Floor Sanding Basics Part 2 | How to Sand A Floor
In part one of this guide to the basics of how to sand your floor, we explained the best way to decide on what machines you need, and what are the best ways to prepare your floor to actually get on with the job at hand. In this second edition we will take you through everything you need to know to sand the floor itself, and get the finish you desire.
Sanding the floor
Having got the equipment, cleared your room, practiced on a usually hidden patch of wood, and with a feeling of confidence, it is time to actually get down to business and sand your floor.
The drum sander is the first port of call, and working through a gradient of sandpapers from coarse to fine you will be slowly moving the sander across the floor, taking a layer off the surface. You will want to avoid any jerky movements as these will cause divots or gouges in the floor, although don’t worry if this does happen, as you will be able to remove these later.
Once you have finished the middle, and main surface area of the floor it is time to put the edge dander to work. This machine is far more portable and manoeuvrable than its larger cohort and essentially operates in much the same fashion, only with an oscillating sandpaper disc rather than the larger sandpaper sheets that the drum sander uses. It is much less powerful, but due to the oscillation you will want to make sure you move in the opposite direction to the disc itself. It is also important to only use the edge sander for the areas the drum sander can’t reach, as although it would work on the main body of the floor, it would take an extremely long time, as well as a ridiculously large number of sanding discs, so it is best kept for the edges.
Finally on the sanding front is the vibrating sander. If you’ve ever encountered an industrial floor polisher, the vibrating sander is a very similar machine. It is essentially a much gentler, less abrasive sander which lightly buffs out any imprecations or gouges, leaving you with an evenly textured surface, ready for the next step.
The clean up
Before you think about finishing your floor, you need to clean up the area. Vacuuming and sweeping the area is essential before doing anything else, as well as removing the sanders so the room is once again clear and ready to be finished.
Applying your finish can make a huge difference to how the finished article will look. There are a number of options available, and like most aspects of floor sanding it is a question of matching the best option to your individual needs. In most cases a polyurethane varnish is the most appropriate finish, helping to protect against any spillages and allows for future re-finishing without necessarily having to re-sand the floor completely. This is best applied with a synthetic brush, and may require more than one coat. Once again, if in doubt asking a professional will help you be as informed as possible.
If you follow these steps, and the advice of the hire shop you will be able to take your old wooden floor and breathe new life into it, without having to spend a fortune, and maybe even making money for you in the future if you ever decide to sell your home.