Hardwood Flooring Buffing
Often times the appearance, cosiness, and elegance are all defined by the appearance of your wooden floor. It can bring a lot of beneficial styles and design opportunities for you to enjoy and your guests to admire. Furthermore, wood flooring is a perfect backdrop for the home décor and your personalized style, and it can also serve as a perfect statement piece, thus becoming a perfect statement piece and a candidate for your home's focal point. However, even the sturdy and long-lasting natural wood floors are not safe from harm's way, especially when it comes to the issues and problems that might deter their appearance, as well as drastically harm their overall condition, such as wear and tear, for example. In order to make sure your floor wouldn't be suffering from an excessive amount of wear and tear, as well as some other common issues that might cause imperfections, an appropriate and regular maintenance is the not-so-hidden secret to keeping your floor's condition in a tip-top shape, enabling it to complement your home's design and style.
Regular and appropriate cleaning with the right tools for the job, is highly recommended on a weekly base. However, sometimes, just 'cleaning' is not enough and there will come a time when your wooden floor will require a more thorough and in-depth maintenance. If you have experience with treatments that serve to maintain and improve the condition of wooden floors, probably the first thing that comes to mind when the above is mentioned, would be the sanding and refinishing services. Those procedures, however, are not necessarily the first thing you should look to spend your money on. Here's where 'buffing' comes to mind.
More often than you expect, you can improve the condition and appearance of your wooden floor by simply having it polished and buffed, rather than opting for sanding and refinishing. We will still recommend the latter services, as we find them effective and beneficial, but they are not the only option you have when it comes to getting a quick and easy improvement for your hardwood floor. In fact, buffing it will be faster, cheaper, and a less stressful alternative to floor refinishing. Be that as it may, buffing is not necessarily recommended for each and every situation, and floor.
What Is Wood Floor Buffing and Why You Might Need It?
Buffing and sanding are both processes that will help you wooden floor bid farewell to its worn and tired appearance, as well as get rid of some of the minor scratches and imperfections. Sanding treatments consist of removing the topmost layer of protective finish of your wooden floor, as well as a thin bit of the bare wood surface, wherever it's necessary, such as the cases when there are deeper scratches, dents, and stains. The abovementioned can penetrate through the protective finish and affect the bare wood underneath. Sanding also opens the pores in the wood's structure, thus the sealing and finishing products get absorbed more effectively. Finally, due to the nature and specifics of the sanding process, mess and fuss are to be expected, mainly piles of sawdust and dirt, as well as some nasty odours, a lot of noise, and some other minor inconveniences. As you may guess, sanding is really beneficial, but very stressful and intimidating treatment, and it can sometimes cause a disruption to your day-to-day life. This is why we believe that sanding may not necessarily be the service that needs to be recommended and suggested for every single wooden floor, considering the fact that the 'buffing' option is also present.
Just like sanding, buffing is also a treatment procedure that ensures you will get rid of the wood's imperfections, fine scratches, stubborn stains, and the dull, sad, and tired appearance of your floor. Unlike sanding, buffing can only remove minor scratches and scuffs. It is not of much help when it comes to major damage and imperfections, as only sanding can save the day when it comes to that. However, if your wooden floor is in a relatively good condition, just needing some facelift and freshening up, buffing would be the perfect solution to achieve its new and improved appearance. This procedure can also give your floor a new and an attractive lustrous shine, that can last for many years to come! The basics of the process are pretty simple and efficient, not to mention that it will be extremely beneficial to the floor, as well as not make you stress out by being too much of a hassle. We still recommend seeking professionals when it comes to any of the processes involved with the wooden flooring, be it sanding, buffing, refinishing, and so on, as we do not think you should risk your floor's appearance just because you decided to undertake a little weekend DIY project that has backfired on you at some point.
The main machinery required for buffing a wooden floor is called a buffer or rotary machine. Just like with sanding, before the buffing process is to begin, you have to make sure your room has been thoroughly cleaned out and decluttered, so make sure you have removed all furniture pieces, decorations, and any other items that might turn out to be an obstacle for the process and the results.
Before you start the buffing process, it's also necessary for you to have removed any wax finish that could be left behind after a previous polishing process. This step is pretty simple, and you could actually do it yourself, as the only thing that's required is to apply a wax stripper / mineral spirits to the floor. However, if you are planning on doing it, you have to be cautious and follow the manufacturer's recommendations, because mineral spirits are minerals that can turn out to be dangerous for a human's health.
The next step involves cleaning, which is essential before the polishing and buffing processes begin. Run a dust rag or mop over to remove loose dirt and dust particles, then use a warm water and a suitable cleaning solution to mop the surface thoroughly. Doing this will enable the polish to be applied uniformly, leading to an impeccable shine at the end of the treatment. You should wait for the floor to dry up, before continuing with the buffing and the polishing. Buffing a wooden floor is usually a quick process, but sometimes it can take more time than the estimated, so do not get impatient. Buffing and polishing should be handled with care, because they can pose a threat to a person's health, especially if we're talking about someone with little to no experience. Buffing machines have a polish pad attached, that needs to be in a good condition, if you want to achieve the best effect.
Since the buffing machine usually spins in a clockwise direction, it's recommended to start with the buffing from left to right, in a smooth, sweeping motion, and never let the unit linger on one spot for a prolonged period of time. With such a simple and an easy process, you can get a really attractive and appealing final outcome, however, keep in mind that buffing will not help against major scratches, scuffs, dents, stains, and so on.
When is Buffing Recommended Over Sanding?
As we have already explained above, sanding is not necessarily the best option you can choose. In fact, most cases of light floor damage can be repaired just by buffing. All you need to do is to get rid of all the fine scratches that can eventually grow bigger with time, and cause some serious issues and problems.
Other than that, buffing is also the one and only option available for wooden floors that have been sanded way too many times and have already become too thin. In fact, real wood flooring can be sanded up to 5-7 times in its lifecycle, but it generally depends on the thickness of the floorboards. When they get oversanded, they can break easily. With that being said, buffing is not a treatment that wears out the floorboards, and unlike sanding, it actually adds some texture to the wood's surface.
Is Buffing Recommended For Laminate?
People are often misinformed about the repair services that can be done on laminates. Laminate floors can't be sanded and/or buffed. That's because it's not made from real wood products and materials. It's a man-made material that consists of a picture of a wood's texture, covered by a thin and see-through layer. Although laminate mimics real wood, it is not a natural product and sanding and buffing it will not result in anything else than a broken machine and a completely destroyed laminate flooring.