Safety Tips for Laying Wood Flooring
Wood flooring can be a great way to improve the look of a room and even to add value to a home, but getting the right finish is not necessarily easy. It takes hard work and determination to achieve a smooth, level wooden surface, and laying and finishing this kind of floor is not without its hazards.
With almost all forms of DIY and home improvements there are certain dangers. They can range from everything from getting a bruised thumb from some sub-par hammering to receiving a dangerous electric shock if you tinker with your home’s electrics. The point is that to be safe, you need to know exactly what you’re doing. This is certainly true when it comes to laying a wooden floor, so let’s take a look at those hazards and how to stay as safe as possible.
Clear your space
The first thing you need to do is clear the area in which you will be working. It’s surprising how often injuries occur due to everyday obstacles getting in the way, especially when mechanical machinery is in use. So move your furniture into another room and take down pictures and other soft furnishings – this will keep them clean and dust-free too.
Use the right tools for the job
There are various devices that you can use to lay and sand your wood flooring. Nail guns are a popular way to fit wooden boards, but of course they can be dangerous if not handled properly. It’s essential to read the instructions that accompany the tool. This will tell you not to pull the trigger until the gun is up against the wood. If your nail gun has an air hose it should also be noted that this can be a tripping hazard.
Wood sanders are very effective to gradually achieve a smooth surface, but before getting to work you should practice on a spare piece of wood. This will let you know the power of the machine and how to handle it safely. Again, instructions should be provided if you hire or buy a sander, so take the time to read them.
Wear suitable protection
If you are handling tools and mechanical devices you must wear appropriate protective clothing and accessories. Work boots with steel toe caps are a good choice, as well as goggles and a mask to protect you from debris and the dust that is created when sanding.
If you are sanding your floor it’s vital to keep your space well ventilated. Sanding machines create huge amounts of dust which will fill the air, so open windows and doors where possible to keep fresh air circulating. This is equally important if you are varnishing your floor after sanding.
So if you are laying or finishing a wood floor, take these tips into consideration and stay safe.