Hardwood floors are a timeless and elegant choice for any home or space. Over time, however, they may lose their lustre and develop scratches or wear. This is where floor sanding comes in. Floor sanding is a process that involves removing the top layer of the hardwood floor to reveal a fresh, smooth surface underneath. This comprehensive guide will answer common questions about floor sanding, covering everything from its importance to the cost, process, and equipment used.
What Is Floor Sanding, and Why Is It Important?
Floor sanding removes the top layer of a hardwood floor to eliminate scratches, imperfections, and signs of wear. It involves using a floor sander, a powerful machine with abrasive sandpaper. Floor sanding is essential for several reasons:
Restoring the Natural Beauty
Hardwood floors can become dull and worn over time. Floor sanding helps restore their original beauty, revealing the natural grain and colour of the wood.
Removing Scratches and Stains
Floor sanding effectively removes deep scratches, stains, and marks that may have accumulated on the floor’s surface over time.
By removing the old top layer, floor sanding allows for a fresh finish, making the floor more resistant to future wear and tear.
How Much Does Floor Sanding Cost?
The cost of floor sanding can vary depending on factors such as the floor area’s size, the floor’s condition, and the region. On average, you can expect to pay around £10 to £20 per square meter for professional floor sanding services. However, obtaining multiple quotes from reputable floor sanding companies is always recommended to get an accurate estimate for your specific project.
How Long Does Floor Sanding Typically Take?
The duration of floor sanding depends on various factors, including the floor area’s size, the job’s complexity, and the equipment used. For an average-sized room, floor sanding can take anywhere from one to three days. This includes the time required for preparation, sanding, filling gaps, and applying finishes. However, it’s essential to note that larger or more intricate projects may take longer.
Can I Sand and Refinish My Hardwood Floors Myself?
While some individuals may choose to sand and refinish their hardwood floors as a DIY project, it is generally recommended to hire professionals. Floor sanding requires specialised knowledge, skills, and equipment to ensure optimal results. Professionals have the expertise to assess the condition of the floor, select the appropriate sanding techniques, and apply the right finishes for long-lasting outcomes. Hiring professionals also reduces the risk of costly mistakes or damage to the floor.
What Are the Steps Involved in Floor Sanding?
Floor sanding involves several essential steps to achieve the desired results. Here is a general overview of the process:
Remove all furniture and cover areas not being sanded. Inspect the floor for any nails or staples that need to be removed or hammered down.
Start with coarse-grit sandpaper to remove the existing finish and level the surface. Move the floor sander in a consistent pattern, following the wood grain.
Progress to finer grit sandpaper to smooth out any remaining imperfections and achieve a smooth surface. Repeat this step with progressively finer grits until the desired level of smoothness is achieved.
Use an edger or handheld sander to reach areas the floor sander couldn’t reach, such as corners and edges.
Inspect the floor for gaps, cracks, or nail holes. Fill them with an appropriate wood filler or putty and allow them to dry.
Fine Sanding (again)
Perform a final fine sanding pass using very fine grit sandpaper to ensure a uniformly smooth and even surface.
Thoroughly clean the floor, removing all dust and debris generated during the sanding process. A vacuum cleaner and damp cloth can be used for this purpose.
Depending on your preference, apply the desired finish to the sanded floor. This can include stains, sealers, or protective coatings like polyurethane or wax. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and drying times.
Curing and Curing Period
Allow the applied finish to cure and dry according to the recommended curing period provided by the manufacturer. This typically ranges from a few hours to several days, depending on the type of finish used.
Once the floor is completely dry, remove protective coverings, clean the area, and replace the furniture.
How Often Should I Have My Hardwood Floors Sanded?
The frequency of floor sanding depends on factors such as foot traffic, wear and tear, and the type of finish applied. Hardwood floors should be sanded and refinished every 7 to 10 years. However, it’s important to note that this is a general guideline, and the need for floor sanding may vary based on individual circumstances. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and applying protective finishes, can help prolong the intervals between sanding and refinishing.
Can Floor Sanding Remove Deep Scratches and Stains?
Yes, sanding can effectively remove deep scratches and stains from hardwood floors. The process of sanding removes the top layer of the floor, including scratches and stains. However, it’s important to note that the success of removing deep scratches and stains depends on their severity and the depth they have penetrated the wood. Sometimes, if the damage is too extensive, a professional assessment may be required to determine the best action.
Is It Necessary to Move Furniture Before Floor Sanding?
It is necessary to move furniture and other items from the area before floor sanding. This ensures that the entire floor surface is accessible and can be sanded uniformly. Moving furniture protects it from potential damage or dust during the sanding process. Clear the room completely or, if not possible, move the furniture to one side of the room and then to the other once the sanding is completed on one side.
What Type of Equipment Is Used for Floor Sanding?
Floor sanding requires specialiseds equipment to achieve optimal results. The key equipment used in floor sanding includes:
- Floor sander: A large, heavy-duty machine that sands the main floor area. It typically uses sandpaper wrapped around a drum and can be adjusted for different levels of coarseness.
- Edger: A smaller handheld sander used to reach the areas that the floor sander cannot, such as corners, edges, and areas close to walls.
- Vacuum cleaner: An essential tool for cleaning the dust and debris generated during sanding. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is recommended to capture fine particles effectively.
- Protective gear: Personal protective equipment, including goggles, dust mask/respirator, and ear protection, should be worn during floor sanding to ensure safety and prevent exposure to dust and noise.
Are There Any Alternatives to Floor Sanding for Restoring Hardwood Floors?
Yes, there are alternative methods to floor sanding for restoring hardwood floors, depending on the condition of the floor and the desired outcome. Some alternatives include:
Screening and Recoating
This method involves lightly abrading the existing finish on the floor using a screening pad or sanding screen and applying a new finish coat. It is suitable for floors with minor surface scratches and wear.
Buffing and Waxing
Buffing the floor with a rotary buffer and applying a fresh coat of wax can help restore the shine and lustre of the hardwood floor. This method is best for floors that do not have deep scratches or extensive damage.
Instead of sanding and refinishing the entire floor, spot repairs can be performed to address specific areas with scratches or stains. This involves sanding and refinishing only the affected areas.
It’s important to note that these alternatives’ effectiveness depends on the floor’s condition and the desired outcome. Consulting with a professional floor restoration expert can help determine the most suitable method for your situation.
Floor sanding is a transformative process that can restore the beauty and durability of hardwood floors. By removing scratches, stains, and signs of wear, floor sanding brings back the natural charm of the wood. While it is possible to attempt a DIY approach, hiring professionals is recommended to ensure optimal results. The cost of floor sanding may vary, and the duration of the process depends on factors such as the size and complexity of the project. By understanding the steps involved, the importance of regular maintenance, and the availability of alternative restoration methods, you can make informed decisions to keep your hardwood floors stunning for years. FK Floor Sanding is one of the best floor sanding experts if you have been looking for a professional to help with your wooden floors. Check out also our previous posts such as “Things to Consider When Choosing a Floor Sanding Service“.