TECHNIQUE

A ‘cut’ above the rest!
We view professional floor sanding as something of an art. Whilst anybody can have a crack at it and produce some type of result, it is rather more difficult to produce the sort of result you will be happy to live with for years.

  •  We use the latest DUST FREE sanding technology.
  •  Technique is everything - Over nearly two decades of sanding floors we have developed a unique process for sanding and finishing your wooden floors. Whilst we won't tell you how we do it, we'll show the results!
  •  Practice Makes Perfect - Like most good things in life, practice makes perfect. To date we have sanded and finished more than 1000 floors. Domestic and trade references attest to our many satisfied customers.

ESTIMATES

Making the right choice: The first step in the process of renovating your wooden floors will be to choose a company with whom you want to work.
We realize the estimate process is an important part of the decision making process, both for you, as an information gathering exercise, and for us, in order for us to accurately gauge your needs and requirements. Although we can give you an idea of the scope of your work over the phone, we like to meet with all new clients in order to inspect the floors and be able to issue accurate written estimates. We do not charge for estimates. Bear in mind: We are often able to tailor a price to your budget by changing the specifications.  

  • Clear Job Specification: When we meet we will inspect your floors and discuss all the elements involved in the renovation process. As we move through this we are able to understand exactly what you require and how to deliver it.  
  • Transparency: We believe it is important for you to be aware of exactly what is involved in sanding a floor. We will tell you exactly what to expect and how it is to be done. We will not tell you something works, sell it to you, then let you discover that it doesn’t work. We will make you aware of all costs that are involved at the outset.    
  • A Basis for Comparison, Value for Money? Buying a floor sanding service is not like buying a washing machine. All services were not created equal - For example, we are often asked to put right a floor which has been sanded incorrectly. We will provide you with all the information you need to compare a professional floor sanding service so that you know you are getting value for money.

PREPARATION AND REPAIRS

Unique Hardwood Floors offers a comprehensive wooden floor repair service:

  • Matching wood types using reclaimed timber                                                                                        
  • Board replacement - we will source reclaimed wood to match existing boards
  • Joist repair - replacement of rotten joists with treated timber
  • Relaying floors - complete floors laid, choice of woods available
  • Removal of hearths - concrete hearth extrusions replaced with reclaimed boards
  • Wood worm - specialist advice and treatment.
  • Skirting, steps, boxing - complete carpentry service. Inspection, repair and preparation is required before any floor can be sanded.

The beauty of a wooden floor is that it grows in character as it ages. However, sometimes due to neglect or natural wear and tear, the wood needs a little extra attention to restore it to it's former glory. Especially if the floor has not been revealed for many years.
If you’ve excitedly lifted a carpet to reveal a wooden floor and you think it’s beyond hope: don't panic! There are very few wooden floors that cannot be successfully renovated with a little bit of know-how and UHF.
We offer a free appraisal and advice service, please email us or call the office for further information.

SOUND PROOFING

Looking out for the neighbors.
Despite the inherent beauty of a professionally sanded floor, one of the downsides can impact noise in the rooms underneath. Sound proofing is usually only an issue for those living in apartments or buildings where there is a clause in the lease that specifies occupants are not allowed to have wooden floors.

We can supply and fit a variety of sound proofing solutions. Sound proofing a wooden floor will depend on whether you want to stop airborne noise, impact noise or both.

  • Basic Sound Proofing: basic reduction of airborne and impact noise. No change in floor height. Minimal cost.
  • Professional Sound Proofing: dramatic reduction of airborne and impact noise. Small increase in floor height.

Our sound proofing solutions maintain your existing wooden floor with only a minimal change of floor height.

INSULATION

Keeping warm with sanded floors
One of the most frequent questions we get asked is, “Will it be cold if I get my floor sanded?”
Our response: “Not if you choose UNIQUE!”
Insulating a wooden floor is one way to reduce drafts and keep your living space cozy warm throughout the winter months.
There’s no need to suffer the cold if you want to have your floors sanded. Insulating your wooden floors gets around draft problems, without the risk of gap filling failing.

