Sanding Hardwood Floors – What Not to Do!
There is no doubt that wooden flooring is a hugely desirable feature in any modern home, adding warmth as well as an easily maintained surface. A cursory web search will give you all the information you could possibly need on how to sand your floor yourself, what to do, and where to get the equipment from. However, what is often absent from these guides is what not to do. There are a number of ways in which you can damage your floor irreparably, so it is worth knowing how to avoid these potential pitfalls so you don’t make the same mistakes that others have.
Don’t work on a whim
Careful planning is the cornerstone of any home improvement work, as the biggest mistakes come from poor planning. Get to know your machines beforehand, and speak to a professional to make sure you get the right machines booked ahead of time. Most hire shops will have only a limited number of the machines you need, so plan ahead and work around when they are available.
Don’t sand without checking your floor
Some floors are not suitable for sanding, and if this is the case with your floor, you need to re-think your approach. If the boards that comprise your floor are rotten, showing signs of extreme wear and tear, or seem as though they are no longer stable and solid, you should replace these boards before starting any work on your floor. In addition, if there are any protruding nails in the boards, you will want to remove those first, as they can catch on the paper in the sander, or on the mechanism itself. If this happens the best case is that you mess up your sandpaper discs rendering them useless, but if they catch the mechanism, this can damage the machine itself irreparably, leading to a hefty repair bill.
Don’t underestimate the machines
Floor sanders are powerful industrial machines. If you rent them from a hire shop they are the same machines that professionals will use, and it is best to treat the equipment with that in mind. For example, the drum sander is a very large, very cumbersome machine, but it is also very effective in making sure that you get the most out of your floor. If you do not spend time practising with the drum sander it is possible to damage your floor irreparably, so just respecting the power of that specific machine can avoid costly errors.
Safety equipment should always be a must when sanding. Keep your room well ventilated, and wear a mask and eye protection to prevent dust based injuries.
Sanding your floor, while hard work, should be an enjoyable and rewarding job. The difference that undertaking this work can do is massive, transforming your floor and hopefully giving it a new lease of life, as well as adding value to your home should you ever wish to sell.
For more information on how to sand a floor you may find this post useful.