Published on 4 April 2012
“There may come a time when you feel your wood floor needs to be refinished. A big part of the success of your refinishing project is how well you perform the sanding. Unless you are a professional, sanding a wood floor can be a big job. Following these guidelines before you start sanding should help ensure you get the best results possible.
First, evaluate the condition of the existing floor. Check to see if water beads up on the floor, soaks in slowly or soaks in quickly. In the case of the first two, you may not need to refinish the floors but rather clean and polish. If the water soaks in swiftly, it’s time to refinish. If the floor shows signs of damage such as dents, squeaks, stains or is warped, you may need to make some repairs before sanding and refinishing.
Next, check the thickness of the existing wood floor. Sanding can remove a good deal of material and you should have ¾-inch of wood before you begin. If your floor is thinner than ¼-inch, refinishing is not a good option.
Third, most heavy-duty floor sanders require 220 volt current. Make sure you have access to an appropriate power supply. Next comes the preparation which includes removing the entire contents of the room, including the closet if it has a wood floor too.
The fifth step is protecting electrical appliances and outlets. Cover light fixtures with a plastic trash bag and secure with masking tape. Cover outlets, light switches and vents with duct tape or masking tape to keep dust out of the outlet.
The sixth step is to remove shoe moldings by using a pry bar to gently pull one end loose from the wall. Slip a small block of wood between the wall and the pry bar to provide leverage and prevent damage to the underlying wall. Base boards should only be removed if you plan to replace them.
The seventh step is to thoroughly vacuum the room prior to sanding. This removes dirt and any particles which could cause gouges once the sander is in operation. The eights step is to seal off the room so that sawdust is contained. Large quantities of sawdust are generated throughout the multiple passes of floor sanding and you will want to protect the rest of your home. Close the door and use masking tape to seal the door edges. If there is do door, hang a tarp or other large sheet and tape edges in place.
The ninth step is to be sure you have read the manufacturer’s instruction manual carefully and understand how to operate the machine. If necessary, practice on a piece of plywood to get the feel for the machine. A little practice can make the difference between a beautiful floor and a scarred one.
The last step is to put on ear plugs and a breathing mask to protect yourself before engaging the machine. Over the course of the project, you will be exposed to the loudness of the machine and lots of sawdust. Protecting your ears and lungs are just as important as any other step. Now you are ready to sand your floor.
Written by Ronni Rebsdorf from Gulvafslibning Priser – Gulvafslibning Priser is a floor sanding company based in Copenhagen, Denmark.”
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