So you have discovered damaged timber floors. Before you call in the experts to repair them, consider whether the cure is worthy of the cause. Besides affecting the overall look and continuity of the rest of your floors, even minor repairs can be costly and inconvenient. Here’s how to tell when the damage should be left alone, or whether it’s worth repairing, or starting again from scratch.
Before you jump on the phone to us, take a good look at the affected area. How bad is the damage? How obvious is it? Does it cover a wide section of your floor and impact the overall look of the room? Minor damage may only ever be visible to you. Repairs can have a significant impact on the continuity of your floors, so it’s worth weighing up whether repairs are truly necessary.
If wiping a wet cloth over the affected area makes the scratch disappear momentarily, then a re-coat will fix it. But if it changes the colour of the scratch (or does nothing at all), then the damage has penetrated the coat and is in the timber. If that’s the case, read the ‘severe damage’ section below.
Dings, dents and scratches in your timber floors can’t be easily fixed with a DIY repair kit from your local hardware store. Without the specialist skills and equipment professional floor sanders like us have, you risk making the damage even worse. Besides making the affected area even more obvious, you run the risk of introducing contaminants to the floor. This will then require a complete re-sand and polish. It’s an expensive mistake you don’t want to make.
Not sure whether the damage is worth repairing or not? Take a picture of the affected area (and another of the entire room) and let us be the judge. Send the photos to us in an email, along with your room measurements. Then we’ll let you know whether the damage is liveable, repairable, or requires more serious attention.
But before you get busy with your camera, consider the information below.
For light scratches that are just in the coating, we recommend a light buff and recoat. To ensure the entire area is consistent in appearance and is properly protected, we recommend the entire room and continuous area be recoated. Eg. Kitchen and run-on dining room.
If you’re a home owner and either your tenant or a visiting contractor has caused your damaged timber floors, keep in mind that they’re only responsible for repairing the damaged area. Not the adjoining rooms.
If you’re not able to invest in a recoat of the adjoining floors, it may not be worth insisting on repairs. The repaired area may end up looking quite different from the connecting floors, creating an obvious inconsistency in your floor’s appearance.
Cost should also be factored in. We charge a minimum flat rate call out fee of $1,000 to re-coat an area up to 40 m2. For a full re-sand and 3 coats of polish, the minimum flat rate fee is $2,000, as two trips are involved over 2 days.
If you’re the contractor or tenant responsible for causing the damage, you also have a third option – to offer a settlement for the damage caused. As professional sanders, we can only offer a re-coat or re-sand, unfortunately there’s no quick – or cheap – fix available.
For severely damaged timber floors – i.e. the damage penetrates the coating and goes into the timber – we recommend a complete re-sand (back to bare timber) and 3 coats of polish.
Again, remember that if you only repair the damaged area, you risk highlighting the difference in joins, colour and shine between the repaired area and the adjoining floors. If the overall look of your floors is important to you, you may want to consider a re-sand of the adjoining floors or continuous area, as well as repairing the damage.
As mentioned above, the re-sanding of the non-damaged areas is your responsibility as a home owner. It can’t be passed on to tenants or contractors who caused the original damage. Considering the cost involved, it may be more worth your while to accept a settlement and live with the damage. Then hold off until the floor shows signs of excessive wear and is ready for a full re-sand and finish.
For more information, visit us at https://www.floor.com.au or call Mark on 0438 777 561.