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Sanding wooden floors - DIY or pay someone?

(31 Posts)
okilydokily Mon 06-Nov-17 23:04:26

Our kitchen and dining room have wooden floors that are looking grubby and scruffy. I think it's a bit of water damage and general wear. We're thinking of hiring a sander and sanding the floors, then varnishing with clear varnish or wax (not sure). We like the pale colour as it is, so wouldn't want to stain the wood. Would this work? Any tips 're product to use? Or should we pay a professional to do a proper job of It? And if so, roughly what would that cost? Thanks in advance.

Tatlerer Tue 07-Nov-17 14:53:42

Hi OP. We’re having a large hallway, dining room and stairs (the bannister and spindles, not the steps which will be painted) professionally sanded and finished with a harder-wearing and longer lasting resin by pros in a couple of weeks. We were advised that the overall result will be much better, but then our floorboards are in a much, much worse state than yours! Cost will be just shy of £1.3K (West Midlands). Hope this helps.

JustAnotherManicUsername Tue 07-Nov-17 15:11:05

We did some ourselves and paid someone to do some others. The main advantage of doing it ourselves was cost, obviously. The main disadvantage (apart from hard work and lots of dust) was that we couldn't work out how to get right in to the corners, so they are slightly rounded if you look carefully (which we don't). I think it comes down to how tired/busy/impractical you are versus how skint.

Kielder Tue 07-Nov-17 15:18:50

I have literally just had a quote for something very similar. Ours is just a small 8m2 area that has got quite scratched/bashed around when work was being done elsewhere in the house. It has come in at 320+VAT for sanding, a bit of repair, resin and then sealing. They thought it would take a full day of work plus a bit of the next day to put on last coats.

FlameCrestedTanager Tue 07-Nov-17 15:35:10

It's a lot cheaper to do it yourself and I personally think you get a better result as you can take your time and really do a good job. The downside is that's incredibly physical work, I couldn't have done it but fortunately DH was happy to spend a weekend (x2) wrecking his back to do our two rooms. It cost us about £100 per room including all materials.

whiskyowl Tue 07-Nov-17 16:55:33

Is it a wood floor, or are they boards?

Chloe1984 Tue 07-Nov-17 17:49:26

It’s horrible work, really horrid. It’s very noisy and the vibrations of the sander is hard on the hands and there is an unbelievable amount of dust. If you can close the door on the room you’re doing that will help a lot. Otherwise dust will be everywhere, a good mask is essential, don’t start without one. Don’t want to put you off, but it’s not a quick and easy job.

okilydokily Tue 07-Nov-17 18:14:18

Thanks for all the advice. We've got two kids under 6, and are both quite busy with work, so finding time to clear both rooms, dust-proof the house and sand/coat might be a tall order! Dumb question but can you not get a sander-hoover combo to suck up the dust while it sands? I can't be doing with loads of dust flying around the kitchen - it'd get in all the cupboards presumably?

I have no idea what type of floor it is, actually...is there an easy way to tell? Complete DIY novice here.

I'll attach a close up

BarchesterFlowers Tue 07-Nov-17 18:15:07

I have done this several times before, Travis Perkins hire rates are so reasonable (and they delivered it the second time).

They delivered it the second time because the first time I brought it home in the boot of my car and it moved ... producing an egg like bump on the outside of the car shock. I also had an incident where the handle came off (broken not incompetence) and this thing travelled at speed towards the outside wall of the house (old house wonky floors), hitting a heating pipe and bending it.

You can get a handheld corner sander thrown in with the hire rate (I did).

Despite my experiences I would still do it again.

namechange2222 Tue 07-Nov-17 18:30:36

I've sanded all the rooms in mine and a previous house. When I say 'I' what I mean is I beg someone to come and help me. My floors are old pine and I love the result. However, I'd say it's the worst job I've ever had to do and it's a bit like childbirth as i so quickly forget the mess and pain once the horrible carpets are chucked and the floor is lovely and waxed....until I start the next room.....
Oh and the dust will take weeks to completely settle

namechange2222 Tue 07-Nov-17 18:31:48

Also I cant manage to use the big machine, it runs away from me so I do all rooms with just a corner sander

Ladymayormaynot Tue 07-Nov-17 19:05:34

I used The Floor Doctor recently (google search). They were brilliant, there was no mess and it took about 4 hrs to completely restore a very sad floor. I had no idea what type of floor it was but posted a photo on their website and followed up with a phone call via the website. The area renovated was approx 30 sq metres & cost £375. I can’t recommend them enough. I would post pictures if I knew how, the difference was amazing. Well worth every penny.

