How to sand a floor
Wooden flooring is often a sought after feature in a property, a well-made and cared for wooden floors can add sophistication and warmth to any home and the best thing is they last for decades. However, improper care can leave you floor looking warped, scratched and dull. So we’ve put together some top tips to help you and a floor.
Step One: Prepare For The Work
Floor sanding can be dusty. Tape around any internal doors to prevent dust dispersal throughout the house. Open windows. Alternatively, dust can be entirely avoided with the use of a dust containment system. Call for details.
Step Two: Replace Broken Boards
It is worth getting floorboards right before you commence work. It is quite easy to buy reclaimed pine boards. Make sure they are of similar age and thickness. Remove any damaged pieces and fit replacements.
Step Three: Screw Down Loose Boards
Wooden flooring needs to be firmly fixed down before sanding can commence. Remember to countersink any screws so you can fill in afterwards.
Step Four: Close Up Gaps
There are several ways to deal with gaps. You can ignore them, you can fit fillets of pine if the gaps are quite large, you can apply filler if the gaps are quite small or you can lift the whole floor and push all the boards together filling in the gap with a part board. Bear in mind that in some properties, the gaps allow air to circulate through from the sub floor and that damp can build up if the floor is too thoroughly filled.
Step Five: Nail Down Raised Nails
Raised nails can cause expensive damage! You can rip sandpaper and damage the underside of machines. This is more of a problem with the economy ‘Hiretech’ machines than the Bona machines. Consider using those if you have lots of raised nails.
Step Six: Start Sanding
Work along the length of the boards so that you sand in the direction of the grain. Sometimes, floorboards meet each other at right angles (around fireplaces for example). In this case, it is best to compromise and sand diagonally. Try to ensure the machine is moving at all times when the drum is in contact with the floor. This will avoid leaving unsightly marks on the floor.
Step Seven: Finish The Room's Edges
Take your time with the edges. It is important to maintain an even pressure between the disc and the floor. Avoid the temptation to lean on the machine as this may cause burning and swirl marks.
Step Eight: Clean The Sanded Boards
Keep the job clean. Vacuum thoroughly each time you change to a finer grade of sandpaper. This prevents scratching on the boards and will result in a finer finish.
Step Nine: Seal The Boards
Wipe the floor with a (very) slightly damp cloth to remove any remaining wood dust and grit. Apply primer. This may raise the grain of the timber which you’ll be able to feel. You should ‘knock back’ by hand with fine sandpaper and hoover again. Apply subsequent coats of finish following the drying times carefully. Job done!