How to Sand Hardwood Floors in 10 Easy Steps
Sanding your hardwood floors and making the most of them as a unique feature in your home needn’t be a complicated or difficult process. In fact in 10 easy steps you can transform the look of your wood floor completely.
Step 1: Check your boards
Before doing anything else, you want to check the condition of your boards. If any of the wood is rotten or showing signs of damage or wear and tear beyond salvage, they will need to be replaced before even starting sanding.
Step 2: Consult a professional
Once you know your floor is ready and appropriate to be sanded, it is worth speaking to the professionals at the local hire shop. They will be able to direct you to the specific equipment needed for the job at hand, as well as giving you specific dates the machinery will be available, as many hire shops will only stock a limited number of industrial level sanders.
Step 3: Preparation
As the old saying goes fail to prepare, prepare to fail, and it is more than applicable to sanding your floors. All furniture needs to be removed from the room, as well as any curtains to ensure the area is ready for sanding, and there are no potential obstructions present.
Step 4: Collect your machinery
On the day you collect your sanders, it is worth knowing that you will need more than one person as well as a vehicle to move the large machines to your home. While there it is worth getting the hire shop to attach the first grits of sandpaper you will use, just to ensure you know how to fit them when they need changing later in the day.
Step 5: Practice
Once you have the machines, it is worth testing them on a less visible area of the floor in order to get used to the weight and feel or each sander.
Step 6: Sanding the main floor
The main things to remember when sanding your floor are to be patient and to use fluid, non jerky movements. The drum sander is the heaviest of the three sanders, and will do most of the work on the floor. The edge sander is the smaller, more mobile sanding unit which will be used for the parts of the floor the drum sander is too big to reach. Finally, the vibrating sander can be used to buff out any gouges or imperfections caused in the sanding process.
Step 7: Clean up
Once you have finished sanding the floor, it’s time to clean up. At this stage you want to make sure all dust is cleared up before applying a stain or finish which can be easily done with a regular vacuum cleaner.
Step 8: Staining
If you want to change the colour of the flooring itself that can be done at this stage using a stain, which is normally applied using a rag or cloth. However, it is important to note, that if you intend to apply a finish, you must get a compatible stain and check this before applying it.
Step 9: Finishing
A good finish can set your floor apart, and help maintain it for years to come. Generally, the most used is a polyurethane varnish, as it is easily applied with a brush and helps protect the wood underneath. Wax is another option, but this can be more problematic in the long term.
Step 10: Put everything back, and marvel at your new floor
Once the finish is dry you can re-assemble the room, and see the huge difference that sanding has made. This process is well worth it and makes for a big difference to your home, even adding value in the long term.