Recently we were called in to have a look at a very scratched up floor in a house in Lemont. The floors themselves weren’t that old… but they sure had seen better days. They were scratched up to bits and looking pretty worse for wear.
We were asked if there was anything that could be done… without having to start from scratch and re-sand the entire floor all over again. Thankfully in this case we could.
One of the services we offer is called a ‘Clean and Re-Coat’ and this floor was the perfect candidate for this procedure.
Before I get into the details of what is involved in a re-coat and whether a floor can be re-coated or not, have a look at the condition of this floor in the pictures below…
This is what large dogs, wearing shoes inside and not using protective felts under your furniture will do to a floor.
That’s a LOT of scratches!
As you can see, these hardwood floors had seen much better days.
Further below you can see the results after we finished – but first I’ll explain the 7 step Clean and Re-Coat process…
- To start off, the floors are thoroughly vacuumed and any minor repairs needing fixed are completed.
- The second step is an intense clean with a special product that removes the build-up of dirt and cleaning products (with some exceptions). The remover product is applied to the floor and then a buffer is used with a scrubbing pad to mechanically deep clean the floor. This is the longest stage of the process as its labor intensive and very important to do right and not miss any areas.
- Once that is done the next step is to rinse the dirt off with a cleaning product using a specially built hardwood floor scrubbing machine. It sprays the cleaner out the front, scrubs the floor and then vacuums up the dirty solution behind it. This is the most fun part of the job 🙂 Depending on how dirty the floors are this step may have to be repeated.
- Then the floor is given time to allow it to completely dry.
- Once dry, the buffer comes out again and the floor is buffed with an appropriate sanding screen which removes most scratches and helps aid with the mechanical adhesion of the top coat.
- After that the floor is thoroughly vacuumed and tacked to remove any last trace of dust.
- The last step is applying the finish – one or two coats depending on the project.
As you can see there is quite a bit to the Cleaning and Re-Coat process… but it is WAY less work compared to a full sand and re-coat. It also is FAR quicker and cleaner than going back to bare wood.
It can usually be done in a day, depending on the size and scope of the project. You can walk on your floors in socks the following day.
Would you like to see the results?
What a difference!
And all in one day.
So what floors qualify for a Clean and Re-Coat?
If you floor has scratches that are not too deep, you haven’t used a floor cleaner that can’t be re-coated over (see this post here: Don’t use these cleaners), there are no large areas of damage that have worn through the finish and you don’t want to change the color of the floors… then your floors could be a potential candidate.
Please understand that re-coating floors will not give the same result as a full re-sand though.
If there is water damage or other marks in the floors – they will not be removed. If you have overwood, minor cupping or any other unevenness in your floor – this won’t be removed either as there is no sanding being done.
But… if your floors are in relatively good shape, are flat and only have surface damage… then it really is worth looking into. In fact we recommend our clients to do it every so often as a way to maintain the top coat and keep your floor protected and looking great.
Please be careful with re-coats though.
There is a very high rate of failure in the industry. As it is an easier process compared to full sanding and it is a lot cheaper to set up a business doing this, many people get into it without proper professional hardwood floor refinishing training and experience.
Have a look at a previous post we wrote to show what can go wrong if you hire someone that doesn’t know what they are doing: Buffing and Recoating Hardwood Floors.
A good rule of thumb would be that if the person you are considering to hire doesn’t fully re-sand, stain and finish floors from scratch on a professional level, then be very wary of their qualifications to do this very risky procedure.
One last piece of advice for those considering this – you need to do thorough adhesion testing in different areas to make sure this procedure will work on your floors. Not testing can lead to disastrous consequences and a bigger mess that what you started out with…
Not something you want to have happen to you.
If you are considering freshening up your floors and you feel that they might be a good candidate for a Clean and Re-Coat give us a call and we will be happy to come out and have a look at your floors for you. We will do a full adhesion test and discuss the results with you as well as the best way forward.
Hopefully your floors will be a candidate and turn out as good as the floor above!