GAP FILLING

Closing the gaps in your sanded floors.
Gap filling a floor is an option that many people like since it brings a uniform finish to the floor and helps exclude drafts. Warning! Since wood is a natural material it can expand and contract. Over time, ALL filler can work loose and fall out. Strip filling is most reliable. If working with resin, make sure you work in a ventilated room.
The conventional way of gap filling sanded floor boards is to use a resin mixed with the dust that comes off the floor with the 80 grit or finer sanding. This is the least costly method, but also the least effective since it can easily crack and fall out.
A very simple procedure, simply mix the resin with the dust and apply it into the gaps with a flat spatula. Usually done after sanding to at least 80grit.

  • Hint 1: make sure that all boards are firm and secure since any movement will cause the gap filling to crack and fall out
  • Hint 2: make sure that you fill any gap bigger than 6mm with papier mache, string or strips of wood before you fill over the top with the resin filler. This will give the best chance of stopping the filling cracking.

The second method is to work with a flexible filler, with approx. 12% flexibility, that comes in a tube/gun. This has the advantage of being less prone to cracking out and the disadvantage of being very expensive.
Again this procedure is completed after the 80grit sanding. The filler is applied via a gun and smoothed over with a filling knife.
This filler must be left for at least 12 hours to set. After setting, the filler can be sanded and polished.

COLORS AND STAINS

Changing the atmosphere of your sanded floor.
With some skill, care and attention, amazing effects can be created with properly sanded floors. Coloring or staining a floor is an option that some people go for if they want to change the color of the wood. Often this is necessary if the wood is very blond, such as pine and you want a darker effect. See the gallery for examples.
What Type of Color to Use?
There are many different brands and types of color on the market, some are better than others.
Choosing a color type Such as water based or spirit based, depends on a number of factors such as top seal type, wood type and room location.Consult an expert for advice before you proceed. Remember that colors look different on different woods, different when stained and certainly different from a stain chart.
Please refer to our stain gallery for examples of possible colors.

FINISHES AND SEALS

When choosing the right type of finish for your wood floors, it is important that you consider your lifestyle and maintenance preferences. All wood floors will require routine maintenance, such as sweeping or dust mopping, to keep them looking beautiful and new, but different wood flooring finishes will have a big impact on how you care for your floor long-term, as well as how your floor will look in the years to come.
Surfaces Finishes are very popular today because they are durable, water-resistant and require minimal maintenance. Surface finishes are blends of synthetic resins. These finishes most often are referred to as urethanes or polyurethanes, and remain on the surface of the wood to form a protective coating. There are several types of surface finishes available: water-based, oil-based, acid-cured, and moisture-cured.  

  • Water-Based - Water-based finishes appear clear and will resist turning yellow over time. They have a mild odor when applied, and will dry in about two to three hours. Water-based finishes are very durable.
  • Oil-Based - Oil-based finishes appear amber in color. They have a moderate odor when applied, and will dry in about eight hours. Oil-based finishes are very durable.
  • Acid-Cured - Acid-cured finishes appear clear to slightly amber. They have a strong odor when applied, and will dry in about two to three hours. Acid-cured finishes are extremely durable.
  • Moisture-Cured - Moisture-cured finishes appear clear to amber. They have a strong odor when applied, and will dry in about two to three hours in humid conditions. Moisture-cured finishes are extremely durable and are more moisture-resistant than other surface finishes.

MAINTENANCE

Maintenance is the key to durability
We at UNIQUE know maintenance of your sanded floor matters. All sanded wooden floors, commercial or domestic, require correct maintenance. Cleaning and protection of your sanded floor are vital in order to maintain the beauty and longevity of their finish. Overlooking maintenance can lead to your sanded floors wearing prematurely which in turn leads to the unnecessary expense of re-sanding.
Maintenance is composed of two elements:

  • Cleaning – use the correct detergent and cleaning technique.
  • Recoating – in order to freshen up the floor and eliminate re-sanding.

Keep on top of these two elements and your wooden floor can last a very, very long time.
Benefits:

  • Floor maintains its original, clean image.
  • Reduces or eliminates the cost of re-stripping
  • and of particular importance to high traffic Commercial premises: Minimizes down time
  • Maintains cleanliness

Warning! Once a seal has worn through, the floor will have to be re-sanded.