emit VOCs), but since this happens only during the drying and curing phase, they do so for a shorter period of time.

What to Expect During the Process


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