Sanding down a wooden floor is a big job, with loads of steps and potential to go wrong. Whilst it’s possible to do it yourself, without the help of a professional, by renting your own specialist equipment, doing so shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Wooden flooring can be expensive, so you definitely don’t want to be making any expensive mistakes which might mean you have to end up paying a professional after all to repair the damage. To make sure you don’t fall into any of the common pitfalls associated with sanding wooden floors, we’ve made a list of them.
Mistake 1: assuming sanding a floor is an easy job
This is probably the biggest mistake people make because it leads to all other sorts problems. Assuming you can just go straight at the job without properly thinking it through, or getting the right equipment means you’re setting yourself up for an expensive failure.
Some people feel they can just do it by hand which is definitely a bad idea. Doing it by hand can take forever, and you won’t get an even finish. You definitely need to hire some machinery and do extensive research into the process.
Mistake 2: using the incorrect sandpaper
People are often concerned with removing too much of the wood from their floor, so will start with a very high grain sandpaper. Although this might initially seem logical, it means that you end up not properly removing the previous finishing from the wood.
The main problem with this is that when you then apply the new finish, it reacts differently to the areas of bare wood and the areas with the previous finish still on it. This leaves your floor looking patchy with an uneven covering. So make sure you start with a lower grain sand paper, to begin with, and then work up to a high grain to get a smooth finish.
Mistake 3: not wearing the correct safety equipment
Sanding down a floor is a messy job, and it can produce a lot of hazardous materials. First off, the dust produced by sanding down the wood can be breathed in, or get in your eyes, so you should wear a respirator and goggles.
Secondly, when applying the finish to the wood, you should wear suitable gloves and ensure your skin is covered by something like an overall. Also, make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated space (this goes for both the dust and the fumes). Ensuring you have the proper tools and accessories for the floor sanding job is one of the most significant things that can be easily forgotten about.
Mistake 4: applying a poor finish
So you’ve spent ages preparing the floor perfectly, using the right sandpaper and cleaning it all up. The last thing you want to do now is apply the finish incorrectly. Applying the finish is a difficult task, so make sure you read up on how to do it beforehand and buy the right finish for the type of wood you’re using. Most finishes available to non-professionals are oil-based and provide beautiful finishes when applied correctly.
Hopefully, this blog brought to you some useful insight on some of the vital parts of a floor sanding project that you shouldn't forget about. Let us know on our Twitter or Facebook on your thoughts and if you have any other tips!