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What to Expect During Your Floor's Sand and Finish

What to Expect During Your Floor's Sand and Finish

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Despite the natural durability of hardwood floors, even the sturdiest woods may require intensive maintenance at some point. The most effective way to restore your floor’s natural beauty is to refinish them. With all of our sand and finish projects, we work closely with you to ensure you’re getting the hardwood floor of your dreams. Congratulations! You’re getting your floors refinished! Now here are a few things to keep in mind as we get your project underway.

Ordering and Scheduling for Sand and Finish Projects

Once you’ve signed your contract and paid your labor deposit, your project can get underway. Since our sales team has already discussed finish options for you, we’ll start by ordering the supplies for your project.

Next, our pre-construction manager will contact you to schedule your project’s start date. One week before starting your sand and finish project, a member of our crew will meet with you to go over samples of the colors that you have chosen. This gives you a chance to see the colors on your floor and gives us plenty of time to order the finish we’ll need for your project.

Base Molding, Furniture, & Appliances

On the first day of your sand and finish project, we’ll start by removing and labeling your existing base and cabinet molding. Or we’ll protect it with courses of tape. Either way, we take steps to ensure your base molding stays pristine during our time on the job. We’ll also move any large pieces of furniture—things like beds, tables, couches, and major appliances. We’ll ask you to remove any breakables before we get started.

One thing you should note is that The HFC will remove all appliances and plumbing. However, due to liability issues, these things must be reinstalled by a licensed plumber. If this is a new build, or you want to do the reinstallation yourself, you can disregard this step.

Pre-sanding Prep

We’ll start by taping off any sections of flooring that aren’t getting sanded. Then we’ll hang plastic sheeting on all of your cabinets, shelving, doorways, stairwells, and electronics. This is to ensure that we keep dust contained to the work area. While we do run a dustless system for our sanding machines, we can’t guarantee that the process will be 100% dustless. Hanging plastic lets us protect your valuables and keep things dust-free.

If we’re installing new, unfinished hardwood or adding to an existing floor, there may be additional steps, including tear-out and disposal.


After completing our prep work, we’ll start sanding your existing hardwood floor. You’re welcome to stay in the house while we complete this initial sanding process. It usually lasts about two and a half to three days.

But once we start the final sanding sequence, we can’t allow foot traffic on the floor. During this phase, your floor will be vulnerable to scratches and blemishes that will also show up in your finish. The HFC will let you know when we are close to this stage so that you can coordinate your schedule.

Sealing & Finishing

Once we’ve finished sanding your floor, we can get to sealing and finishing. The appearance and color you have picked from the samples will determine the products we use, as well as cure times. There can be no walking on the floor during this process. After the final coat dry time, your floor can handle light foot traffic—socks only. The dry times of our standard finishes are:

DuraSeal Burnishing (Quick Coat Penetrating Oil Finish)

  • Colors, seals, and finishes your floor in two coats
  • Can be completed in one day
  • Dry time is two hours after the final coat
  • This is an oil finish that is high in VOCs and will have a smell that dissipates over a couple of days

Rubio Monocoat (Hard Wax Oil)

  • Colors, seals, and finishes your floor in one coat
  • Can be completed in one day
  • Dry time is twelve hours after the final coat.
  • Fully cured in six days
  • This is a modified hard wax oil finish that contains zero VOCs and is Greenguard Certified

Pallmann Waterborne Finishes (“Natural” Waterborne Sealer)

  • Coat finished with two polyurethane topcoats
  • Completed in two days
  • 3-hour dry times between coats
  • 4-hour dry time after final topcoat
  • Fully cured in five days

After the Sand and Finish

Once your newly refinished floor is complete, we can start putting your house back together. We’ll reinstall and caulk your base and cabinet molding, or remove tape as needed. We’ll also make sure furniture is put back in place and appliances set in their locations. Remember, a plumber will need to reinstall appliances with water or gas lines. We’re happy to coordinate this for you and forward the reinstallation invoice.

Final Walkthrough and Billing

Once we wrap up your sand and finish project, our field manager will do a final walkthrough with you. During this walkthrough, we’ll make sure everything meets your expectations. We’ll also provide maintenance instructions along with a complimentary cleaning kit. If we need to address any punch list items, they can be discussed and scheduled at this time. Once everything lives up to your standards, we’ll send the final bill with your remaining balance.

Now that you know what to expect during your sand and finish, you can sit back and let us bring your hardwood floor back to life. Thank you for choosing The Hardwood Floor Company.