The floor’s state is bound to affect the rest of the décor of the house. If the floor is covered with scratches, the finish is all dull and forlorn, with cracks and splinters on some of the boards, then the rest of the charm of the space will be ruined. This is why it’s important to keep the floor in top shape. This goes beyond the routine cleaning and refinishing. After some years, even an intensive scrubbing session will not change the look of the floor. The deteriorated finish will simply need to be overhauled and a new one applied in its place. In other cases, the homeowner simply wants to change the look of the space, by having different wood stains applied to reflect the new style requirements. Whichever the reason, a proper floor sanding will need to be carried out. This is because it sets the stage for the rest of the restoration project. The results that are obtained after the sanding will determine how well the treatments that are to follow will bond with the wood.
What happens when patches of old finish are left behind on the surface? This can be due to the individual carrying out the sanding moving the machine too quickly over the surface, sections of the floor being uneven such that the sander does not get to some sections, or the machine itself was of a low capacity, lacking the power needed to grind away those old coats of finish. These patches prevent the new wood stain and lacquer to be applied from properly bonding with the underlying wood. As such, there’ll be weaker protection for the floor and the finish will deteriorate faster, thus needing the floor to be sanded and refinished much earlier than was expected.
There are also cases where the grit sequence is not properly followed – especially during the DIY projects. There are basically three grit level: coarse, medium and fine. Within each of them, there are different kinds of sandpaper. For instance, grits 12 to 36 are grouped under coarse grits. The first step will be to determine the kind of sandpaper to start with. For untreated floors, the sanding can start with 36 grit. Those with old finish coats that are to be removed may call for 24 to be the initial grit, but there are installations with heavy coats of treatment that will require as low as 12 or 16 grit. After starting, one progresses through the different grit levels, ending at the fine grits like 80 or 100 depending on the requirements of the final surface. Only one grit level can be skipped at a time. For instance, you can go with 36-50-80, meaning that 40 and 60 have been skipped. However, jumping from 36 all through to 80 will leave the surface with scratches. Progressively following the grits allows the scratches formed by the previous one to be removed by the finer sandpaper. However, an 80-grit sandpaper will not be able to even out the scratches formed by the 36-grit. This would create an uneven surface. More product should settle in the grooves of the scratches, and less on the peaks, messing up the final result.
There are plenty of more issues to factor in during the floor sanding. For instance, with an uneven surface, there is the risk of leaving behind chatter marks. Having the sander on one area for too long will cause it to dig a depression into the floor. Cranking on the sander when the drum is on the floor makes it spin on the spot, which creates a divot. All of these will take up more resources to resolve. You don’t want to put yourself in such a situation. Get the project handled properly by hiring professional floor sanding services.
As you scout the internet and locality for floor sanding contractors, there are some myths that you should ignore. They can be circulated by the locals, social media users, or even the contractors themselves. Let’s take a look at them.
Firstly, one of the services being offered by contractors is dustless floor sanding. Specifics matter here. At face value, it would seem that the process is completely dust free, and you won’t have to be concerned about those pesky particles covering the surfaces of the building or ruining the indoor air quality. There is some truth here. Compared to conventional sanders that come with dust bags, the dustless floor sanding services use high-powered vacuums that are attached to their sanding gear, which extract both the fine and coarse sanding dust particles the moment they are ground off the floor. However, despite the efficacy of the process, it is not a 100% dust free process.
Depending on the capacity of the machinery that is used, the dustless services may have an efficiency of removing 97 to 99% of the dust. This is certainly better than the traditional mode of sanding that led to a humongous mess being made in the space – which is why the dustless sanding services are growing more popular. It reduces the cleaning workload that will be required after the cleaning, enabling the treatment and finishing to be carried out much faster.
A common myth being peddled is that you should sand and recoat your floor every two years. This is just a ploy to get you to pay for a maintenance service that is not actually needed. Floor finishes have been formulated to last for over 7 years – as long as you follow the required maintenance measures including regular cleaning. When properly sanded and finished, you can enjoy the flooring for even a decade before you need to carry out the next sanding. Remember that a floor can only be sanded for a limited number of times, which will depend on the thickness of the wear layer. Excessively sanding the floor will mean that you will find yourself in a situation where you will be forced to replace the entire installation.