We decided to use Mr. Sandless to resurface our floors, which were starting to show some wear, and had damage from prior owners' animals. Truly it needed a full sanding to be perfect, but we had just painted through the whole house and didn't want the mess. Richard (we assume he's the owner/operator of the local franchise) came to our house, examined the area and told us the process he would use to resurface the floor; when asked if he could make the floor a darker color, he responded absolutely...in fact, it would cover the damaged areas better and the results we could expect were 80 to 90% improvement. He told us he could come in about 10 days, and that if he started at 8 am, we would be able to walk on the floor by the time we got home from work at 5 pm.
He showed up, did a quick exam of the floor, and had me sign a work order outlining that there were minor gouges, some paint splatter and minor water damage in some areas. I left for work, excited to see my new floors when I got home.
Mid-afternoon, he called to inform me he was having some "adhesion issues" with the top coat; the darker color didn't want to adhere to the heavy traffic areas on the floor. He said he would work to blend it, but he wouldn't be done until about 7 pm.
When I arrived home at 5pm, 1/2 of the living room (we're talking half of 186 square feet) was a dark walnut color, and the other half looked like golden oak with smeared purple paint on it. We advised Richard we'd stay out of his way while he worked, and he assured us that he could blend it to make it look even and that with each additional coat the color would even out. We told him to take his time, and if he had to come back the next day, so be it, just not to rush.
a short while after, we did go down again to check his progress and things were looking even worse. he explained that he'd heard of things like this happening, but had never seen it himself. He told us that worst case scenario, we were going to pay him $500 to do the floor anyway, so if we would pay him the $500, he would bring in a dust-free sander to sand the floors properly and refinish them, and pay the difference himself (he expected the total cost to be about $1200). I asked how dust free a dust free sander was, as that was why we called Mr Sandless in the first place, because we didn't want our freshly painted house covered in a fine layer of sand. Plus the extended dry time and harsh fumes of the polyurethane was not something we were prepared to live with for 2 or 3 days. My concern was met with some heavy sighs and eye rolls, and we left him to it again.
At 9 pm, we again ventured downstairs to see how things were going. We were then told that "well, you won't be getting a darker floor"; he had managed to remove the darker topcoat from the surface of the floor, but not from the spaces in between the wood planks. It looked like someone had outlined the floorboards with a reddish-purple sharpie marker!!. he told us he'd get it back to the shape that it was, and we headed back upstairs to wait some more.
When the initial process was explained to us, we were told there were 3 topcoats applied; the first dries in about 2 hours, the second in about 45 min and 15 minutes for the final coat. This will be important as the story progresses if you're following the timeline.
Shortly after 11 pm, we went downstairs again, frustrated as our floor was not 1% better, never mind the 80% that had been promised. We weren't expecting perfection - just an improvement. Richard then told us that this was the "last coat" (in my mind 2 hours is not long enough to do 3 coats, if you believe what I wrote in the last paragraph).
My husband grabbed our camera and started taking pictures. Richard was quick to point out the one or two places that had improved; not so quick to point out the dozen or more spots where it looked like someone had spilled nail polish remover and there was no finish whatsoever on the floor. I had to leave the room I was so upset; I think he had the bill in his hand as he said to my husband "we're all good"; Hubby replied, yeah, whatever. Richard had the good sense at least to not present us with the final bill.
It was the next day before we noticed the rub marks on the walls, where he had clearly hit them with the equipment; at least 2 walls need to be completely repainted, due to splashes of the colored topcoat, our fireplace needs to be repainted (same reason) and there is a stain that appears to be the color of the topcoat on the tile floor in the hallway - we'll likely have to replace THAT floor as well. You could barely walk across our floor in socks without feeling like you were walking on sandpaper. There was zero smoothness in the "finish" (I still don't believe he used any at all)
So here I am 5 days later, calm enough to start writing about it, and $1200 poorer with 10 boxes of new wood flooring sitting in my living room, waiting for the installer to come in 2 days. We plan to send a bill for the installation (which will be approximately $700 - about what he would have had to pay out of his own pocket, on top of the money we were to pay him to sand the floor) directly to Mr. Sandless head office, although they appear to be smart enough to make the physical address of the franchise head office difficult to find.
So Mr. Praz, CEO of Mr. Sandless, you seem to be inclined to respond to these types of complaints through this site; anything to say about this one?
FYI - we did everything we said we would; moved all the furniture, removed the baseboards in the room, and removed anything on the walls that would collect dust, to prevent it from falling on the finish as it was drying.
We are also waiting for a return call from our local news consumer advocate. perhaps some "free advertising" for Mr. Sandless.....