Your Wood Floor Can Get A Fresh Breath Of Life
Every floor is bound to wear down over time, due to the barrage of abuse it receives on a daily basis. One of the main benefits of wood floors is that you get the chance to renovate the entire flooring without having to rip out the boards, through the sanding and refinishing. With the floor sanding, those old finish coats that are on the surface are removed, paving way for the new treatments to be applied. The sanding needs to be thorough, and the resultant surface left smooth for the new treatment to bond properly with the surface. When it comes to the recoating, one needs to ensure that compatible products are used for the bonding to be strong and prolong the durability of the finish.
After the floor refinishing, allow the coats that have been applied to dry before putting your furniture back. The drying time will vary based on the particular product that has been used, whether it is oil-based or water-based, plus the number of coats that have been applied. For instance, most water-based coats will have dried overnight while the polyurethane coats will take longer. After the drying, you can place back a few items carefully. However, you should still avoid normal traffic for a while, depending on the duration indicated on the product label. This is to allow the finish to completely cure.
How Often Will I Need To Recoat The Floor?
This depends on how the finishing was done. For instance, if there are blunders during the floor sanding – such as where patches of the old finish remain; or issues during the finishing stage like not allowing sufficient drying time in between the consecutive coat applications, or even using products that are incompatible to treat the surface – then the coats will deteriorate fast, and the job will need to be redone in just a couple of months. This is why it is emphasized that you get professional services for the floor sanding and restoration, to avoid the mistakes and enable the result to last for longer. This, coupled with the application of high quality finishes, can enable the floor to last over 10 years before another round of sanding and restoration is required. Since the coating is directly tied to the durability of the floor, it is important to ensure that the proper number of coats has been applied, the contactor buffs in between the coats, and allows sufficient drying time. In addition, ensure that proper cleaning measures are followed through the day-to-day life in the building.
Why DIY Floor Sanding Is Not A Good Idea
Sure, there are plenty of video tutorials and blog posts available especially regarding home improvement, and you may even feel inspired to take the DIY route for the floor sanding. However, unlike other conventional tasks that one can successfully manage at home, floor sanding is not one that should be trifled with. Not only does it involve plenty of labour and heavy machinery, it is also risky, and lots of money will be required to rectify the damages made.
The first challenge will be getting the equipment. There are different kinds of sanders required, from the belt and drum sanders, to the orbital sanders, edgers, and even buffers come into the picture during the refinishing stages. Purchasing this equipment is pricy, and thus one may choose to rent it. Note the equipment that is available at the dealership has gone through lots of hands – many of them novices, and may have got damaged in the process. It’s no secret that not much investment got into the maintenance of the rental sanders. Even for those in good condition, there is still the issue of capacity. The equipment is usually smaller than the industrial-grade machinery that the professionals use for the process. This is in a bid to make the sanders lighter and more portable to ease the load on the DIYer. However, this has the negative effect of compromising on the effectiveness of the process. As such, right off the bat, you will already be at a disadvantage.
Next comes the actual sanding. Here, different factors need to be considered. For starters, the sanders need to be tuned to the appropriate settings, and you need to work with the appropriate abrasive for the particular situation. This includes ensuring that you follow the grit sequence that will get rid of the old finish and scratches, and leave behind a smooth surface. Mistakes like skipping grit levels will end up with a rough surface.
The condition of the floor matters. Issues in like gaps that need to be filled, uneven surfaces that lead to chatter marks, nail heads popping out of the floor that should be driven into the surface – they all come into focus, even the direction with which one does the sanding, be it following the grain or working at a slight angle to the floorboards. The pace of manoeuvring the sanding machine is key as well. When one goes too fast, the is the risk of not properly sanding off the old finish, which will mean that the new coats to be applied won’t bond well with the floor. Going too slow on the other hand runs the risk of sanding away too much of the wood, weakening the structure and reducing the number of instances that the floor can be sanded and refinished in future.
The dust is another pesky issue that needs to be dealt with. The very nature of the floor sanding process means that there will be large amounts of dust that are generated. The conventional sanders that are usually rented come with dust bags. While these help in collecting the dust, there are still substantial quantities that escape into the surrounding environment, covering the sinks, electronics, countertops and cabinets, getting into the HVAC units and vents, and those fine light particles remain airborne. On the other hand, professionals use dustless floor sanding systems, where powerful vacuums connected to the sanders pick up the coarse and fine dust particles immediately they are ground off the wood floor, directing them safely away into containment units for eventual disposal.