Floor sanding can be an arduous task that takes considerable dedication to complete successfully, and mistakes made could prove disastrous. Many floors contain areas that are concave or convex, making sanding difficult with a drum sander. An edger can make this task simpler by making it easier to sand around the edges of wood floorboards, but what about the various other jobs involved?
Care & Sanding
Proper floor maintenance is important to keep them looking their best, so one important way is sweeping and vacuuming regularly using a soft bristled vacuum head to avoid scratching. If you have pets, place floor mats both inside and outside your front door to minimize tracked-in dirt. Keep a mop and bucket of clean water nearby to address spills immediately, using non-toxic cleaners (without perfumes or intense fragrances) on these spills as soon as they occur.
If you have seen cross-grain scratches like these on your wood floor, these could be caused by contractors using multi-head sanding machines. While it's hard to avoid these completely, you can minimize their effects by sanding with the grain while moving up grit as you go; this should help eliminate this issue and make your final product look better.
No matter the type of flooring in your home, regular care and maintenance can go a long way toward prolonging its lifespan and beauty. A good rule of thumb is to sweep or vacuum regularly with either a soft-bristled broom or dust mop; at least twice weekly use a liquid cleaner that suits the material - one without perfumes or harsh chemicals as this will keep the floor cleaner for longer!
Another way to care for your floor (sanding) involves the removal of old varnish, dirt and wear from wooden floorboards in order to create a surface suitable for refinishing. While this task should generally be left to professional refinishers with the necessary equipment, do-it-yourselfers may be able to achieve visibly flatter floors through patience and practice.
Start with coarse-grit sandpaper - anything finer will leave unclean surfaces that must be re-sanded later. 24 grit or higher paper should be optimal; your exact grit requirements depend on existing finishes, type of wood and machine you are using. If unsure, attending classes or demo days with other contractors is a great way to gain helpful tips from them!
When sanding, it is imperative that the appropriate protective gear be worn, including a government safety-approved organic vapor respirator, neoprene gloves and eye protection with splash guards. You can circumvent these issues by hiring floor sanding services and leaving the safety up to them. This will reduce exposure to harmful chemicals while simultaneously limiting inhalation of dust particles. Make sure vents in the room are covered with plastic sheeting so as to minimize its spread throughout your home.
Polishing & Sealing
Once your floors have been sanded, it's time to polish them for an attractive shine and easier cleaning experience. But be wary - this task should only be undertaken by an experienced professional as it can easily lead to damage being done accidentally or create unevenness by buffing too aggressively - leaving any scratches or dings exposed in the wood and creating an uneven surface that needs further work to correct it.
First, start by buffing the floor (https://www.attagirlsays.com/clean-hardwood-floors/) with a sanding disk to remove any remaining grit and scratch marks left by drum or edger equipment, and clean any dirt and dust accumulation on its surface. Next, use a microfiber cloth and buff in circular motion according to manufacturer recommendations until finally protecting both your work and floor with polyurethane coatings.
Once your floors are dry, use a special cleaner and polish for them. This can keep them looking their best while helping prevent dust and dirt from adhering to them and wearing away over time. Such specialty cleaners and polishes can be found online, in specialty stores, or general-store aisles.
Before applying a sealant coat to the floor, vacuum it thoroughly to remove any dust or debris that has built up over time in its cracks and grooves. Use degreaser on concrete as this will ensure all grease, oil and dirt has been fully eliminated since this will prevent the sealer from adhering properly if this remains the case.
If you are using a drum or belt sander to sand your floor, a buffer may be necessary as an extra step for uniformity and to remove any scratches or gouges that occurred due to passing the machine over. Safety equipment should be worn during this process as dust may fly around freely.
When applying new sealant to floors, make sure the room is well ventilated with windows open for best results. A solvent-based sealant creates a durable yet strong coat but should only be used in well-ventilated spaces as it contains toxic compounds; water-based polyurethane sealants offer less exposure while not providing as much protection for flooring surfaces.