Sanding a Hardwood Floor – How We Did it, and What You Need to Know
Around six months ago I decided to sell my flat and make the move out to the countryside in order to pursue a new career. However, before I did I realised that I needed to make a small investment in renovating some of the features of my home in order to maximise the value of the property. After a discussion with a local estate agent, it became clear that reinvigorating and refinishing my wooden floors was the best option. Here’s how I did it:
First stop, hire shop
Having no real knowledge of sanding a floor, I visited my local hire shop to find out what I needed to get to do the work. After giving me the available options and talking through the pros and cons, I settled on the drum sander, the edge sander, and a vibrating sander. The hire shop staff were very helpful, giving me a number of hints and tips and booking the equipment for the following weekend. I also purchased a large amount of sandpaper, more than I needed as it turned out, but the shop let me sell back what I didn’t use, so that worked out well.
The night before I was due to collect the machinery, I cleared the room of all furniture and obstructions, as well as the curtains in order to avoid any possible damage via dust in the air. I also readied my eye protection and dust inhalation protecting mask. That night I went to bed, happy and ready to get going the following morning.
Sanding the floor
After I collected the equipment from the hire shop (for which I enlisted the help of a friend in order to actually lift the equipment due to how heavy each machine is) I was able to begin the work in earnest. This process was actually not incredibly difficult, having taken the advice of the hire professionals and followed their instructions to the letter. These instructions included being patient with the sanding process, avoiding jerky movements, and ensuring that I change the sand paper regularly in order to move through the gradient of paper from coarse to fine. However, the most important piece of advice I got was to find an area of the room that is less visible normally and practice there before tackling the main body of the floor. This allowed me to get comfortable with the sanders, especially in the case of the drum sander which was a large unwieldy machine and certainly required some practice to master.
Once I’d sanded the floor, it was time to clean up (mostly to remove dust) and finish the floor. I opted for a polyurethane varnish finish, as I felt this was the best option for our room. Although I had the option of staining the floor, I decided that this wasn’t right for me, though this is an appropriate option for others with different needs to mine.
Overall, I found the floor re-finishing process to be a very worthwhile endeavour. The floor in my home had become something completely new, transforming a dull lifeless feature into something that was a big selling point for my home. I’m happy to report that this added a significant amount of money to the sale of my property, and I would wholeheartedly advise anyone else considering this to do the same, as it really was worthwhile, and has made a huge difference.
Image from Flickr Creative Commons