Sandless Floor Refinishing – 9 Crucial Things To Know

The floor is such an important component when it comes to the beauty of the whole house. And if the floor is done up newly, then the beauty addition it offers is tremendous. However, the whole procedure of refinishing a floor can be rather untidy.

Sanding hardwood floors does not come cheap and needless to say, it is not an easy job too. The other option is sandless floor refinishing. This process results in an attractive, tidy floor minus the mess caused by sanding. This article discusses how sandless floor refinishing is done, its advantages and disadvantages, and also guidance if you would like to refinish your hardwood floors without sanding.

Introduction of Sandless Floor Refinishing

Sandless Floor Refinishing

This is a mess-free process that does not involve any sanding at all. The machine that is used for this process actually employs a liquid solution or abrasive pads. There is no sander used to take away the debris that collects on the floor. This process is absolutely dust-free because of the liquid that is used.

This liquid takes away all the debris smoothly. The liquid soaks up all the dust or dirt and so the furniture in the room will not collect any dust or dirt. The final step in the process is to wash the floor.

After this, a protective sealer is used on the floor and this imparts a lustrous look to the floor. The sandless and the sanding process are alike in many ways. However, the sandless procedure is only a touch-up for the floor. It cannot be used in the place of the sanding and refinishing process.

Floors tend to lose their shine and beauty with regular use. So, if your floor loses its luster, do not worry. The sandless refinishing process will come to the rescue. This procedure takes away all the old paint and polish very swiftly.

But, it has to be noted that this process will not do away with dents, scratches, or stains that may spoil the looks of the floor. The other thing that this process cannot achieve is a change in floor color.

This process is ideal for floors that are only marginally affected. This kind of floor can be made to look as good as new using this procedure. Apart from enhancing the looks of the floor, refinishing increases their longevity by 5 years.

The other major advantage of not having sand when refinishing is that it can be employed by people who are allergic to dust. At times, this is such a big problem that people even postpone doing up their floors.

People who have opted for wooden floors have reasons to want to retain the dents and scratches on the floor. If you fall under this category, then, you can regain only the beauty and luster of the floor while leaving the dents and scratches untouched. All you have to do is use the sandless refinishing technique.

The rest of the article talks about the dissimilarities between the discussed method and the dustless refinishing technique.

Dustless Vs Sandless Floor Refinishing

Dustless refinishing follows the traditional way of refinishing floors. The final result of applying this process on floors is that the floors look as they did in their original state. How is this achieved? By sanding the floor repeatedly till the surface of the floor is entirely raw.

This does not happen with sanding just once. It may be necessary to repeat the process even up to thrice till you are satisfied with the look of the floor. After this comes the next step which is coloring the floor. After the coloring is done, there is one last step to follow.  A clear coat has to be applied on the colored floor. After this is completed, the process is done.

Usually, when a floor is sanded, there is a lot of dust that flies around. However, the dustless process is a modern method of ensuring that there is no dust in the room after sanding the floor is done.

This is achieved by using a special vacuum suction tube. This powerful tube sucks all the dust. This dust collects in the machine and the room is dust-free. This is a very doable process, but it does not ensure a completely dust-free room.

Unlike this, sandless refinishing employs a different method.  This is done by using a specific chemical on the floor. After this, the floor is refinished with clear coats of stain. So, in this process, not much sanding is involved apart from etching the surface.

So, it is obvious that sandless refinishing does not include changing the color of the floor. If you are planning to change the color of your floor, then you can always go in for dustless sanding.

Pricing Differences

Just like there is a difference in the two processes, there is a variation in the price also. Dustless wood floor refinishing is more expensive and will cost you around $3 – $ 5 per square foot. However, this is not the standard price. The final price will be determined by the kind of finishes and stains that you decide to use for your floor. You will have to spend a lot more if you are looking at refinishing reclaimed hardwood.

On the other hand, sandless refinishing is comparatively much lesser. It will cost you only $1 per square foot. This is because there is not much labor involved in this process.

Pros and Cons of Sandless Floor Refinishing

This comparison makes it evident that traditional refinishing is twice as expensive as sandless refinishing. Sandless refinishing has a double advantage over the other process. It is half as expensive and is also very clean and nearly dust-free.

It is always a good idea to refinish floors as soon as they look old and worn out. Sandless refinishing is the best process for such hardwood floors. If you use this procedure, your floor is bound to look much better and will also last 5 years extra.

