Unless people have had experience with doing timber floors, they don’t know that it’s an art. A lot of thought and preparation goes into it. Floor sanding and finishing masters like Mark Jolley at Floor knows what it takes to make a blank canvas out of any type of timber and turn it into a gleaming work of art.
When people call the team at Floor to get their timber floors sanded and polished, the state of the floor is usually sad – chipped, horribly stained, scratched, worn, faded, and balding of protective coating. It’s been stripped of its beauty over time. Mark and his team will assess the floor first by looking at the timber type, patterns, and other special properties like if its parquetry or regular timber planks. They will determine the square footage and discuss what products you would like as your finishing stain. They will then give an estimate as to how much it would cost to restore your floor to an amazing work of flooring art.
Why sand your floor and not just screen and recoat?
Screening and recoating might be a viable option for some type of floors. It all depends on how worn the floor is. Sanding is like starting from scratch whereas screening is sort of midway. Eventually you’ll have to sand your floor anyway to really get down to the untouched timber for a really polished and clean look. Screening isn’t a long-term solution, it just buys the surface of the floor a little more time. It is a good solution for really thin floor boards that cannot be sanded any thinner.
What does it take to sand and finish a floor?
If the floor timber has just been installed, sanding creates an even surface for the stain to stick to. Any planks with corners or sides that are even slightly uneven will be flatted for a flat and uniform floor. Sanding already existing older timber flooring will also even out any scratches and take out worn wood fibres showing through the top coat. The old used top coat will also be completely taken out by sanding.
Before sanding takes place to create a blank canvas for the new finish, the floor needs to be prepared by fixing loose boards by adding nails and by looking for nails that have come to the surface. Nails that are above the surface of the timber are driven deeper into the timber so that they won’t get hit by the sanding machines.
Depending on the degree of wear, most floors are sanded a few times. The first pass is done with the coarsest-grit sandpaper to remove the tougher old finish and the damaged fibres of wood. The first sanding should take out all of the old stain down to the bare timber. The second pass with the medium-grit sandpaper smooths out the coarse patterns made by the coarse grit sandpaper. The final pass is accomplished with the smoothest grit of sandpaper. This is the surface that the floor finish will be applied to for a really smooth and even floor. The sanding passes are usually made from one end of the floor to the other with the large sanding machines. The edges and tighter spaces are also done after each pass with the smaller sanding machines. Complete vacuuming is done after each pass to create a clean floor ready for the finish. The sanding passes should be done in line with the grain of the wood. The final top coats are also applied the same way, in line with the grain pattern of the wood.
There are pros and cons to any stain you choose. Discuss your options with the Floor team and they can help you find the right top coat for your already sanded floor. You can get stains that will show off the grain and excellent quality of your timber. You can also get stains that will turn your timber floor to your desired colour. You can even choose the sheen. Usually a sealer is applied first and dried before the top coats are put on. Oil, lacquer, or water-based stains are available for floor finishing. It is up to you to choose the final look of your floor. With Mark and the Floor team on the job to help you, your choice is sure to be an excellent one.