Professional Sanding for Best Results
Hardwood flooring speaks of naturally pure beauty that is aesthetically pleasing and adds dimension and elegance to any type of room. When the floor has been lovingly cared for hardwood flooring is the easiest in the world to maintain, but if the floor has been hidden underneath years of mouldy old carpets or neglected it will require some skilful TLC before it will be back to looking its best.
The best tools yield the best outcome
Always remember to get your hands on the best quality sanding machine you can afford, which will give your floor that professional finish you are looking for. As far as possible avoid using the now old-fashioned drum roller sanders as they are prone to leave roller marks on the floor.
Fully modern sanding machines now come with integral dust collection to minimise residual dust in the air, which means the whole house need no longer be evacuated when floor sanding commences. Ensure your sander is geared to go right up to the edges of the floor and be prepared to hand sand those difficult to reach nooks and crannies and if you are sanding stairs or dados.
Plan before you act
Taking a little time to plan your sanding method will save the heartache of a botched job which, in addition to being frustrating, can also cost a great deal to put right. If you are in any way unsure of how to process it is best to play it safe and call in a professional floor sanding company.
Before embarking on the sanding process close doors and open all windows. Always wear a dust mask and goggles to protect the eyes. Minutely inspect the floor to ensure there are no nails sticking up or tacks that could become caught on the sander. Once these culprits have been hammered in or removed then you can move on to the next stage.
Any gaps between the boards should be filled in using either wood slivers (usually pine) or papier-mache if the gaps are very tiny. Do not leave gaps, however small they may appear, as they will most certainly ruin the final result.
And the end…
Only when the beginning and the middle processes have been correctly carried out should the final part be undertaken – the sanding itself. If you have chosen to use a roller sander then ensure the correct size of sandpaper sheet has been affixed before starting the machine. Do remember to raise the drum off the floor at this point, the drum should only make contact with the floor when you move the machine forwards.
If you are using a hand held sander then as above be sure that the sandpaper is the correct size and fixed correctly. Always sand along with the wood grain moving the sander slowly from left to right. Move up and down the room in this way and when a wall is reached manipulate the hand sander by way of steady semi-circular motions.
After the sanding process
Now it is time to tidy up a little and using a light vacuum cleaner, lightly vacuum the floor before wiping the boards with white spirit. Once completely dry the floor deserves another close inspection to ensure the sanding has gone evenly and there are no over (or under) sanded areas.
Now the floor is ready for the final coating or varnish, stain, oil or lacquer. Whichever topcoat you have chosen be aware that you will more than likely require more than one coat. As with the sanding, work slowly and meticulously along the boards in order to avoid botching.
Best results are obtained by sanding gently in between coats.