Hello World! Welcome Friends! Do you have wooden floors that could do with a spruce-up? If you could use a few tips deciding where to start, we’re here to help. Read on to see how to get a professional quality finish, keep mess to a bare minimum, and end up with a wooden floor boards and parquetry that you’ll cherish for years to come.
Choose the right power tools to do your sanding
You have two ways (excluding Uncle Bob) of meeting your floor sanding and polishing needs: either hire a floor sander from a reputable source, like Coates hire, or get your own hand-held belt sander; here’s how to decide which way is right for you.
If you are sanding just one room, and/or are able to dedicate an entire weekend to getting the job done, and your floor is a nice even height all over, you should probably hire a belt sander and an edger. However… If you have multiple rooms to do, have commitments that make it hard to devote time to this project, or simply find it easier to break it down into smaller stages and do a couple of hours at a time, then buying your own sander is a much better idea. Your best bets would be a Makita belt sander and a DeWalt detail sander.
Keep the dust down
…Though honestly, it’s not that bad. Okay, it’s dustier than sitting on the sofa watching Home and Away, but it’s much less so than the second circle of hell you enter when you do brick or plaster work.
To contain the fallout, all you need to do is tape off the room you’re going to be working in. When you begin, go in the room, close the door, and use masking tape to seal all the way round the doorframe.
When you need to take a break outside, wait a few minutes for the dust to settle, and take off dusty clothes beforehand if you can. While on the topic of clothing, be sure to wear sturdy shoes for all floor renovation work – stepping in a nail from the Miocene is no fun at all.
Prepare the boards for sanding
You’ll likely need to do some repair work, like screwing squeaky planks into place. Use a regular screw, not a nail, because you might need to get the floorboard up easily later – and countersink it so that it sits flush with the wood. You may also need to glue some split planks together. Use wood glue and something of uniform width wedged between the gaps to hold the plank in place while the glue takes. If you need to use wood filler, blend it in well with the color of the original plank before oiling it.
Chances are that you’ll need to clean out the accumulated gunk from between the boards too. A flathead screwdriver is perfect for this; afterwards, use a folded piece of sandpaper to sand any splinters from the sides of each board. Aaand you’re done!
It’s sanding time!
Your protective kit will comprise of earplugs, goggles, gloves, and a decent respirator. Get the good DeWalt stuff. By decent respirator I mean the Darth Vader sort with the replaceable filters, not the bog-standard hospital sort, trust me. The difference is remarkable. Get all this right and you’re good to go. Your arms will get tired after half an hour or so, so make sure to take regular breaks.
Do one pass of 40 grit, then one at 80, and a final one at 120. The first round will take the longest because you will be removing years of heavy, ingrained dirt off the boards; the other two passes will be much faster. When you’re done with the main one, use the edging or detail sander to take care of the edges and corners as well. Once you’re done with both, use folded sandpaper once more to smooth the edges of the boards.
Finishing the wooden planks
Get oil or varnish on your boards straightaway; otherwise, it will get dirty and you’ll need to sand it again before oiling or varnishing. First, you need to clean the floor thoroughly: vacuum to ensure you get every last molecule of dust from between the cracks, then use a soft brush to sweep it by hand, and then wipe with a damp towel.
I use Osmo Polyx Oil on my boards, and you shouldn’t accept anything less either. You’ll every so often need to touch up the odd patch that might get scratched, so it’s not a no-maintenance product – but the beauty of the finished floors more than makes up for any inconvenience.
Use large brushes, or absorbent cloth to apply the oil, and remember to wear proper respirators. I prefer to work with the windows closed while I apply oil because dust comes in from outside and sticks to the floor. Do one tinted coat followed by two clear coats, and leave a day of drying time in between each. It may be a good idea to put felt pads under your furniture to avoid any unnecessary scratching hazards later on.
When you apply the oil, you need to buff it into the wood: you shouldn’t be able to see any brushstrokes in the oil if you’re doing it right. But with the clear coat, you need to do much less buffing.
Aaand…That’s it! Your renewed floorboards and parquet will look out of this world all over again. Whew! Thanks for popping in for a visit! Have a lovely day/night depending on where you are in the world! Go with God and remember to be kind to one another!