13 Mar, 2020, 11:23 PM

Newly installed flooring typically degrades over time due to factors such as foot traffic friction. When this happens, you can remove old flooring materials and install new ones. Alternatively, you can carry out floor refinishing or resurfacing to make it look as good as new. Here is some more information on this topic:

Tile Resurfacing and Refinishing

Resurfacing generally involves the use of various techniques to transform the appearance of old flooring without necessarily ripping entire flooring from its base. As such, this exercise causes minimal disruption to the daily routines of the occupants of a building. Moreover, it is cheap because it is not an extensive undertaking. At this point, it is worth noting that resurfacing is quite different from refinishing. During resurfacing, one may replace a few flooring boards or tiles that have sustained significant degradation over the years. On the other hand, refinishing does not involve removal of any flooring materials. One simply sands flooring surface or applies a fresh coat of lacquer or sealer.

Resurfacing/Refinishing Wood Flooring

Unlike other flooring materials such as stone tiles, wood is a versatile material that can regain its luster after resurfacing. With this in mind, the best way to resurface wooden flooring is by sanding. For the best result, hire a sander similar to the ones used by contractors. Acquiring one should not be a problem because most hardware stores keep such equipment ready for hire. Use this piece of industrial-strength equipment to sand your home’s wooden flooring.

Where wooden boards have sustained dents or cracks, apply an appropriate filler, especially if the wood surface has been breached by moisture and become rotten. Make sure you remove all rot and treat the area before proceeding with filler. After sanding and filling holes, cracks, and dents, apply one or two coats of lacquer/sealer. Make sure you use a durable product. If in doubt, consult or seek advice from a construction contractor. You can also seek advice from hardware store attendants. Those who have worked in the industry for years accumulate extensive knowledge on diverse construction materials meaning they can help you select the right product.

 

Tile Floor Resurfacing

The process of resurfacing tile flooring is more or less similar to the process of resurfacing wooden flooring. Start by fixing or replacing loose and cracked tiles. Where necessary, clean and re-grout spaces between tiles. At the same time, fill and sand dents or holes that you may come across on tile surface. If you can, apply bonding agent to tiles as well as a durable resurfacing system. Finally, finish tile resurfacing by applying a curing agent. For a skilled DIY enthusiast, this process should take no more than a few afternoons.

Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S)

People walking on newly resurfaced or slippery floors could slip, fall, and sustain injuries such as fractures, broken bones, or dislocated joints. The ensuing hospital admission/stay, medical bills, and potential legal suits filed by visitors/guests can leave your bank account in the red and strain relationships.

According to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), trips, slips, and falls account for 15% of all accidental deaths. In fact, slips and falls are the second leading cause of accidental deaths in the Australia behind auto related fatalities. As such, various federal, governmental, or state agencies have established regulations that govern occupational safety and health. For example, OSHA has standards that apply to walking surfaces in offices, factories, and residential buildings. In addition, the Australians with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires flooring accessible to disabled people to be slip resistant throughout a building’s lifetime. To improve friction, the general rule of thumb is to apply anti slip floor treatment.

When shopping for such a product, go for one with a wet static coefficient of friction of 0.60 or higher. This coefficient should conform to ASTM method C1028, which is acknowledged by the Tile Council of Australia, and the Ceramic Tile Institute of Australia. This will reduce risk of slips and falls that could result in injuries or fatalities. Even if the cost of anti-slip products seems high, this expense pales in comparison to cost of settling a personal injury suit or paying hospital bills out of pocket.

In recent years, some players in the construction industry have turned to a new method of preventing falls on slippery floors called Sustainable Slip Resistance (SSR). According to the developer of this test, it can help residential and commercial building owners cut frequency of injuries caused by slips and falls, associated healthcare costs, and avoid expenses related to installing inappropriate flooring. The good news is some hardware stores and construction material retailers now stock flooring products like ceramic tiles that have SSR coatings.

Besides installing non slip flooring, research carried out by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends drafting and implementing comprehensive strategies to curb slips, trips, and falls especially in the workplace. A study carried out by NIOSH over a 10-year period found that hospitals that had such programs reported 59% reduction in compensation claims from injured staff. You too can realize similar benefits by requiring employees to observe specified slip, trip, and fall (STF) prevention protocols.

Conclusion

It is possible to spruce up your home’s old wooden or tile flooring to look as good as new. For wooden flooring, use a sander and then apply a coat of lacquer/sealer. Since resurfacing can make flooring slippery, use anti slip treatment to improve friction.

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