Back to DIY Advice
Floor Sanding Tips
Seems easy, sure I can do it! As it is with every craft, floor restoration requires experience in order to be performed properly. Sanding a floor is hard not because it involves a lot of mechanical skills but because you must know the limit of your own abilities, to possess patience and the will to complete the task you have set in front of yourself. As simple as it sounds, not everyone can do that.
In theory, everyone can push the sanding machine up and down in order to sand a floor. What machine? With what kind of abrasives? What grit? Does the type of floor even matter? Is there anything I miss and should know before beginning? Those are just a few of the question you may want to ask yourself before attempting to sand. We will try to answer as many as we can here.
Hiring Sanding Machines
Let us just warn you about something. The companies providing sanding machines for hire don’t make a real profit from renting their equipment. These machines are expensive and their lifespan isn’t that long due to often being left in unskilled hands. The majority of the profit those companies make is made from selling abrasives. Don’t be fooled by cheap hire costs. With that said, let us move on.
The first piece of equipment you definitely need is a 200 mm belt sander. Preferably one manufactured from a well-known company like Lagler or Bona. The belt sander will do the majority of the work but you still need a machine for those hard to reach places – edge sander (178mm). Products like Bona Edge and Lagler Unico are always a safe bet.
Even after sanding the floor, you still need to buff it. Buffing is part of the finishing touch, a final smoothing of the floor’s surface. Arguably the best choices here are LaglerTrio/Bona FlexiSand. Amazing buffing machines which make the final stage of the floor restoration significantly faster and easier. Or you can hire smaller buffing machines like Bona Buffer and Lagler Single. Keep in mind that the transition between areas where you have used an edge sander and a those worked with belt sander must be flawless. So, if you do not hire the sophisticated Lagler Trio or Bona FlexiSand, you need to get a random orbital sander instead. Festool and Bosch are an excellent choice here.
The last thing you need is a dust extractor which … well collects the sawdust accumulated during the sanding. Fein and Festool are popular brands you can use without reservations. Also, if you want, you may get a delta sander but it is not mandatory. Pretty much anything delta sander do, you do as well by hand with a wooden block and abrasive paper.
Sanding a Wooden Floor
There are some floor sanding tips that everyone can consider during wood floor restoration. They would ensure smooth and problem-free floor restoration process with satisfactory end results.
If you are doing the sanding yourself and you have hired equipment, check the surface of the floor when you start sanding. The floor sanding belt should leave smooth surface after few rows. If that is not so, contact the company you hired from and ask for a consultation.
- Make sure that the areas for wood floor restoration are clean and prepared for the sanding.
- Make sure that the floor sanding equipment is working properly, you know how to use it and you have the necessary electrical supply.
- Use the highest grit sandpaper first. Estimate which grit you have to start with; if the floor is in good condition start with 40 instead of 24 grit.
- After proceeding with one grit sandpaper make sure all marks are removed when switching to the next grit.
- Do the sanding on the forward stroke and never on the backwards pull.
- Do it from left to right.
- Floor sanding should be done in line with the wood grain.
Note: When the floor sanding belt is not sanding efficiently, try to change the abrasive or look for some possible causes of the problem. Never force the sanding machines, because you will be held liable for any damages.