Sanding Wood Floors: The Floor Sanding Process

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An elegant timber-inlaid floor exudes classic appeal, but some refinement has to be carried out before this organic glow can be properly realised. A floor sanding process is employed with this express intent. The sanding work carefully wipes away coarse graininess and releases the natural beauty locked within the ageless hardwood. The goal is to smooth out rough patches and restore a splinter-free finish, to add atmosphere and value to the home, so how should this sanding process proceed?

Restore the Flooring to its Former Glory

Like the aged lines on an old man’s face, wooden cracks and dulled surfaces detract from the organic allure that once inhabited the timber. Powerful upright sanding machines remove this filth-ridden coating to reveal the hidden splendour underneath. Evaluate the grain of the wood and the floor patterning before using one of these potent machines. Next, depending on the employed sander, fit a grit pad that levels the floor. This base cutting grain is like an eraser, for it wipes away all rough edges.

Adopt a Progressive Sanding Strategy

It’s unlikely that a professional floor sanding process will ever conclude with a single pass. The first pass uses the roughest grit pattern to clean out ingrained dirt and smoothen fine cracks. This is where a progressive approach sorts the professionals from the wannabes. A second pass uses a finer grain sanding pad, a third pass employs an even finer grain, and a potential fourth circuit around the timber flooring ensures every irregular surface is fully smooth, like silk. Of course, in between each pass, the assisting technician vacuums away the sanded waste, thus leaving the surface free and ready for the next leg of this repeatable sequence.

Follow-up with Final Surface Preparations

Smaller sanders work around radiators and floor edges, so it’s crucial that this work proceeds in such a manner as to seamlessly integrate this perimeter work within the main field of the work area. Finally, use a buffer to bring out the polish in the flooring. A final vacuuming circuit would also benefit this latter phase, as would a close-up look at floorboard joints where accumulations of sawdust may be trapped. Use a tool to release these deposits.

In bookending the floor sanding process, do any and all prep work before beginning. Cover chairs and exposed surfaces in tarps or sheets of plastic. Wash the floor clean of dirt. The choice at this point is to leave the floor as-is or to stain it and really release the wood grain.

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