"Sand the floors, polish the brass, put up a new coat of paint... but please don't do anything to damage the floor coverings."
Or at least, that's what most carpet installers would say. They know that a quality installation means you won't need to replace the flooring or take up a bunch of padding to get it out. They know that replacing a section of flooring is expensive and can expose your family to potential health risks and the messiness of the work.
But what if you're buying a pre-owned home and the previous owner decided to sand the floors instead of installing new flooring? Can you roll with it? What if the problem is a little worse than that?
Many homeowners end up sanding through a beautiful hardwood floor after years of living with it! Or worse, when the base is new, and the homeowner is so used to living with an old, dingy, dusty finish, they don't even notice until they've spent thousands of dollars fixing it (not a wishful scenario). Most people don't think about whether or not their floors need sanding. But should you? And how do you know when sanding is necessary?
The purpose of sanding your floor is to ensure it's at its best level of performance. It also removes any irregularities from the surface that will cause issues with your installation process. These issues include scratches, uneven surface height, and areas where you may have to cut or grind the surface to fit together.
After an intense winter, or when your floors are just starting to show signs of wear, there may come a time when you need to get your floors sanded. While this is usually an indication that you need to start looking for a new home, it can also be the perfect time to update the look of your floors with an epoxy coating.
You'll find that you can achieve various looks with the epoxy coatings available today. These can include the classic solid look you see at your famous stores or a wide range of finishes applied to the wood to create a unique look beyond traditional stain and paint.
If you're looking for a truly unique look, you might want to consider the new gel coatings that are becoming popular. This type of finish has a gel-like consistency that offers the look of real stone and the durability of epoxy.
1) Does the surface you'll be coating have a glossy finish? The best choice is to avoid this.
2) Is the substrate made of concrete? Concrete tends to absorb water. So, if you want to coat a concrete floor, you must prep it properly.
3) Is the floor thick? If the floor is too thin, the coating will be unable to spread evenly.
4) Do you plan on putting furniture on the floor? If so, you'll want to avoid coating wood. A thin, protective coat on the surface makes it difficult for furniture to stick.
5) Does the floor have much traffic? If so, you want to avoid sanding it.
6) What's your budget? If you don't have much money, you may want to reconsider this floor coating. It is not cheap!!!
7) How long do you plan to keep the coat? You want to give yourself a reasonable amount of time to dry.
8) What is your deadline? Using this new coating probably won't make sense if your goal is to move into your new home in less than a year.