Arguably one of the most difficult, yet satisfying processes involved with restoring hardwood floors is sanding.
Sanding hardwood floors can give them that extra touch of elegance that you’re looking for and it’s a process you’ll have to go through, unpleasant as it might be.
But does it have to be as unpleasant as everyone says? Not if you know what you’re doing.
How Sanding Hardwood Floors Works
The trick that separates a good sanding from a bad one is how you apply the sandpaper and the characteristics of each sandpaper layer. But before using any of the stuff, make sure your floor is squeaky clean and that no nails and imperfections are coming out of it.
Apply the heaviest sandpaper layer and run the sander in even strokes. It will take some time and effort to make sure you’re comfortable doing this; otherwise, you could get a nasty backache. Once the first sandpaper layer is through with, choose a lighter one and apply it.
For the third sanding, apply the lightest version you have. If you’re still not getting the tint you need, you can use some hardwood flooring wax or coating that can quickly correct the problem.
You will notice that the sender will not fit around the edges and corners, so you will need to grab the hand-held edger and get to work.
There will be a lot of sand and dust flying about the air, so you need to keep your protective gear on at all times. Try not to let the dust move through the house, so block the doors in the room you’re working using wet towels or sheets.
Take Your Time and Do It Right
Patience is not only a virtue but practically a necessity when it comes to sanding hardwood floors. If you rush it, you will likely mess up and create a bigger problem than you started with. If you’ve never sanded before, it’s nothing to stress about.
You can hire a professional company to help you out, or you can learn to do it yourself if you’ve got the time and the ambition to learn. Make sure that you do whatever it takes to get it done right above all else, and the pleasant outcome, in the end, will make it all worthwhile.
Whether you’ve recently discovered wood floors under your carpet and decided to refinish them and make them beautiful once again, or you have had wood floors for any period and they are looking a little less than lustrous, you can sand them down and refinish them to make them look like brand-new in no time at all.
It’s all a matter of learning what the process is like, and the steps that you need to take to achieve the best results. For starters, you’ll need to rent a sander.
Unless you happen to keep a drum sander on hand, you can find one for rent at your local hardware store or tool rental shop to allow you an easier time at sanding your floors. Use a drum sander because it goes with the grain of the wood in a back-and-forth motion, whereas disc sanders tend to go in a circular motion, which can risk leaving circular patterns on the floor if you aren’t careful.
As long as you take the time to find a sander and learn to use it, you will be fine. Before you begin sanding, you will need to remove any tacks, nails or anything else that is sticking up out of the wood floor. Also, you should have a power sander or hand sanding block on hand for edging and getting around obstacles in the floor.
You should generally be able to achieve the desired results in about 2 or 3 passes, but that all depended on the floor when you started and how much finish has to come off of it. Just make sure that you wind up with a smooth, clean surface that you can refinish however you’d like.
As you read above, if you still don’t feel confident in your abilities, you should feel free to ask for help from professional services for all of your needs in sanding hardwood floors.
Stuff You’ll Need for Sanding Hardwood Floors
The equipment needed for sanding might be a bit tricky because it doesn’t contain just your everyday power tools, you’ll also need some specific stuff that you can either get at a hardware shop or rent out for a few days at a rental.
We would advise for renting because buying the stuff doesn’t make sense if you only refinish your hardwood floor every couple of years or so. Anyway, here’s what you’ll need:
- Sandpaper (at least three levels, with different ratings – one massive, one light and one that’s in between)
- A vacuum cleaner
- A buffer
- A sander
- An edger
- Dust protection (goggles, masks, gloves, etc)
Related – Power tools list for woodworking
The Advantages of Sanding Hardwood Floors
You might be asking yourself, why on Earth would you go through this tough process of sanding and if it’s worth the effort and the extra cash (because you’ll need some extra for renting the special tools required by sanding).
The main advantage that sanding brings on the table is the visual quality of your hardwood floor. And let’s face it, comfortable as it might be, a floor is nothing without its good looks. And what gives hardwood flooring its good looks is a combination of wood grain, shine and color tone.
These qualities overlap in between the sanding and finishing processes, but it’s fair to say that it’s sanding that brings out the grain quality. Besides, sanding also makes your floor smoother, which will increase its comfort value.
Video Credit – How To Sand A Floor