As floors get older, they tend to get thin and weaker too. When we refinish such floors, we should be careful to see that more wood from the surface is not removed as this will make the floor fragile. Sandless refinishing is the best way to do this. It does not put the floor at any risk and also does not leave back any dust or dirt. This procedure does not remove wood from the surface of the floor so, the floor lasts longer.

Though the advantages look great, there are some disadvantages also that we have to consider. This process involves the use of chemicals and these chemicals, unfortunately, generate a lot of fumes which are not good. For this reason, this process can be undertaken only in rooms with a lot of ventilation. Wearing a mask when executing this process is mandatory.

The next disadvantage is that this process does not give us the opportunity to stain the floor. However, we can coat it with a clear finish.

We should also remember that this process leaves the stains and scratches on the floor untouched. Because of this, the final look of the floor will not be as good as it will be with the traditional method.

How to Refinish Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

Sandless Floor Refinishing

If you are not for the process of sanding, then you can always use the other method of refinishing your floor. This method involves screening and recoating. There are two steps in this process.

This first step is to buffer the floor mildly and the next step is to apply a refresher coat. The buffering in this process is done instead of the chemical etching that is done. This is much better than chemical etching as buffering is an eco-friendly way of handling it. With this method, fumes are completely absent.

Sometimes, hardwood floors look old and overused though they can still remain in use and need not be replaced immediately. For such floors, sandless refinishing is the best way to go. After using this method on the floor, the floor will look much better and the color will become deeper.

However, if there are stains or scratches on the floor, they will remain untouched by the process. If you do not want the color of the floor to get deeper or if you are looking for a lighter color for the floor, then you should definitely not go in for sandless refinishing.

At times, too much sanding can affect floors. They may end up with a thin layer covering them. If this is the case, the best thing to do will be to only take away the outer surface of the boards only. However,  if the cross-section of the board is visible,  then you should definitely not go in for sanding as the process will ruin whatever is left of the existing layer of the floorboard.

After careful consideration of the above-mentioned points, if you have decided to refinish your floor but not with sanding, then there are a few steps that should be followed. The first step is to vacuum the area and remove all the dust that is present.

After this, the floor should be tacked and then two coats of clear floor finish should be applied on the floor. If you want to deepen the color of your floor but are not able to sand it, then, this process will give you the best results.

This process allows you to first screen the floor and then straightaway apply the stain. The final step is to cover the floor with a clear finish. The time consumed by the whole process also depends on the kind of finish you choose.

If you go for a water-based finish, then it will dry very quickly. Hence, you will be able to refinish your floor within just a day using the sandless method. You may have to clean up some dust that is generated in the process.  However, the dust generated is very little compared to the kind of dust the sanding process generates.

Refinishing your floor with a chemical etch is very simple as kits for this process are easily accessible. This all-inclusive kit gives you all that you need for the procedure. It contains a chemical etcher, the required tools, and a clear finish also.

There are some things to remember when applying the chemical etch. The floor must be thoroughly cleaned before applying the chemical etch. The tools in the kit are easily the best ones to use for the procedure.

The other option is to use a paint pad. After you are done with the process, you will have a floor that is shiny. Just wait for the chemical etching compound to dry and then apply a coat of clear finish.

Again, the tools in the kit are the best for the clear finish also. Alternatively, you can use a paint pad. If you want to add a lot of shine to the floor, then, you could use a stain. This must be done ahead of the etching and the finish.


How long does Sandless Floor Refinishing take?

Sandless refinishing is a process that does not take too long especially compared to the conventional ways of refinishing floors. The amount of labor involved is not too much and so, the whole process takes less than 24 hours. Comparatively, complete sanding will get done in 2 or 3 days only.

When is the best time of the year to refinish my floor without sanding?

There is only one condition that has to be fulfilled if you want to refinish your floor without sanding. The temperature in the area to be worked on must persistently be between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. This consistency must be maintained throughout and after the process. If this condition is fulfilled, then the process can be done at any time irrespective of anything else.

Is the sandless floor refinishing completely dustless?

Though this process is not entirely free of dust, you can rest assured that there will not be a lot of dust generated. In fact, this is a cost-effective procedure that is excellent for touch-ups for floors. It scores over the regular sanding process due to these advantages.

Final Words

If your floor is not really worn out but can do with a makeover, then sandless refinishing is the best way out. It is a functional method to make your floor look as shiny as you want it to.  However, if your floor has gone through a lot of wear and tear, you may need to sand it before staining it.

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