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A Beginner’s Guide to Sanding Hardwood Floors

Posted on May 6th, 2014 In: Wood Floor Renovations Articles

sanding hardwood floors

It’s that time of year where people begin to flock to DIY specialists to get the necessary equipment and supplies to renovate features in their home. There are a variety of reasons why this happens at this time of year, but one thing that I can say for certain is that one particular feature is becoming increasingly popular with DIY enthusiasts and novices alike; sanded wooden floors.

Advantages

There are a number of major advantages to sanding your wooden floors, which may explain the recent surge of interest. A national survey of estate agents revealed that a refinished wooden floor can add up to 15% to the value of your property, making it a very worthwhile investment. In addition, wooden flooring can add warmth, help lower your heating bills, and add an incredibly timeless yet fashionable element to your home.

How to…

If you decide that wood flooring is an option you want to pursue for your home, there are a number of steps that you can follow to ensure you do this properly.  The first and perhaps most important step is to consult a professional before undertaking any work on your floor. A professional floor sanding expert will be able to advise what sort of equipment you might need, of any practical or logistical issues you might encounter, the best way to finish your floor, and deal with any general queries you might have. Make sure you follow their advice, as sanding is a permanent process and failing to follow the correct instructions can lead to damage to your floor boards.

Getting equipped

In terms of equipment, there are 3 main sanders you will need, a drum sander for the body of the floor, an edge sander for the borders, and a vibrating sander to do the fine sanding and buff out any gouges or divots. The same principle applies to all three machines in terms of technique, you want to avoid jerky movements, and make sure that you work though a gradient of sandpaper from coarse to fine, slowly transitioning from one extreme to the other. For each sander it’s worth taking the time to practice on a less noticeable area of the floor, maybe somewhere that is normally covered by furniture in order to make sure that you are comfortable with the machine and how it works before working on the more visible areas.

Finish with a flourish

The last major step is to finish your floor. As I mentioned, professional sanding experts will be able to tell you exactly which finish is most appropriate, and whether your floor is a candidate for having a stain applied to change the colour of the wood.  This is something many people will do in order to make the colour of the floor more appealing or to match the current décor of the room. However, this is not always an option depending on the finish you want to use, and the type of space you are working in.

Whether you are a seasoned veteran of DIY or just starting out, sanding your hardwood floors and re-finishing them is a great project to work on, breathing new life into a great feature of your home, as well as giving you the satisfaction of the drastic transformation that your floor will have undergone in a very short period of time.

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