We Love Our Pets But…
…they can’t half make a mess of wood flooring! Even with their nails clipped regularly it is not uncommon to see little scratches all over the floor where dogs have been running around. Cats too bring this problem to wood floor sanding and even small animals like hamsters and guinea pigs will, through time, leave tell-tale scratches on any type of wood flooring.
One positive bent is that pet scratches in general are not deep gouges and are usually just surface marks which, although enough to spoil the veneer of the floor, won’t damage the wood in the long term.
If you are looking at your floor right now and thinking ‘yes this is me’ please put out of your head the idea of applying wood filler to the marks – it is not necessary. A complete refinishing should only ever be undertaken if the upper coating is considerably worn, aged or otherwise damaged. If this describes your floor then you should apply the lightest screen sanding with a polyurethane-based topcoat.
In addition to this it is also worth remembering that under no circumstances should you try to sand a laminate floor or any type of flooring that is clicked together with a subfloor below.
This is the term used to describe the relatively simple process of renewing an existing polyurethane veneer and works by using a mesh based sandpaper with abrasive grains. Screening paper is much gentler than even the finest grade of sandpaper as it holds less particles. For example, a 220 grade of sandpaper will be tougher than the same grade of screen paper. Screen sandpaper is double sided too, making it more economical than a full strength sanding.
The screen effect is additionally softened by lying below a pad attached to a buffer. Never screen without using a pad because you don’t want to remove too much of the existing topcoat. Ideally a screening should leave enough of the original coating to apply a fresh coat of polyurethane, nothing more. The amount of finishing you should actually be removing is within fractions of centimetres. If you are screening for the first time, go easy and remember – less is more.
If you feel unsure of undertaking the screening process yourself then check out current offers from a good floor specialist company and request a free quotation.
Full refinishing is not always necessary
Whilst the above is undoubtedly true, also remember that any type of light finishing will not be as long lasting as the full works. However, in the case of a home with lots of pets the light finish will be preferable as Fido and Fluffy continue to trot across the floor.
When you have screened and are ready to apply the polyurethane you should do so with a microfiber mop head for best results. Make sure you purchase enough product to cover the entire area at once. The average polyurethane product will easily cover a 300 square feet area or just less than 28 square meters.
Screen and recoating will bring your floor up to a lovely finish but do be prepared to repeat the process throughout the lifespan of the floor, although try to avoid doing it more than once yearly.
When other forms of wear and tear become evident then it is time to offer a complete refurbishment to the floor, but the screen, buff and recoat process is an excellent method of keeping pets scratches and other light marks from spoiling the look of your floor.
When your floor is up to scratch (pun intended) remember to keep it looking beautiful by regular maintenance. The screen sanding method allows you to successfully keep the look of the floor without banning pets from the room.