When getting your floor sanded, there are two very important considerations that the crew you work with will have to make. The first is the type of flooring material in your home and the second is the amount of paint or polish that will need to be stripped. These two very important factors determine the grit size that they will opt for. Grit basically refers to the particle size on the abrasive surface of sanding paper sheets. Higher grit sizes have finer particles whereas lower grit sizes are coarser. Below is a comprehensive description of the most commonly used grit sizes in floor restoration and their applications.
- 12-24 grit
These are the coarsest options available on the market. This grit range is usually applied when there is heavy duty floor sanding to be done. They usually come in handy when dealing with hardwood floors whose tough nature requires equally tough handling. The combination of these grit sizes with drum floor sanding machines ensures that the job gets done quickly and efficiently. Coarse grit sanding paper is also useful when the crew is dealing with thick coats of polish or paint layers on your floor. Finally, they are also applied where there is need to eliminate surface flaws including scratches and dents.
- 36-40 grit
This is considered the range of medium coarseness in floor sanding. The grit types are often used after coarse grit on hardwood in order to ensure a nice and smooth finish. They do this by eliminating scratch marks and sanding flaws caused by the lower grit sizes. In addition to this application, they may be applied as the initial sanding options on more delicate flooring material including laminate and softwood. This is because the particles are large and hard but not so much that they risk causing more harm than good.
- 50-100 grit
This range of floor sanding grit sizes is fairly fine. More often than not, they are used after the coarser sand paper grit options are done with the initial stripping. Their main purpose is to remove fine blemishes for smooth and even fine results. The fairly small size of the particles allows application on pretty much all surfaces including hardwood, ceramic and laminate. They are also popular for use on maple and birch wood flooring panels.
- 120-150 grit
This is as fine as it gets when it comes to floor sanding. This range is usually applied at the very end of the restoration process. More often than not, they are applied on hand-held sanders for more precise and delicate sanding. Their main purpose is finishing ensuring perfection in terms of surface texture and consistency. They are also commonly used to prepare the floor for staining and for application of polish coats after the floor sanding process is complete.
This information might seem a bit technical but it is always important for you as the homeowner to understand what kind of treatment your floor is receiving. However, you don’t have to worry because no one expects you to become an overnight expert. The different grit sizes described above determine the final outcome. It is therefore entirely up to your floor sanding crew to determine what to use, where to use it and when.