Just recently, I was contemplating getting my hardwood floor refinished. I’d never gotten it done before, so I had no idea what to expect in terms of the cost or the length of time that my home would be in disarray. I would have asked a local floor refinisher or two, but I had no contacts and wasn’t sure where to start.
I liked my floors a great deal. I’m not sure if they were original to the house or not, but I do know that they spent a good portion of their lives buried under carpeting. Then, maybe ten years ago or thereabouts, the carpeting was removed and the floor was refinished. Now that floor looked a little tired. It was time for another refinishing – or at least a cleaning – and I wanted to do right by those old floorboards.
So I decided to be smart about finding the right refinisher for my venerable floors. And I learned a thing or two during my search, and maybe I can pass a little insight along to you.
By now, it may go without saying that online searches are a great way to go. That’s not because you’ll quickly find a lot of choices – even though you will. It’s because you can easily find information that can help you evaluate your prospective services. I found a few companies that had good reviews, so they made it to the next round.
Next, I decided to see which of my prospective refinishers were National Wood Flooring Association (or NWFA) Certified Professionals; they’re kind of a big deal – a resource for both professionals and people like me who have more questions than answers. If you work with Certified Professional, then you know that you’re getting someone that has taken the time to stay educated about the latest wood refinishing products, services and trends. Most – but not all – of my prospects made the cut.
Next I visited the local webpage for the Better Business Bureau. I wanted to see if my prospects were accredited with the BBB, and if there were any complaints against them. As it turned out, all of my prospective refinishers were accredited and had scored good grades of A- or higher. While I didn’t rule anyone out here, I was sure that all of my prospects were worthy.
One question had been gaining importance with me: Was dustless refinishing an option? My floors weren’t damaged so much as dimmed by everyday wear and tear. I was hoping that the less-involved, less-expensive dustless version would give me the shine I wanted. If so, the process could be done in one day rather than as long as a week. Just in case, I was also hoping to get a refinishing cost per foot – ballpark, at least – for my medium walnut floors.
I ended up talking to three floor refinishers here in Richmond. After spending some time to qualify them, I shouldn’t have been surprised that they were all knowledgeable and very good at what they do. Ultimately, I elected to go with Buff & Coat; more than anything, that reflected the fact that Buff & Coat specialized in the dustless option that was more in line with what I was hoping to spend.
A dustless refinishing won’t keep my floors looking beautiful forever, but it will keep them looking their best until the time when a full refinishing – one that includes sanding, staining, and multiple coats of finish – becomes a more necessary and compelling option. My understanding is that a hardwood floor’s finish ought to last 20 years. So until that day arrives, I’m hoping to get a little more shine out of those handsome old boards.