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Question DetailsAsked on 9/13/2013

Is it customary for a hardwood flooring installer to clean up the sawdust from sanding a site-finished floor?

The site-finished floor looks amazing. However, when I did a post-work walk through, there was a layer of saw dust everywhere. There is sawdust all over my clothing from leaning against a counter. How did the water-based finish dry without getting sawdust on it? How should I remove the residual sawdust? With a water dampened cloth? I don't think my vacuum will be able to remove all the dust.

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2 Answers


They should have used visqueen to isolate the room they were sanding in, and vacuumed the dust in that room. Not normal to do a white-glove clean dusting, but they should have gotten what was loose. Normally, one would use a compressed air nozzle to blow all the dust into the air and onto the floor when done sanding, have an exhaust fan in a window to remove it, and vacuumed up all loose dust, dusted off their clothes (or better yet changed them), then dry-wiped the floor clean before doing the finishing.

From where you are now - if you have not made final payment then you have a handle to get them to come back and do their cleanup properly. Otherwise, you can try but not likely ot get results - vacuum what you can, use a feather duster from top to bottom to work the dust down from ceiling (starting with ceiling) and tops of things to counters and floor where you can get at it, then after all the loose dust is up, wet-rag wipe walls and cabinets from top to bottom, and end by mopping the floor - wet mop of waterproof flooring, damp mop otherwise.

Obviously, do not use anything damp on the new floor for several days - after it has cured for a full day, working in sock feet, dry rag it with a soft cloth like flannel or a soft towel, leave final wet cleaning till at least a week after the finish was applied.

If after you wipe it there is sawdust imbedded in the finish, as sounds likely, then you will have a fight with the contractor to redo the finish job. Check that as soon as the floor can be lightly walked on (per the instruction on the can), and put him on WRITTEN notice ASAP if there is a problem.

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Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Again LCD is spot on with his comments, the only thing I would add or suggest if you can not get the contractor to clean up his mess is the use of disposable dust cloths. One finish of kitchen jobs I use Swiffer type products on the floor and the cabinets. They seem to leave less streaks than damp rags. And I do this in spite of my contract stating "job site left broom clean". It sound to me like the floor finisher had a small hole in the dust bag on his sander.

Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon

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