Strictly Done Sanding
“Well, will you come and look at it with me tomorrow?” This was the impassioned plea by my erstwhile Brother in Law, having just landed his latest floor sanding consignment. His continued contract with a local hotel chain had rendered the need to renovate and sand a very rough wooden floor and transform it into a shiny new dance floor. He had explained that the existing wooden floor had once been partially covered with carpet and the glue and backing had stuck to the top. The floor was also very rough, with some scratches, abrasions and a pockmarked top surface.
So, as I answered his appeal, I surveyed the offending wooden floor, ready to offer up my (now) extensive knowledge on sanding wooden floors. Firstly, I quickly ascertained that, as this is an oak floor, we are to need a powerful drum sander. My instincts led me to the Bona 10” belt sander, which should be just right for this application. So I despatched my relative off to the local floor sander hire shop, with the instructions get hire a Bona 10” floor sander, alongside some coarse sanding sheets – 24, 40 grit, together with a selection of 100 and 120 grit sheets – for a fine finish. I also asked him to get a 10kg tub of Lecol wood filler, as this was ideally suited to as a solvent based filler for the joints and the other defects in the wooden floor. Lecol filler is a professional formulation and is mixed with fine sawdust to provide a good colour match. Once hard, it can be sanded and varnished as wood. We also discussed how we were going to cope with the residual dust, during sanding – I remembered that the Bona floor sander can be hired with the Bona Dust Care System, which will give almost totally dust free sanding. The Hotel Manager was relaxed in the knowledge that his guests were not going to be bothered by dust from our floor sanding project.
Previously, I had discovered that although a 40 grit sanding sheet is fine to start on most sanded floors, however, for heavy floor sanding or the levelling of wood floors in a rough condition, you should use 24 grit sanding sheets. These sanding sheets will remove hardened wax, varnish deposits and even tackle ingrained dirt, similar to the floor we were about to sand. Fine floor sanding sheets are 100 grit and 120 grit sizes. These finishing sheets are the natural progression from coarse and medium grit floor sanding sheets and will give this floor a nice smooth finish, ready to seal and varnish.
We set about sanding the floor with the 24 grit sheets and swiftly removed the top surface, smiling at the fact the floor was already starting to return to its natural good looks. After sanding the entire surface, we then mixed the Lecol filler and set about filling in the gaps, joints and any left over abrasions. After allowing the Lecol filler to dry, we continued our sanding operation, rapidly progressing to the fine, 120 grit, floor sanding sheets. The final result would be the complete transformation of an old dingy carpeted floor, into a glittering, wooden dance floor oasis, ready to befit the most glamorous gowns and garments.
I left my Brother in Law to begin the varnishing operation by himself, “even he wouldn’t be able to mess this up”, I thought ruefully, satisfied in the fact that, yet again, another floor sanding job had been completed satisfactorily.
Maybe I should take this up full time? Now there’s a thought!