Floor Sanding Basics – What Do I Need?
When you set about sanding the floors in your home, be it to add value to your property or just to revitalise and reinvigorate a room, there are a number of factors that you need to consider in order to make the right decisions, and achieve the desired effect. One of those decisions is what equipment to use, and while there are many different options available, there are some sanders which are the best tools for the job.
The drum sander
The most important piece of equipment you will need is also the most heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. The drum sander is used to do the majority of the heavy duty work and requires careful use. An orbital sander is another option which is less bulky, but it will add time to the process, as well as arguably not work as effectively.
A drum sander is essentially comprised of three main components. The Drum, which is where the machine gets its name, is where you attach the sandpaper, of which you will need a minimum of three gradients. Asking a professional for advice on exactly which grits of paper you will need when you hire the machine is certainly worthwhile, and they will likely be able to show you how to properly fit the paper onto the drum itself.
While the drum sander is powerful, and efficient, it can cause gouges and divots in the floor, which will need to be evened out to have an even level across the surface. Obviously, this can be done by hand with sandpaper, but that can be very time consuming. As such the vibrating sander can be used here to do the all important fine sanding, and buff out any imperfections that might have been caused by the drum sander.
The vibrating sander is a completely different animal from the drum sander. It is a similar size, but does not require anywhere near as much effort to use, and is far less powerful. It usually comes with a dust bag, but the same safety measures should be put in place to avoid any potential injury.
The smallest of the three main pieces of equipment you will need, is also vital in making sure your floor is sanded correctly. The edge sander is very different from the vibrating or drum sanders, and allows the hard to reach areas such as the corners or edges of the room to be made the same as the main body of the room. However, it is not advisable to use this small sander for the main area of the floor as it will be much slower, and far less effective than using the drum sander, or even an orbital sander.
Overall, these are the main types of equipment that will be best for sanding a floor, but if in doubt asking a professional for their opinion will only give you more options, possibly better options for your individual needs. However, in general terms of floor sanding basics, these are the best machines for the job.
For a floor sanding overview see this recent blog post.