Quick Guide To Floor Sanding

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<h1>Quick Guide To Floor Sanding</h1>

Quick Guide To Floor Sanding

One of the benefits of wood floors is that, when they get all tired and worn out covered in stains and scratches, you can restore their beauty by sanding the surface and applying new layers of finish treatments.  However, this is not a walk in the park. In fact, the floor sanding is one of the most labour-intensive kinds of floor renovation projects, and is best left to the professionals. High-powered equipment is used for the process, there is plenty of room for error especially if you don’t have adequate training on handling the different aspects of the job, and rectifying any mistakes that are made is also a costly endeavour. Let’s break down what the process involves. 

Preparing For The Sanding 

First off is assessing the condition of the floor, as this will dictate the kinds of processes that will be used. Are you dealing with a solid hardwood floor, or an engineered floor? How thick is the wear layer? How many times can the floor be sanded while still remaining in a safe threshold? Sanding too deep into the floorboards weakens the structure. Is the floor badly worn? While the grit sequences of the sanding paper used go from coarse to medium and fine, the particular grit that you start with will depend on factors such as how uneven the floor surface is. The grits for floor sanding paper usually range from 16 to 150, where 16 is the most aggressive, and 150 is very fine.  However, grits 36 or 40 can be used for starting most of the sanding jobs, going progressively higher to grit 120. 

Any protruding screws or nail heads also need to be removed. These can easily damage the sanding equipment used – adding to the repair costs. 

There will be sanding dust – lots of it.  Measures need to be put in place to deal with it – from covering delicate surfaces, appliances and sockets, all through to getting a vacuum cleaner that can be used for clearing the particles. The professional contractors work with dustless floor sanding machines, designed purposedly to deal with this issue in an effective manner.

Getting Rid Of The Old Finishes

The actual floor sanding is carried out here. Powerful sanders are used for the task, grinding down the existing stains, polishes and other treatments that are on the floor. These need to be got rid of since the new treatments to be applied should bond directly with the bare wood.  

Different sanders are used, from drum sanders, orbital sanders, and even edgers. This will depend on the particular area being worked on. Handling the equipment requires some skill. A simple case such as starting the sander before it is properly positioned can cause it to spin on the spot, creating divots in the floor. Going too fast, perhaps a bid to avoid sanding the wood excessively, will result in there being patches of the old finish remaining on the surface. Going too slow on the other hand will cause the sander to get deep into the floor, creating depressions in the affected sections, and in general taking more out of the wear layer of the wood floor than is required. This reduces the lifespan of the wood floor, since there can only be a limited number of times in which it can be sanded.

During the process, the particular grit sequence needs to be followed. In general, the sanding paper used here goes from coarse, to medium then fine. The grit to start with will depend on the condition of the floor. For the final passes with the sander, a grit of 100 – 120 is usually used.  There needs to be extra care to ensure that the surface is not let to become “too smooth”, since this will in turn prevent the new treatments from being properly absorbed by the wood. 

Any imperfections on the floor are also dealt with in this stage, before the final sanding passes are made. This includes getting rid of gaps and scratches. For instance, when it comes to the gaps, a filler agent is used. Dust from the wood itself is mixed with the filler formulation, forming a paste that has properties that are similar to the rest of the floorboards. That way it will contact and expand uniformly with the rest of the structure.  

A thorough round of vacuuming is carried out to get rid of the dust that is generated, then the rest of the restoration can proceed.

The Floor Treatment Process

Once the floor sanding has been carried out, the desired sealant or finish can be applied. There are numerous products to choose from, from wood stains which alter the current colour of the floor, varnishes, natural oils, water-based or oil-based lacquers – you have plenty to work with to get the result that matches your aesthetic and functional attributes. 

Some measures need to be observed here. For starters when there are different products being used together, like woods tians, primers and lacquers, these should be compatible with each other. You shouldn’t mix product unless it has been expressly indicated by the manufacturer, to avoid cases of the integrity of the finish coat being compromised. When multiple coats are being applied, the appropriate drying time should be observed. That way you won’t have a case of the new finishes peeling off the floor. The drying time will vary from one formulation to the next, with oil-based finishes typically taking a longer duration compared to water-based finishes. There will also be slight sanding carried out between the coats. Note that the previous coat needs to first be allowed to dry before any sanding can be carried out. 

After the floor finishing process is over, allow ample time for it to dry before letting foot traffic back on it. This is usually between 24 and 48 hours. The specific time will be indicated on the product label of the particular treatments that are being used. The curing process will take longer – even up to a week. Before the curing is over, the floor should not be mopped, as the extra water content would interfere with the curing process.

Quick Guide To Floor Sanding

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