If you have arrived here because you are interested in getting your floors sanded and refinished, I recommend that you take the time read this page, as well as other pages on our website, and absorb as much information as you possibly can.
First, an introduction, Osborne Woodcare is a Letchworth-based floor sanding and restoration company that covers Hertfordshire and the surrounding counties.
We offer our services to homes, pubs, restaurants, schools, town halls, art galleries, gymnasiums and community buildings. Whether its parquet, finger block, strip flooring, granwood, stairs or even just pine floor boards, we can sand it and refinish it.
We can work during the night so business doesn’t have to stop during floor renovation. We can even help move furniture and put up dust sheets (if you really feel its necessary).
Why choose Osborne Woodcare?
Floor sanding is a craft that demands care and attention.
It takes time and there aren’t many shortcuts. While there are gimmicks that other companies use to sell themselves, we pride ourselves on our quality. The finishing of every job is overseen by the owner and director Ben Osborne to ensure that we deliver on our values on every floor.
Something to consider.
New homeowners are in a rush to get everything done and move in, but consider this: Your floor will be finished in between 1 and 6 days, but you will see the results every single day. If the company you have chosen decides to cut corners, or use shoddy products, you will see the imperfections every single day, for up to twelve years! If you aren’t happy with your finish and decide to have it refinished again, you have to move all your furniture out once again. Most people do not choose to do this, instead they choose to live with the sub par work.
Be critical with your choice.
If you think your floor is too old and damaged for sanding, then think again. We have restored wooden floors that are over 100 years old to look brand new (and one or two over 200 years old)! We carry out any repairs prior to sanding. Our sanding is 99% dust free and our customers are often amazed at the lack of dust.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is involved in the sanding process?
Our goal as floor refinishers is to get the floor looking as smooth and clean as possible, while also removing as little wood as necessary to preserve the life of the floor. As a very basic outline, all professional floor refinishers should perform the following.
- A course grit with the belt sander and edge sander to remove all the old finish(or glue or whatever else may be on the floor), dents and scratches to reveal a flat clean floor. Most spill stains are quite shallow and come out in the sanding process, while very few others soak right into the wood. Sometimes it is possible to start with a medium grit, but this is maybe 15-20% of jobs.
- A medium grit with the belt sander and edge sander. This is to remove the scratches caused by the cause grit sanding from the previous process.
- A fine grit with the belt sander and edge sander. Climbing the grits like this is to leave the finest scratches possible. This is all in preparation for the most important part of the job….
- The finishing sanding. There are many different finishing sanders on the market, but the defining characteristic of them is that they have a large surface area(and thus a lower pounds per square inch pressure on the abrasives). This machine is used to remove all the scratches from the previous steps. One of the areas in which we leave our competition behind is our knowledge and skill at getting the most incredible results at this step in the process.
2. Will there be a lot of dust?
Some people have experience with rental sanding machines, these are usually the customers who are most concerned about dust. Cheap rental sanders emit a terrible amount of dust and it seems to creep through cracks and crevices throughout the home (they also don’t do a very good job at sanding the floor). Modern professional floor sanding machines are very different, they remove 99% of all dust or more. We also use dust extraction systems to collect the dust. No matter how good a dust control protocol is, there is always some dust emitted. If there are any items you would like us to cover with polythene dust sheets, just ask and we will accommodate.
3. Can my floor be saved?
Unfortunately, this is most often an unasked question. There are so many people who think their floor is too far gone and either rip it up or cover the floor with a carpet. If you have a wood floor and have even the remotest possibility of restoring it to its former glory, call and get an estimate! Estimates are free. A good floor refinisher won’t want to refinish a floor if he doesn’t believe it will result in a happy customer. If I don’t think it’s salvageable, I will say so.
4. Is it possible to refinish my floor without sanding?
I believe this is possible, however, this is not a service we offer. In reality, it’s probably not an option you should consider. Old floors can be quite uneven, with dents and scratches, maybe a little warping, and also staining. You can make an old wood floor look far better by stripping back 1-2mm of wood to reveal a perfectly flat, smooth, surface and applying a new finish from there.
Only 10-15% of our work involves staining, that is, applying a colour before applying the protective coating. Some of our clients say “sanding and staining” when they refer to sanding and finishing. Clear seal and clear lacquer slightly darkens the wood and brings out its natural grain. If you would like to darken (or even lighten) the floor, we can put some samples down on the bare wood after the sanding is complete for you to choose from. The samples are then sanded off and applied to the entire floor. Pine and Oak are great for staining as they are light and present a blank canvas on which to create your own beautiful finish. More colourful and exotic woods are usually not stained as the natural unstained grain is so much more beautiful and are already more ‘full bodied’.
6. How long will it take for our floors to be completed?
For an average size family home with a living room, dining room, hallway and a couple of bedrooms it will take 3-4 days, assuming the floors are in relatively good condition and you are going to keep them natural and not stain them.
Single rooms of a normal size are usually completed in a single day. Some circumstances cause the lacquer to dry slower, or maybe some repairs in the morning may set the job back a little, in which case we can return and apply the final coat the next day. If you would like to add staining, prepare to add up to a whole day to the process. Since stairs can only be sanded with hand sanders that are no where near as powerful as floor sanders, it can take some time, especially if there is thick paint on them (which is often the case). Allow 3 days for Stairs.
7. What areas do we work in?
We are mostly Hertfordshire based. We also work in North London and Central London. However, if you have a sizable and/or interesting project and you are within a reasonable distance from us, we would love to hear from you! Sometimes our lead time can run up quite substantially, but some of our clients are prepared to wait. If you have a 14 square metre living room 30 miles from us, you might want to consider someone closer to you.
8. Should I redecorate before or after refinishing the floors?
Most of the decorating can be done before we sand the floors. Skirting, however, should be redecorated after we have refinished the floor. One reason is that the edger can rub against the skirting leave a pencil line close to the floor. Often gloss work paint (even if its matt) can take a very long time to dry and can delaminate from the skirting. Which presents a real problem when trying to lacquer the floor as the paint flakes and falls in the lacquer. Expensive and/or textured wallpaper should be installed after the floors have been refinished
Arlesey, Baldock, Biggleswade, Buntingford, Bushey, Chelsea, Codicote, Colney Heath, Frogmore, Gustard Wood, Hampstead, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Hampstead Heath, Harpenden, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Henlow, Hertford, Hitchin, Kensington, Kimpton, Knebworth, Letchworth Garden City, London Colney, Luton, Mayfair, Park Street, Potters Bar, Potton, Radlett, Redbourn, Royston, Sandridge, Sandy, Shenley, St Albans, Stevenage, Stotfold, Watford, Wheat Hampstead, Welwyn and Welwyn Garden City. That’s Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas.
“Professional and efficient service. Ben was super friendly. I would highly recommend.”
Ed – London”