Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Our clients frequently ask us a variety of captivating questions, from the process of floor sanding to the art of maintaining a perfectly refinished wooden floor. We’ve answered these common questions and added more to give you a full and interesting look at the world of floor sanding and refinishing.

Is it dusty

The simple answer is yes! Although the professional sanding machines that we use collect about 98% of the dust produced, they can never be 100% efficient. To counter this we will bring dust sheets and masking tape to seal up any spaces and openings that need to be kept dust-free. We will also vacuum the floor several times during the sanding process. However, you will need to remove any items from the room that you do not want to have to clean afterwards. This is particularly recommended for any electronic equipment present.

How long will it take?

Never less than a full day. Large areas or multiple rooms may take several days. You will need to ensure that the area to be sanded will be free of traffic for this period. We will discuss approximate timings with you when we give you your free consultation.

Do I need to move the furniture?
Areas to be sanded is good to be clear of all furniture before we start, as well as for 12 hours after the final Asthma Safe, Pet-Friendly Products, Clean Green Planet & Child-Safe Productscoat of varnish is applied (to allow the finish to reach full strength). If you need help with this we can move them for you for a small charge.
Is it noisy?
The preparation (knocking in nails) and the sanding process is very noisy. The sanding machines we use have powerful electric motors and are far louder than ordinary D.I.Y. power tools. The manufacturers recommend that the operators wear ear protectors. Obviously the application of stains and varnishes is quiet, except maybe for some out of tune whistling!
Should I have my floors sanded before or after I decorate the rest of the room?
We prefer to be the last stage in the interior decoration process. It is much easier to remove a little sanding dust from a freshly painted wall (as long as it is completely dry) than it is to remove paint from a freshly finished wooden floor. Gravity prevails!
Do you use any harmful chemicals/products?
Unless otherwise requested, we use water based lacquers that are odour free and non-toxic. If gap-filling is required, then we will use a solvent based resin which needs careful handling. Good ventilation is important at this stage, as the fumes can be fairly strong.
What about dust mites?
Dust mites are considered to be the most common cause of asthma and allergic symptoms worldwide. They thrive in our houses because in nature they are killed by predators and by exposure to direct sun rays. They love carpets and underlay because they can find protection in the depths from sunlight, predators and vacuum cleaners. A sanded wooden floor is as hospitable to a dust mite as the surface of the moon is to humans!
Why do you use a stain and a varnish? Why not use a coloured varnish?
We get asked this a lot. If you visit your local DIY super-mega-store, a lot of the floor varnishes on offer have a colour included, such as teak or oak. The advantage of this is basically time and convenience during application. The disadvantage is that, with each coat you apply, the colour changes and darkens. You are guessing what the final appearance will be. More importantly, as a coloured varnish wears with traffic, the colour starts to be affected immediately. With our process, the seal is protecting the wood and the colour stain, ensuring that the stain remains the same for many years. When we get to the staining stage, we can apply 2 or 3 different options to a small section of the floor for you to choose from. We simply sand these samples off once you have decided and apply your choice.
Who pays for parking facilities?
If the parking facilities in your area are free of charge, we kindly ask you to secure parking space for a SWF vehicle in front of your property and if necessary, provide us with a valid, temporary parking permit. If it is not possible or convenient for you to make the necessary parking arrangements, the relevant parking fee will be added to your bill. SWF covers congestion charge fees in case you are based within London congestion charge areas.