Essential Tips for Wood Stripping and Sanding
If you watch any of the numerous property programmes on TV, or read any of the articles about home improvement in the copious number of magazines available, one feature is consistently mentioned in terms of adding value to your property and making it attractive to potential buyers: wooden floors.
An original feature in most homes, sanded and treated wooden floors are a simple and effective way to breathe new life into your interior design. However, there are a number of options available to you in terms of how you go about revamping and revitalising your floor.
The most common practice is sanding floors. This involves hiring a large industrial sander, normally a drum sander, a smaller edge sander, and sometimes a third piece of equipment for fine sanding, although what type of sander you use for this (if at all) is debateable. There are a number of available options, including sanding by hand, but what you decide to use will depend entirely on the type of floor. In addition you will have to make decisions on what kind of stain or finish is the best option, based on the decor of the room, and the effect you want to achieve. However, it is certainly a very reasonable, cost effective way to make your old floor seem new and exciting again.
Another option is to chemically strip your floors. This involves using either a solvent or a caustic solution painted onto the wood directly to remove finishes and strip the boards back to their original state. One of the major advantages of using chemicals is the affect it has on the flooring, possibly being less abrasive, and gentler on the wood, although this will depend on what finish the floor has, as some finishes, especially paint, will be more reactive to certain chemicals. While it doesn’t involve hiring machinery, and is perhaps slightly less labour intensive, stripping is a more complicated process requiring far more safety precautions to be taken.
The fumes are hazardous, and as such the room would need to be well ventilated, perhaps something that is not practical in the colder months. In addition, it is a far messier process than sanding, with the solution needing to be removed at the appropriate time, and in some instances creating a salt like residue on the surface.
Like any home improvement solution what option is best will depend on the budget and circumstances of the individual’s needs. Some floors will need more attention than others, and some will have specific requirements, so it’s always important to seek expert advice to find the correct flooring solution. In general sanding is always going to be the simplest, most efficient way to proceed, but it won’t be appropriate in all cases, and as such it may be worth investigating stripping if your flooring needs fall under that category.
Photo by by gotshoo via Flickr CC