A Beginner’s Guide to Wood Flooring
The flooring in your home is perhaps one of the most important features of your property. The difference that having a well kept floor can make is huge, and not just in terms of the décor and ambience of a room, it can add to the value too. So, if you want to be the envy of your friends, and put some extra money in your pocket should you ever wish to sell, then giving your floor a revamp might be just the ticket.
Old wooden floors are often not given the treatment they deserve. Covered with carpets and forgotten about, they are often overlooked despite their versatility and timeless style. If you pull back your carpet and the floor looks in decent shape, free of any obvious rot or woodworm, then you are all go to sand it down and make it come alive anew.
The first, and most important step is of course preparing your room. There have been a number of advances in sanding technology in recent years, so it is a much less messy procedure than it used to be, but there will still be a certain amount fo dust present. Getting a mask to prevent breathing in anything unsavoury, and clearing the room is a definite must before commencing any sanding.
Once you’ve hired your equipment (usually a Drum sander, and an edge sander, although other more niche equipment is sometimes used. If in doubt ask a professional before stating the work) and chosen the appropriate grit for your floor, it’s time to get practising. Pick an area that will hidden by furniture or that is unlikely to be obvious in the room, and get comfortable with the sander. The reason for this, is so that if you were to do any damage to the floor it won’t be obvious, and allows you to get familiar with the weight, power, and handling of the various sanders. The drum sander especially can be quite difficult to manoeuvre without prior experience, but also is very different from the edge sander.
Once you’re comfortable, it’s time to get down to sanding. You want to use smooth, fluid movements to avoid doing irreparable damage to the wood. There will be inevitable minor damage done by the drum sander, but if it’s just cosmetic it can be evened out with fine hand sanding or using a small rotary sander. An edge sander will also be needed in get the borders of the room to the same level as the main body of the floor.
When you’ve finished the sanding and clean-up there are a number of options available to you for how to finish your floor. These include staining, or varnishing, but as with the sanding, it is always best to seek professional advice on what is the best option for your home. Regardless of what you choose, by opting to sand and finish your floor you will be adding value to your property, and making the most of one of your home’s original features.
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