Floor Sanding and Restoration
A Dust Free Wood Floor Sanding Service
A Timber Floor can be a wonderful addition to a room of any size or any style of decoration. Wood floors are practical, clean, functional and beautiful. To keep Wood floors looking their best and in a good condition for as long as possible, eventually they will need some form of maintenance. This could be a new coat of oil or lacquer, or perhaps a complete renovation and a new finish.
If your flooring is tired, dirty or in need of repair there is no need to carpet back over it or replace it with a new floor. A skilled restoration specialist can bring floors covered in years of grime and countless layers of old varnish and lacquer, back to a wonderful, vibrant condition.
Our Restoration Specialists are certified by leading equipment manufacturers, with 15 years of experience in wood floor sanding, so we can guarantee work of the highest quality.
Wood floor sanding is just one stage in the restoration process. It is usually the first stage, and it involves preparing the timber surface for the other processes to follow. This involves the removal of the protective layer of old varnish, lacquer, or oil that usually covers wood floors. The main aim of this process is to make the floor smooth, clean and ready for the new finish.
At 3 Oak Wood Flooring we use modern sanding machines that come equipped with dust capturing bags, helping to prevent 96% of sawdust produced being released in to the air. As well as using the latest equipment, we only employ experts with extensive experience with all types of wood floors.
Dust Free Wood Floor Sanding Service
Most modern sanding machines, come equipped with dust capturing bags, which come in handy to help prevent 95% percent of sawdust produced from being released to the air, as well as to perform dust free wood floor sanding. The floor sander is mainly used during the floor sanding process.
During the buffing of the floors, a small amount of dust will not be sucked. This is because of the use of certain tools in finishing corners and other areas that are difficult to reach by the floor sander.
Wood Floor Sanding Machines
Wood Floor Sanding machines may either be the drum type or disk type (floor polisher). In the drum sanders, the sandpaper is mounted on a cylindrical drum, which rotates on an axis parallel to the plane of the floor. Thus the sandpaper makes its scratches in straight lines, in the direction of movement of the cylindrical drum.
In the disk sanders, the sandpaper is mounted on a disk, which rotates in a circle on the plane of the floor. As the disk sander is being moved over the floor, the grits make spiral scratches that necessarily cross the grain of the wood. A drum sander, however, cannot reach the last few inches of floor nearest to the baseboard, however, electric edgers, which are small disk sander, are available for sanding these edges of the floor or they may be done by hand.
Sandpaper acts by gouging fine slivers from the wood surface, leaving scratches, the size of which is influenced by the size of the grits on the sandpaper. Coarse grits act rapidly, but the scratches they leave are conspicuous, especially if they cross the grain of the wood. Fine grits act slowly, but the scratches left are too small and negligible. Scratches are least noticeable when they run along the grain of the wood as opposed to running against the grain. Scratches must be especially fine to escape detection on a wood with close texture, such as maple, and especially if they cross the grain of the wood.
In sanding a floor, time is saved by starting with a coarse sandpaper to remove the grosser roughness and imperfections. This makes the floor level as quickly as possible. The scratches left by the coarse grits are then removed by successive sanding with finer sandpaper. Finally, the surface should end up being smooth such that, no scratches will be observed after the finishing has been applied.
Wood Floor Sanding Procedures
Before beginning the sanding procedure, carefully sweep all dirt, dust and other debris from the floor. “Set” all nails that may be protruding either in the floor or baseboard, so that the sanding machine will not get damaged during sanding. Sometimes, only two sanding cuts are needed on a new hardwood floor, but if the floor is uneven or if a particularly smooth finish is desired, three cuts will be necessary. The first cut should be done with a coarse or medium abrasive, but always ending with a finer one. A smoother finish will result if the final sanding is done with the floor polisher or disk sander. Of course, more passes with finer paper will result in a smoother finish.
Note: After the second or third pass, the floor may be buffed with steel wool. However, steel wool should not be used on oak floors unprotected by finish because, minute particles of steel left in the wood may later cause iron stains under certain conditions. When sanding strip, plank, or other flooring where all pieces run parallel to each other, all cuts may be made in the direction of the strips. However, if the floor is at all uneven, one of the first cuts using coarse or medium paper should be at a 45 degree angle to the direction of the strips. This positioning, will remove any peaks or valleys, caused by minute variation in thickness of the strips or in the sub-floor.
When sanding parquet, block, herring bone and similar flooring, it is necessary to cross the grain of many pieces with each pass. In these cases, begin sanding on a diagonal from one corner of the room to the other. The next cut is started from one remaining corner to the other, and the final cut is made at approximately 45 degrees to the first cut (from one wall to the opposite wall). Extra care should be taken to see that each pass after the first is deep enough to remove all scratches left by the previous sanding. The last pass should be made with relatively finer sandpaper.
Regardless of the type of floor being sanded, an edger should be used after each pass to finish any areas which were not previously sanded such as edges, corners or areas around radiators. These areas may also be hand sanded. Before the sanding is considered complete, the floor should be inspected carefully to see that all blemishes and visible scratches have been removed. This is to ensure that a smooth surface has been produced. Defects can be seen most readily if the floor is viewed against light at a low angle of incidence, so that any ridges will cast shadows. Any defects left at this time, will show much more prominently after finishing materials have been applied.
If the old finish cannot be repaired, then a complete sanding of the surface will be required. This will be followed up by the application of a new finish. Most flooring boards are ¾ inches thick, and therefore they can withstand sanding. In a case like this one where complete sanding is needed, make certain that all nails are countersunk, and that the floor is as clean as possible before sanding. Use an “open face” sandpaper to remove the old finish. This is because the heat and abrasion of the sanding operation may make the old finish gummy and easily clog finer sandpaper. But once new wood appears, regular sandpaper may be used.
The number of cuts required to restore an old floor, is largely determined by the condition of the floor and the thickness of the finish being removed. If the floor is badly scarred or warped, use as many cuts as necessary to get a smooth, unblemished surface. Usually make the first one or two cuts at a 45 degree angle with medium grit paper, and then follow the instructions given for sanding a new floor. But if the surface is in good shape and has no thick build-up of old finish and wax, one pass with the disk sander and extra-fine paper may be sufficient. But just make sure that you have removed all the old finish.
Old finishes may also be removed with a non-aqueous (no water) varnish remover, after which the floor can be sanded just like a new flooring. But if the floor is less than ¾ inches thick or made from hardwood plywood, extra care must be exercised to prevent sanding through to the less desirable wood beneath. So as to be sure of the floor thickness you are dealing with, you can remove a floor heating register or the shoe mould and baseboard so that the floor edge is exposed. If you find that your floor is thin or made of plywood a chemical varnish remover may be useful. Also it will be apt to use a floor polisher or a disk sander as opposed to using a drum sander. This will ensure that you do not remove more wood than is absolutely necessary.