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Here Are Some Tips For Sanding Wooden Floors Before Refinishing

sanding wooden floors
by eye of einstein under CC BY  
Power Sanding Wooden Floors

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Whether you have just ripped up your old carpet or are looking to change the color of your wood floors sanding is something that you will have to do. Wooden floor sanding is not something that many of us enjoy doing because of how long it takes, but also because of how messy it is. Sanding of wooden floors is necessary before refinishing because it is the only way to get rid of any imperfections in the wood. Not only will it remove any imperfections, such as scratches and dents, but it will also rid your old floor of any stains. Removing all of the imperfections ensures that the floor is nice and smooth once again, making it easier to apply stain or finish.

With how important sanding of wooden floors it is vital that you do it correctly. Be warned if wooden floor sanding is not done correctly it will ruin the floors, in some cases it will ruin the floors beyond repair. Luckily, for those who are the sanding wooden floors diy type there are plenty of tips that you can follow to make it easier. If you are not the sanding wooden floors diy type then you are better off hiring a contractor to do it for you!

For those sanding wooden floors diy types, here are some of the best tips out there that you can follow.

Seal Off The Room Before Sanding
One of the worst things about wooden floor sanding is how messy it is. The sanding of wooden floors creates a ton of fine dust, as well as wood shavings that go everywhere; you will even find dust in your bathroom if you are not careful. The best way to keep everything contained to one room is to seal off the room. Many do it yourselfers think that simply shutting the door is enough, but that does not work. In order to seal off the room you not only need to shut the door, but you need to seal all of the edges around the door. The easiest way to seal off the edges is to grab a plastic tarp and some masking tape. Hang the tarp on the door and tape around the edges, paying close attention to the floor. You can also create a double barrier by taping a tarp on the other side of the door. If you are home along you can tape the tarp to the inside of the doorjamb rather than the outside.

Get The Right Equipment For Sanding Wooden Floors

Wooden floor sanding is a lot easier if you have the proper equipment, not to mention the proper equipment is needed to get the job done right. If you do not have the equipment at home, you can either go out and buy the equipment needed or you can rent it. Many of your local home improvement stores rent out all of the equipment needed to sand the floors. In order to sand the floors you are going to need a drum sander, a scraper, and an edging sander. The drum sander is needed to do majority of the room, the edging sander is used on the four inches closest to the wall, and the scraper is used for the corners.

Even if you get these machines, they will be useless without sand paper. Never make the mistake of buying the same type of sand paper. In order to properly sand the floor you will need different grits of sand paper, you will need 60, 80, and 100 grit for all of the machines. Chances are you have some sand paper at home, but that paper will not work in the machines. Both the drum sander and the edging sander require disks. If you have sheets of sand paper at home, that is perfect because you will need them for any hand sanding that needs to be done later, usually in the corners. If you do not have any sand paper at home be sure to pick some up when you buy the disks.

The Proper Technique For Sanding Wooden Floors

Unfortunately the sanding of wooden floors is not as simple as turning on the machines and letting them do all the work, there is a technique involved. Before you even attempt to sand your floors with a drum sander, you will want to practice the techniques. Majority of people who rent drum and edging sanders have no idea how to work them. If you do not use them properly, you are going to end up seriously damaging your wooden floors, sometimes beyond repair.

To use the drum sander properly you want to allow the machine to travel with the grain of the wood, not against it. When using the drum sander you will want to go over each section of the floor at least two times with each of the three grits of sanding disks that you have. Something else to think about is that the drum sander cannot stay in one place; it must constantly be in motion. Allowing it to rest in one spot for any length of time can leave gouges or uneven spots in the floor. Working at a steady pace helps ensure the floor comes out even. NEVER drop the sanders onto the floor, always gently set the sanders down on the floor; dropping can cause gouging!

Clean Up As You Go When Sanding
While it might seem tempting to leave all of the clean up for when you are finished that can cause many problems. What you really need to do is as soon as you make one pass across the entire floor you want to clean up all of the dust and wood shavings. The easiest way to clean up between each pass is with a vacuum, the nozzle attachment works best. A regular vacuum will work, but a ShopVac or similar powerful vacuum will work better.

Once you have completely finished sanding, made two passes with each grit, you need to thoroughly clean the floor. Using a vacuum with a floor attachment go over the entire floor, making sure you use a nozzle attachment in the corners and along the edges, at least twice. Once you have vacuumed up as much of the dust and shavings as possible use a tack cloth to clean the entire floor, this will pick up anything that you might have missed. It is very important to thoroughly clean the floor before applying finish because any dust or shavings will become trapped beneath the top coat, giving your floor a bump finish rather than a smooth finish.

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