Floor sanding is not to difficult a task for the general population. Reasons why people sand timber floors may vary. It could be they would like to change the tone or colour of the stain or varnish they are using if it’s not up to standard. They could have just bought the timber flooring and installed it straight from the manufacturer or from an upcycle shop and needs a re-sand. The floors could also have been finished years ago and now is peeling, faded, or has patchy varnish. The wood could also be exposed with some planks rotten which needs replacing. Sanding it down to the bare wood and completely taking off old stain and varnish is a great solution before refinishing it again. A simple polish without sanding is good for yearly or bi-yearly maintenance depending on how your wood looks after a few years of use. However, after five years to a decade of use, the top coat of timber floors could be compromised. Floor – a floor sanding company based in Brisbane – tells us that the best solution is sanding and refinishing to provide the best protection for the floor. The new finish should also last a decade or more.
The Floor Sanding Process
Before the floor is sanded, it is examined for breaks and rotten boards. If there are non-repairable breaks, the boards are replaced with the same timber as the rest of the floors. All metal nails and screws are punched and screwed well below the floor surface. Any carpet staples if there was carpet before should be taken out. If the baseboards cannot be taken out, leave them and protect them with painter’s tape or wood tape so they won’t be scratched or damaged. Wood filler should be applied to holes or gouges and dried for a more uniform and seamless look.
There are several machines to choose from when sanding your floor. A person can use a drum floor sander that is versatile and can sand several types of timber floors and engineered flooring. It is easy to take apart and put together. It is even designed with a guard so that no walls can get marked by the machine working close to the wall. It is to be used with the appropriate sandpaper with different grits for the coarse, medium, and fine grit sanding stages. The sanding machine should come with a vacuum and bag for collection of the dust created from sanding. The vacuum works to continually collect the dust while you’re using the machine.
To supplement the drum sanders, an edge floor sander can be used to get the areas really close to walls that the drum sander cannot get at. It’s also good to use for sanding the floor spaces in closets, tight areas, or the steps of timber stairs. It comes with a disc guard for protection against the walls and baseboards if the baseboards have been left on. There is also the option of get one of these edge disc sanders with a vacuum and paper bag to collect the sanding dust. The user’s guide for each machine should be read thoroughly before proceeding if the person using them doesn’t have experience with the machines.
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The large drum sander or large orbital sander is used starting from one end of the floor to the opposite side. The sander should be moved in accord with the wood grain and not against it. The floor should be sanded at least three times. The first pass should be with the largest grit of sandpaper, the second with the medium-grit sandpaper, and the third and last should be with the finest grit sandpaper. The edges and hard to reach areas should also be done the same way with the edge sander using the different grits of paper. Remember not to stay too long in one spot as it can leave the sanding job uneven with parts sanded too much. The machines should be moved with good pressure and good pace. Even though the machines have vacuum and bag attachments, there will still be dust still left on the floor. The floor should be vacuumed with a non-abrasive vacuum in between all the sanding passes and after the last pass. There shouldn’t be any trace of wood and vanish dust so that you’ll have a smooth and grit-free surface – a good canvas for the top coat finish that will be put on the bare timber.
A person shouldn’t forget safety gear when sanding. It’s important to protect the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet, and knees. It’s not good to breathe in the fine dust as it can damage the lungs. If using the edge sander and are on your hands and knees, wear gloves and knee pads.