Ladymayormaynot Tue 07-Nov-17 19:08:51

Whoops I got the size wrong, 15 sq metres! The company operates in central England.

NewtsSuitcase Tue 07-Nov-17 19:10:23

You need to be careful. If its engineered wood it may well only have a very thin layer of wood which can be sanded. Often they are only a few mm thick.

Chloe1984 Tue 07-Nov-17 19:25:29

Most sanders will come with a part that lets you attach a vacuum, it will help to capture quite a lot of dust, but a lot will still go into the air. Our Dyson lasted about 15 mins worth of sanding before the filter packed in and it over heated. An industrial or Henry type vacuum (not an upright) is best.

BarchesterFlowers Tue 07-Nov-17 20:12:41

The hired ones from TP have a changeable dust bag. I seem to remember the consumables, dust bags, sanding sheets, etc, costing more than the (very reasonable) hire rates. Also hiring for a week was only the same cost as three days from memory.

Because we did the whole house TP let us keep it for a week when we had hired it for the weekend a couple of times if they had a spare one in the shop and no other bookings.

okilydokily Tue 07-Nov-17 22:17:03

Great tips, thank you everyone. Now panicking that it might be engineered wood after all (it did say "solid wood" in the estate agent's write-up, but that could be BS). We're in Yorkshire, so too far away for the Floor Doctor unfortunately. I've just contacted a couple of local companies to give us a quote, as I don't think we'll be able to do the job quickly/efficiently ourselves, with the kids to contend with as well. DH actually did sand the floorboards upstairs in our room about 4 years ago, but that was fine because we only had one child at the time and could sleep in the spare room and shut the door on the room in progress. It was very dusty and arduous, as I recall. So we'll probably go with the professionals, unless the quotes come back as ridiculous money.

Tatlerer and Kielder, good luck with your renovations - hope everything turns out lovely. And Barchester, good to know TP were worth going to, despite a couple of unlucky accidents! I just don't think I've got the patience or energy to tacke it ourselves though.

user71017 Wed 08-Nov-17 05:46:33

Following. We've got about 50sq metres of oak flooring. We're getting a quote tonight, will feedback.

BarbaraOcumbungles Wed 08-Nov-17 06:17:14

We’ve just had The Floor Doctor sand and stain our tatty old pine floors to match the oak floor in the hall. They made an amazing job of it!!

We had tried to do it ourself with a hired sander but it kept tripping our electrics so we gave up.

BarchesterFlowers Wed 08-Nov-17 06:25:06

Looking at some of these quotes I think I would go down the route of getting someone in after my comedic performances with the 8 stone stander/hoover.

Some of the quotes seem really reasonable.

The egg in the car incident was about 25 years ago when my 25 year old self used my then boyfriend’s brand new dark green BMW to drive to collect it, I still remember it well grin.

Clearly a market has developed for these things as I am sure that unless you were minted it was a DIY job.

Vitalogy Wed 08-Nov-17 06:41:21

I did the floorboards in two bedrooms with a hand sander, it was pretty traumatic. I'm really pleased with it now but still. If you've got the money then pay someone. Re the poster that mentioned getting in the corners. I used the Black and Decker Mouse sander.

Tika77 Wed 08-Nov-17 06:56:04

I’m planning to sand our parquet when the rest of the house gets finished. I won’t be renting one of those big machines as they’re almost the same height as I am, so planning just to use a little corner sander. It’ll also help me keep all the scratches and wear that I think adds to the character rather than make it all smooth.

FlameCrestedTanager Wed 08-Nov-17 08:40:04

If you're in or near York I would really recommend the company we used. I can't remember the name just now but could find out if you're local. We did it ourselves but they also offer a full service if you'd rather not do it yourself.

CandyMelts Wed 08-Nov-17 09:07:41

Ooh Flame could you have a look please? Moving into a new house this month and its on our DIY list

NewtsSuitcase Wed 08-Nov-17 10:53:07

Ive just had a quote of £450 for a 27sqm parquet floor sand and finish.

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