Essential Floor Sanding Tips for DIY Wood Floor Restoration
Floor sanding is a skilled job. We always recommend using a professional company for your wood floor restoration. Apart from the skill needed to operate a machine, a company will assess your floor. Has it been sanded before? Depending on the nature of the timber, a wooden floor can only bear so many sandings. When too much wood has been removed, resealing becomes impossible.
A floor with engineered boards – veneer over plywood – can obviously be sanded fewer times than solid hardwood or pine. Over-sanding will result in a damaged floor – and an expensive replacement.
Parquet floors require special sanding techniques. Please don’t attempt these. We have too many jobs where we have to come in to repair the damage!
However, there may be occasions when you feel confident about undertaking a DIY job. A small area, perhaps – or a room that will be full of furniture, where the appearance of the floor surface does not have to be perfect.
The machines are powerful and heavy – and some sanding by hand may be required. So you need a degree of fitness and good mobility – being prepared to get down on your knees.
Do Gird yourself for Noise and The Spread of Dust.
- A local hire shop will be convenient, but it pays to shop around to compare the quality of the machines and the advice the staff is capable – and willing – to give. A little more outlay on a better machine will give you an easier job and better results.
- Follow the advice on safety equipment – glasses, footwear, ear protection – from the hire shop.
- Remove as much furniture as possible. Cover the remainder with dust sheets.
- Seal doors and windows.
- Inform your neighbors. Only sand during the day.
- Make sure all the boards are secured.
- Deal with repairs and replacements.
- Check for protruding screws and nails: hammer in or remove.
- Test the machine on a small area or a piece of plywood.
- Be aware of the position of the flex. Avoid using extension leads.
- Understand the different grades of papers and their role in the stages of the sanding process. Ask your shop to fit the first paper for you.
Buy Enough for your Needs. Most Hire Shops will take back Unused Papers.
- Use the highest grit floor sanding paper first. If the floor is in good condition, start with 40 grit.
- Before changing to the next grit, make sure all marks are removed.
- Only sand on the forward stroke and never on the backward pull.
- Work from left to right – Sanding in line with the wood grain.
- Overlap slightly on the return pass – as in mowing a lawn.
Then Change Direction and Repeat.
- Don’t get too close to walls, doors, and skirting boards.
- Use the edging sander for awkward areas. Some parts of the floor will require hand sanding.
The main danger is the creation of clatter marks when the machine stays in one position – usually on an uneven area of the floor.
Raise the drum as soon as this occurs. Don’t try to force it through.