Hardwood Floor Restoration in London
Many London homeowners with pre-Victorian homes could be sitting on a real and significant asset – hardwood flooring. Terraced housing in Victorian London was often built using hardwood timber including oak, mahogany and beech wood. If this in any way describes your home then there is a very good chance you are living with beautiful real wood flooring which may have lain hidden for decades below underlay and carpeting.
Now comes your opportunity to bring the elegance and style of the past into your home of today by restoring your flooring to its former glory. Whilst this process can be achieved by the non-professional who has a working knowledge of joinery and DIY in many instances homeowners will plump for a specialist London wood floor restoration company to ensure 100% perfect results.
If you are in the happy position of having discovered hardwood flooring throughout your home but are in a dilemma as to whether to attempt the restoration process yourself or to call in the professionals, why not contact a reputable London floor sanding experts and take advantage of their no-obligation quotation service? This allows peace of mind for you as well as a bringing in a specialist eye to ascertain the current condition of the floors.
The sanding process
Whether you go it alone or undertake professional help, the first stage in the restoration process is sanding. Sanding removes any of the old veneer on the floor which, if the floor has been carpeted for a long time, will tend to be patchy and uneven. If you are doing it yourself you will probably hire a sanding machine from any local plant hire shop. If this is the case then listen carefully to advice given you by the hire shop and ask all the questions you need to before taking the sander away.
When sanding it is best to sand along the boards with the grain, never sand against the natural wood grain as this can cause damage to the boards. Sand slowly and carefully a little piece at a time, but always keep the sander in motion whilst it is switched on in order to avoid digging into the wood. Leave about one foot around the perimeter of the room which you will sand using a hand sander to allow you to get into the corners, nooks and crannies of the room.
When the floor has been completely sanded sweep or vacuum up the loose shards of wood and dust particles before inspecting the floor carefully for flaws such as sticking up nails and tacks, gaps or uneven spaces between the floor boards. If discovered, gaps must be filled using a wood putty at this stage. Never leave gaps untreated as they will most certainly become widen after the restoration process, which can ruin the look of the floor as well as cause draughty areas in winter.
Now it’s time for the second sanding. Take the sander slowly along the planks as you did the first time and before you do change the sandpaper in the machine to one of a finer grade. As before, sand thoroughly and carefully and hand sand the perimeter once again. Vacuum lightly to remove any particles of grit before standing back and surveying your work.
After sanding a floor should have a slightly ‘boiled’ appearance, that is to say it will look lighter and have a scrubbed appearance. It should also be even and smooth throughout. Only when this stage is reached is it safe to move on.
Choose your choice of finishing from varnish, lacquer, woodstain or oil. Modern products are non-toxic and do not product harmful odours. However follow manufacturer’s application instruction to the letter. Use finishing products sparingly and apply with a lint free cloth for best results. Leave at least 24 hours for the finishing coat to completely dry before re-applying.