Repair Parquet Flooring in Your London Home
Parquet flooring was extremely popular in London terraces built in the early 1900s, and if you are one of those fortunate homeowners who has unearthed an original parquet floor in your London you may be considering revamping the tiles to bring it back to its natural beauty.
The most popular finishing for parquet of that time was lacquer and if the floor has been neglected for many years then chances are that the lacquer will have disappeared along the heavy traffic areas, with other, less walked-on areas patchy and dull. The best way forward here is to completely remove all vestiges of the old veneer then sand and refinish. This is also the time to inspect the floor and make repairs or replace tiles as necessary.
It should also be said that refreshing parquet should not be attempted if you do not feel 100% confident in your DIY abilities. You should also be physically fit and be able to work on your knees for periods of time.
However if you feel this is a project to get your teeth into then familiarise yourself with the operation of a floor sanding machine. The DIY outlet from which you hire the appliance should give you a full set of operating instructions. If they don’t then do yourself a favour and hire from somewhere else! To give yourself and your parquet the best chance of success you should be confident in the machine’s operation before introducing it to the floor.
The best way to sand
Any successful finishing begins with a smooth and uniform sanding. Sanding should be carried out with a drum or belt sander, although if you’re inexperienced a belt sander may be easier to operate with less likelihood of leaving marks on the floor. Make sure you pay attention to the perimeters of the room, as it is likely that this area will have more lacquer to remove than the middle of the room. Because the sanding machine will not reach the last 12 inches or so you have to be prepared to get down on your hands and knees and hand sand around the edges and in any small nooks and crannies the sander cannot get into.
If the room is relatively small (top of a landing, boxroom etc.) you could try sandpapering the edges by hand. But if the room is too large for this to be an option you will have to use an orbital hand-held sander, which you may already have in your toolbox.
If the floor has lain below old coverings for many years then it will require more than one sanding and so you should allocate enough time to complete the job. Rushing a floor sanding is a bad idea as sanding takes a careful hand and, with delicate parquet motifs, even more of a gentle touch. This is not to say that the gifted amateur cannot manage a successful of best parquet flooring restoration, but it is always a good idea to arm yourself with all the information possible and enough time to do the job well.
When the final sanding has been completed the parquet tile motifs will be more visible and defined. The overall floor colour, however, may have a blanched or washed-out look. This is entirely natural as the sanding process has removed the topmost level of wood as well as the old lacquer finishing.
Choose your refinishing product carefully depending upon the look you want. There is a wide selection of toxin-free finishing solutions available including varnishes, lacquers and oil based products as well as beautiful woodstain to give your floor a rich and shining beauty.
When applying any type of finishing adhere strictly to instructions for use and allow a steady flow of air to circulate throughout the room as you work.