Do your floors need sanding? Flooring tends to get damaged gradually due to moving furniture around, keeping pets in the house, walking on it with high-heeled shoes, etc.
Therefore, it’s no wonder for homeowners to see scuffs and scratches on the surface, which ruin its appearance. Fortunately, your floors can be restored to life with the help of sanding, either by hiring a professional or performing the task on your own.
There is a myriad of floor sanding London experts offering wood flooring restoration.
Nevertheless, if you look forward to a DIY project, the following tips might help.
Prepare the room
The initial tip is to perform all the necessary prep work. For instance, you should start by removing the furniture and using plastic to cover all doorways. You should also cover the air grills to prevent dust from accumulating on the ducts. Your HVAC system should be switched off to reduce air movement, meaning less dust will travel around the house.
Doors are also supposed to be removed, as you wouldn’t be able to sand under them, even if you keep on opening and closing them. In order not to bump your head, you should raise any light fixtures that are low-hanging. Floor coverings, such as carpets and rugs, must be removed as well. If there are any loose boards, your job is to nail them down by using nails.
Moreover, if you happen to notice any exposed nails, make sure to hammer them down, as nail heads are infamous for ripping the sanding belt. Also, putty should be applied to all nail holes. Click here to learn how to repair nail pops on a floor. It’s extremely important for the surface to be clean prior to starting the job, which is why you should sweep, vacuum, and dust the area.
When performing such a DIY project, homeowners need to rent two machines, a drum sander, and an edger. The former is used for sanding the largest part of the floor, whereas the latter is necessary for working along the baseboards. It’s essential to measure the room before heading to a rental store, as the square footage helps the workers in the store to calculate how many sanding discs and belts you’ll need.
Furthermore, it’s absolutely important for all the prep work to be completed before renting any equipment. Keep in mind that the preparation process takes longer than you assume it would, so you would end up wasting money by renting the machines too early. The drum sander is supposed to come with a continuous belt to avoid leaving chatter marks on the surface. Also, it’s supposed to have a lever, which is used for raising and lowering the sanding drum.
Apart from the drum sander and edger, individuals planning such a project would need a paint edger for the corners, which cannot be reached with a machine. Additionally, you will need a hammer, nails, vacuum cleaner, dust masks, earmuffs, an extension cord, large bins, and bin bags, etc. Follow this link, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_mask, for a description of the uses of a dust mask.
Select a starting grit
Another vital tip to consider is choosing the right starting grit. Most amateur sanders assume that one sandpaper grit is enough to sand over a floor. Nevertheless, sandpaper is supposed to progress from a coarser to a finer level, and the starting grit depends on the condition of your floor. It’s vital to understand the role of various grits, as it’s the only way to choose the right one to start with.
For example, 12grit sandpaper is solely used in edgers and is suitable for floors with several coats of paint and heady adhesive. 16grit is the best starting grit for flooring with shellac finishes and a single layer of paint. Also, individuals are recommended to use it for old maple floors. In contrast, 24grit is the best option for flooring surfaces that haven’t been sanded for more than thirty years. It’s recommended for floors with damage from the previous sanding as well.
In addition, 36grit is the right alternative for new floors or ones with a minimal finish. By the end of the sanding process with this grit, there should be no trace left on the surface. Conversely, 60grit should never be used as a starting grit since it removes no finish or wood. The same goes for the 80grit, which is usually the ultimate grit pass for hardwood floors. 100grit should be the final grit for maple and birch floors.
If you aren’t exactly certain about the choice of starting grit, use 36grit for the purpose of testing. Start by sanding a tiny area, which is in bad shape. Once you’re done, stop the machine and examine the sanded area. If it looks clean, you have chosen the right grit. Anyhow, if it’s not entirely clear, you’ll need a coarser formula.
The first step is to open the drum sander and add a sandpaper roll to the drum. Remember that you’ll have to change sandpaper frequently during the process. You are advised to start in the room’s centre and move the sander smoothly and evenly. The movements you make should be smooth, not jerking, as you should move the machine up and down.
Individuals are advised to pull the drum up when making a turn in order not to scar the floor. After each sanding stage, you should remove the dust by using a vacuum. Once you reach the edges, you need to use the edger for the baseboards. It’s paramount for the dust sander and edger to sand the surface to the same gradient to provide a smooth finish.
Nevertheless, finer edges should be either sanded by hand or with a detail sander. At the end of the process, the dust has to be removed completely prior to coating the surface. Find out some more DIY sanding tips.
The above-mentioned tips are easy to follow and indeed helpful!