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Posted on April 27, 2023
Wooden floors have been a popular choice for homeowners for centuries, and for good reason. They are durable, aesthetically pleasing, and timeless. However, even the most well-maintained wooden floors will eventually require refinishing to restore their original beauty. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top seven wood floor sanding and finishing tips to help you achieve a flawless look.
The first step in any floor sanding project is selecting the appropriate sandpaper. Sandpaper is available in various grits, with lower numbers indicating a coarser texture and higher numbers a finer one. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper (such as 36-grit) to remove the old finish and level out any imperfections in the wood. Gradually work your way up to finer grits (60-grit, 80-grit, and finally 100-grit) for a smooth and even surface.
Before you begin the sanding process, it’s essential to prepare your space adequately. Remove all furniture, rugs, and other items from the room, and cover any vents, outlets, or switches with plastic to prevent dust from entering. Seal off the room with plastic sheeting to minimise dust migration to other areas of your home. Finally, wear a dust mask, ear protection, and safety goggles to protect yourself from dust and noise during the sanding process.
Using a floor sander can be intimidating for first-time users, but with proper technique and practise, you’ll quickly become comfortable. Hold the sander with both hands, applying even pressure as you move it back and forth across the floor. Keep the sander in motion at all times to avoid creating divots or uneven spots. Work in a consistent pattern, overlapping each pass by a few inches to ensure even coverage.
While a floor sander is excellent for covering large areas, it often can’t reach the edges of your room. For these areas, use an edge sander or a random orbital sander with the same grit progression as the main floor. Be sure to blend the edges with the rest of the floor so there are no visible transitions.
After sanding, it’s crucial to thoroughly remove all dust and debris from the floor. Vacuum the entire area using a shop vacuum with a soft brush attachment, taking care to get into corners and crevices. Then, use a slightly damp microfiber cloth or tack cloth to wipe down the entire floor. This step will ensure a clean surface for the new finish to adhere to.
There are several types of finishes available for wood floors, including polyurethane, varnish, and penetrating oil. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to research and select the best finish for your specific needs. Polyurethane is the most common and durable finish, providing a protective layer that resists wear and tear. Varnish offers a high-gloss appearance but may be more prone to scratches. Penetrating oil finishes enhance the wood’s natural beauty and offer some protection, but they require more frequent maintenance.
Applying the finish is the final step in your wood floor refinishing project. Ensure the room is well-ventilated, and wear a respirator mask to protect yourself from fumes. Use a high-quality natural bristle brush or a lambswool applicator to apply the finish, working in the direction of the wood grain. Apply thin, even coats, allowing each
coat to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the next. Typically, you’ll need to apply two to four coats for optimal protection and appearance.
One of the most critical factors in a successful wood floor refinishing project is allowing the finish to dry properly. The drying time varies depending on the type of finish used and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. Generally, it’s best to wait at least 24 hours before walking on the floor with socks and 48 hours before moving furniture back into the room. For a complete cure, wait up to a week before placing rugs or heavy objects on the floor.
Once your wood floors have been sanded and refinished, it’s essential to maintain them to ensure they remain beautiful and durable for years to come. Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris that can cause scratches. Use a damp mop with a gentle cleaner specifically designed for wood floors when needed. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning tools that can damage the finish. Place felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scratches, and use rugs or mats in high-traffic areas to protect the floor from wear.
Sanding and refinishing your wood floors can breathe new life into your living space, restoring the original beauty and lustre of the wood. With careful planning, the right tools, and attention to detail, you can achieve a flawless finish that will last for years to come. Follow these top seven wood floor sanding and finishing tips, and you’ll be well on your way to transforming your tired, worn-out floors into a stunning and durable surface that adds value and elegance to your home.
We provide virtually dust-free sanding with our continuous belt machinery with mobile extraction units, giving you a safer environment for your family.
This organic finish not only adds beauty to your home but also has exceptional water-repellent characteristics, making it easier to clean and maintain.
This natural floor finish offers the softest and most mellow appearance – and leaves your floor able to breath.
Using soft buffing machines (and hand-polishing where required) will bring a wonderful sheen to your newly-finished floor.
We offer a full assessment of your wooden floors to determine what repairs are needed to provide the perfect working surface for the later stages of sanding, staining and sealing.
We offer a comprehensive restoration process designed to address floors that are improperly fitted or damaged over time through wear and tear.
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