Floor sanding is probably the most important and vital procedure for any wooden floor as it has the potential to transform completely its appearance. In fact, a restoration project of old installation will be impossible without sanding. This is one of the factors which make real wood beloved by so many people – the possibility of refinishing them repeatedly. This option is making them not only beautiful but also a long-lasting investment. The most common issues with floors are damages to the surface area, problems like dents, scratches, worn finish, stains or dirt embedded deep in the top layer of the wood. The good news is sanding can solve these bothersome situations.
The benefit of a well-done wood floor sanding process can be extensive and most of the people won’t even be aware of the complete set of advantages. Here are the 5 most important facts concerning the sanding service you should not underestimate:
- First, it’s important to understand that floor sanding is not actually a single action process but it comes in a pack with other procedures that will bring back to life even a floor that looks irreparable. Most of the people think sanding is a complete process, enough to make the wood shine. It’s true that’s the most important and initial stage of the whole wood floor restoration process, but it also includes repairs sometimes, or even replacing a single plank that has been damaged badly. Additionally, you have an option for gap filling and/or staining. Sometimes there are no gaps to fill, but if there is a space between the boards it will be a necessary service. If you decide to leave the gaps as part of a rustic feeling adding to the interior, then keep in mind the whole construction will possibly not be properly insulated and develop some drought but on the other hand, will leave enough space for the wood to expand during the winter. Staining is optional because the whole process can be finished without it, it’s up to your preference but the changes that can be achieved with today’s modern stains are incredible so you might want to consider it.
- Stripping off the old finish will improve the visual appearance of the wood but this is not the only result from the process. It will level the boards which will smooth the surface and make the whole construction more stable and durable. If you want to be successful in this task you should decide on the use of abrasive carefully, starting from lower to a higher grit. This can divide the sanding process into 3 stages – rough, medium and fine. The first round with the belt sander will remove the distressed old finish and as an added advantage will make all the stains, dirt and scratches disappear. The medium will remove the marks left from the first stage by smoothing out the surface from the hard abrasive and if there are some other deeper imperfections. The last stage will complete the action and prepare it for the next step of the restoration process.
- You can probably guess at this point, that we won’t leave the timber unprotected. That’s why another essential service is sealing but what you probably don’t realise is that after sanding the wood pores will be wide open thus letting the finish to soak better. This will make the colour equal in the whole area. Another important thing is to decide what kind of finish you prefer. Simply explained there are two major groups – oils and lacquers. If you prefer a more naturalistic look, go for hardwax oil. In case your floor is set to experience high foot traffic, the experts consider the lacquers to be a more durable solution. They work by creating a protective layer on the top of the planks, instead of soaking in the wood like the oils.
- “Floor sanding is always the best solution” – This statement is not correct because the thickness of the real wood board limits how many times they can be refinished. If you don’t inspect the thickness of the floor prior to the whole restoration work you might have big problems as a result. For example, the engineered wood floors have only a thin top layer made from a single piece of hardwood, something between 3 and 9mm and for each performed sanding you should remove up to 3 mm of the top timber. In the end, you can imagine what could happen if you don’t pay attention.
- Sanding is not only for old wood floors in poor condition. It’s recommended even for brand new installations, especially when the planks are unfinished. As we mentioned before this process smoothens the surface, it also makes the whole construction more stable. So, if you decide to go for a new installation, it’s recommended to consider this with your fitters, or if they suggest it to you first, you should not be surprised.