DIY vs. hiring a specialist refinisher for hardwood floor sanding
When it comes to hardwood refinishing, the benefits of hiring a Floor Sanding professional vs. doing-it-yourself are numerous.
I understand that many people, particularly first-time home buyers, have a limited budget. Many people are searching for ways to save money as well. This is perfectly reasonable, but of all the DIY projects, this is the most difficult to complete (and even more difficult to complete well) and the one that saves you the least amount of money.
When deciding whether to sand the floors yourself or employ a professional, think about your skill level vs. the task’s complexity, the time involved (and how much time is valuable to you), and the cost.
You’ll have more luck painting, installing tile, or even installing hardwood flooring if you want to save money by doing it yourself. Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
When completed by a DIYer, the job will not turn out as well.
There’s no doubt about it, but hiring a specialist would make your work look (and feel) a lot better…
It will also be visible from afar. Sanding is a difficult skill to master, particularly if it’s your first…or tenth…time (and no, learning from a video does not suffice). A professional’s skills are normally refined over the course of two years.
Furthermore, the experts have MUCH BETTER equipment than anything you would rent at Home Depot or elsewhere. There is no competition. The main machine costs about $20,000, and professionals take good care of and invest in their machinery. This is the bread and butter of their life.
Even if our professional refinishers used that machinery, the job would not turn out as well as it would with the right tools. Just 110v computers are available for sale (vs the professional machines use 220v). Furthermore, most people are unaware that sanding floors necessitates the use of five different devices (more about that below).
When novices try to sand floors, they almost never do so correctly. As a consequence, the dye does not absorb uniformly (often appearing blotchy), and the polyurethane does not bind properly (and over time, it will often peel). Chatter marks and dips in the floor are common occurrences (and these dips are permanent).
Please keep in mind that novices include not only most homeowners, but also general contractors and handymen. Expect a skilled and quality job if this isn’t someone’s area of expertise. I see a lot of sanded floors that are obviously done by Handymen or homeowners.
The sanding is uneven, the stain is blotchy, and the polyurethane has been applied in a haphazard manner. Usually, these roles must be redone.
When compared to hiring a specialist, it will take you longer.
Professional sanders do this on a regular basis, so they are more skilled at it and can complete it faster. They have more powerful machines as well. Most crews can sand and refinish about 1,000 square feet per day on average. A homeowner can typically take 2 to 4 times as long to complete the same task.
So, if you’re going to do this yourself, keep in mind that it will take twice as long as you think it will, and if you’re renting equipment, keep in mind that you’ll be paying by the day. This additional time would, of course, postpone your move into your new home.
It can also take longer for the material to dry. The majority of DIYers do not use the right materials (see Which is the better stain to use – Minwax or Duraseal ), which can cause the drying process to take longer. Furthermore, many beginners use too thick coats. As a result, it takes longer to dry… or, in many cases, novices don’t give the stain or poly enough time to dry… The end result is coagulation… The floors would also need to be thoroughly sanded and refinished.
When you sand yourself, it’s normally a lot messier.
Professionals use more powerful sanding machines that gather more grit. They also have better vacuum cleaners that collect the sawdust particles.
Furthermore, many of the better and more reputable flooring companies will provide dustless sanding and refinishing services. Note that this adds to the cost because the equipment is more expensive, and the tubes and additional set-up time for the dust containment center slow down the operation (which is kept outside). If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or are simply allergic to dust, this is a fantastic choice that is always well worth it.