Floor sanding involves removing the top surfaces of a wooden floor by sanding with abrasive materials, usually sand-paper. At Arbor Flooring, we have the latest dust-free floor sanders capable of restoring your existing wood floors back to their pristine best.
Generally, most new floors are now supplied pre-finished, but the more traditional types of installation of solid plank flooring and parquet flooring still require sanding post installation.
Even with ongoing maintenance, a wooden floor will tire and at some stage it will usually require revitalising by floor sanding to remove previous coverings and bring the floor back to life.
Modern floor sanding jobs are completed with specialised dust-free sanding machines. (We use Laegler & Bona floor sanders). We remove the majority of material with our 98% free dust-free belt sanders. Edges, corners and stairs are sanded with our Bona edger sanders. We then use a rotary-action Trio finishing machine for the final sanding process to remove any floor sanding marks and to achieve a uniform surface, ready for the top coatings.
Floor sanding involves three stages: preparation, sanding, and coating with a protective sealant.
Preparation involves the removal of any previous floor coverings. There may also be adhesives from previous floor coverings which need removing and any nails present will be punched down. Also, any remedial floor repair work will be undertaken at this stage, if required. This may be in the form of sourcing reclaimed materials to match in missing pieces, for example where a hearth has been removed.
After preparation, sanding may commence. Depending on the type of wood and any build-up of previous finishes, the first sand is completed with coarse sand-paper to remove existing residues, and also to flatten the floor off. Progressively finer sand-paper is then used to achieve a fine finish.
The entire floor is sanded back to bare wood. It may then be necessary to fill any gaps in the boards with either pine slivers for pine floor boards, or by using a putty filler which is trowelled into the smaller gaps. The floor is then sanded back to level off these wedges of wood or filler and to achieve a smooth surface. The grade of sand-paper used gets progressively finer for each sand. If required, the Laegler Trio finishing sander is used ready for the floor to be coated.
At this stage the floor may then be stained to achieve a different colour finish, shortly followed by a sealing coat.
The two main finishes are either a water-based polyurethane lacquer (Bona or Junckers) or hard wax-oils such as Osmo or Treatex.
The advantage of the lacquers is that they are easier to apply, easier to maintain and have a shorter drying time. The disadvantage of using lacquers is that floor scratches are harder to repair.
The advantages of oils are that they bring out the natural beauty of the wood more and they also make localised repairs possible.
If looked after, oil finishes potentially last longer than lacquer finishes, but require more maintenance; with busy lives, oiled floors are, unfortunately, frequently neglected and tire before their time. We generally avoid the more traditional floor varnish finishes, these having been superseded by the more environmentally friendly water based finishes.