Sanding Wooden Floors – An Idiot’s Guide
Wooden floors are amongst the most fashionable features in the modern interior design world. They have a stylish, timeless quality which makes them incredible desirable, especially with prospective buyers. In years gone by most people would have hired a team of professional flooring experts to do the floor themselves, but increasingly homeowners are flocking in droves to their local hire shops and hiring the machines to take a more DIY approach. But what are the basics that you need to know to do it yourself?
Check out your floors
The first and most important step is to establish the state of your floor. If the wood is rotten, or showing signs of rot the the affected boards will need to be replaced before looking at sanding the wood. Sanding rotten floors is a pointless endeavour as they will only need to be replaced within 2 to 3 years if not sooner, so it is certainly worth dealing with this issue before it gets any further along, or spreads to other boards.
Hiring the machines
If your floors look ok, it’s time to visit your local hire shop. There they will be able to advise you on what the most appropriate options are for your specific needs, but in most cases it will be the drum sander, edge sander, and possibly a vibrating sander needed. It is also advisable to book the machinery prior to the day you are planning to sand the floor to ensure they are available.
Readying the room
So the big day has arrived, but before you get started it is time to prepare the room. You want to remove all furniture and anything that might possibly get in the way of the sanding, as well as protecting said furniture from any damage that could be caused by excess dust. It is also worth considering which areas of the room are likely to be most visible as you will also need to designate an area to test the sander, and get used to how it works.
Getting down to business
With the room prepped, and the machinery collected it’s time to start the sanding in earnest. As previously mentioned, you want to have an area that won’t be visible normally while you get used to the equipment. The drum sander especially takes some mastering, and can cause gouges or divots in the floor, so it really is worth taking your time to get comfortable with it. Once you are happy with using the machines it is time to tackle the floor as a whole, followed by using the edge sander for the hard to reach parts of the wood, and the vibrating sander to even out any imperfections caused by the drum sander. With all three sanders you want to use fluid, non-jerky movements to avoid damaging the wood.
The big finish
Once you’ve finished sanding and cleaning up and excess dust, you’ll be able to see a big difference in the floor itself, and you can choose a finish. You may want to stain, or varnish the floor, but again a variety of potential options are available, and if you speak to a professional they can advice you on what is the best course of action to suit your interior design requirements.
For more floor sanding basics take a look at this recent post.