Floor Sanding process and how to do it well
London homeowners who remove old floor coverings to find an original hardwood floor have uncovered a valuable asset in both the aesthetic beauty of the home as well as a positive impact on its resale value. If you find yourself in this fortunate position then serious consideration on how to restore the floor to its former beauty is an absolute must.
Those who have little or rudimentary carpentry knowledge may feel a little daunted at attempting the restoration process themselves and may prefer to call in London floor sanding experts to restore the floor and offer specialist guidance on its maintenance.
However if you would like to try your hand at hardwood floor refinishing then read on.
The process and how to do it well
Take sufficient time to complete each step. Never try to cram the work into a single weekend. Experienced floor restorers understand the value of proper preparation and high-grade results means not skimping on the time issue and allowing each part of the process to be fully completed before moving on to the next. This is especially true if you are working alone.
The first step is, naturally enough, to completely remove all existing floor covering as well as movable fixtures such as skirting boards, fire surrounds, dado rails even doors if you can. The more space you have to work in the better. Ensure you have constant access to free flow of air as you work. This is a health and safety essential, as is protective equipment such as goggles, face mask and gloves.
When the room is prepared thus far then give it a vigorous sweep with a hard-bristled brush followed by vacuuming. Now check carefully for upended nails and tacks, broken splinters of wood, loose boards and any other signs of damage including rot. Remove all protuberances, secure loose floorboards and replace those which have rotted or are unable to be repaired before continuing on to the next step.
The floor is now ready for its first round of sanding. The best way of sanding real wood floors is by using an industrial sanding machine which you can walk along the boards. Belt and drum sanders are available for hire and you can purchase sandpaper discs from the hire outlet.
If this is your first time using a sanding machine then you are advised to read up on the machines themselves as well as taking instruction from the hire shop in its safe and practical use. Never start sanding if you are unsure as an inexpertly wielded industrial sander can cause irreparable damage to the boards in the form of cutting in and bevelling.
Assuming you are confident in the use of the sander and your room has been correctly prepared you now need to fix the sandpaper to the machine, turn the machine on and then walk it on a steady course along the length of the planks from one end of the room to the other. You will not however be able to reach flush to the wall with this type of machine, which means leaving a gap or around 12 inches (30½ cm) around the edge. This perimeter area will have to be hand sanded using an orbital sander. Other hard to reach areas such as tight corners and stairs will also be best served by hand sanding.
After School Floor Sanding you can sweep and vacuum again to remove residual dust particles before repeating the process. For the second sanding you can use a finer grade of paper in the machine. Depending upon the original condition of the floor a third sanding may be required. You will know when your floor is well sanded as it will be a degree or two lighter in colour and feel smooth and even to the touch with no splinters, dips or blemishes.
When you are satisfied that sanding is complete then you are ready to apply your finishing product. You can choose from a wide selection of non-toxic floor finishings which include wood stains, lacquers, varnishes and oil products. Apply strictly in accordance with guidelines though and always have a movement of air in the room. Apply two coats and leave floor to dry for 48 hours.