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Do New Wooden Floors Have to Be Sanded?
You save up money for purchasing a new wooden floor, you do your homework and research all the options you have available when choosing to buy from the most renowned supplier, the floorboards are finally transported and delivered to your home after weeks of waiting and… SHOCK! The installation team is informing you that after fitting the floorboards they need to be sanded too! But how is that even possible? Isn’t it worrying that a complete, brand new wooden floor is in need of sanding? Isn’t sanding for aged and overly used wooden floors only? What happened to these brand new floorboards in the packages, are they already scratched and damaged? We believe that this is the major anxiety attack of a bunch of people who purchase a new wooden floor for the first time without the guidance and assistance of a professional.
They’ve done their research, they’ve spent so much time browsing websites, suppliers, manufacturers, companies, and somewhere within this whole process of decision-making, losing sleep over the final choice, and coveting a beautiful and stylish wood floor, they’ve missed one pretty important detail… The keyword is “unfinished wood floor”. Yes, it is easy to miss that important detail or simply misunderstood it. What on Earth means that the floorboards will be unfinished? Oh, ok, it does not matter because the price is lower than other offers and, after all, a new wooden floor can be a pretty serious investment so why don’t you save up some pennies. Furthermore, the supplier and manufacturer guarantee high quality, the reviews and testimonials shared online are great and what can go wrong? Well, your expectations and plans can go pretty wrong if you don’t know what unfinished wood floorboards stand for.
Why unfinished wood floors?
First of all, let us explain that some people buy their new wooden floors unfinished intentionally and there is nothing wrong, bad, or stupid by doing so. Unfinished wooden floor pretty much means that you will be delivered with packages of floorboards that are not treated and finished by the manufacturer in no shape or form other than simply making them suitable for laying a floor. That's all. The other alternative available is having your floorboards finished and ready for instant installation. This is when a finish is already applied at the factory and the surface of the boards is sanded beforehand.
However, you somehow end up with unfinished floorboards and the good news is that you don’t have to return them or worry about that little ‘mistake’ of yours. In fact, lucky you, you have done a great choice. Because unfinished floorboards allow you the whole flexibility and freedom in the world to have your floor look exactly the way you want it to. You can unleash your imagination and creativity, you can now conquer even the wildest ideas of the most creative interior designer, you can play around with colours, textures, finishes, undertones. And you don’t have to pay additionally for expensive services of stripping down the previous finish applied at the factory. You have the amazing chance to personalise your floor, making it the focal point of the room, enjoy it just the way you like it.
Yep, inevitably, some of the downsides of unfinished floorboards include the additional price of a sanding and finishing service (which you better leave in the safe hands of experienced professionals and don’t attempt to DIY) and a bit more waiting time until the floor is completely dry and ready for you to walk on it. However, this is a small price to pay in exchange for the opportunity to have a unique wooden floor you should be proud of. Honestly, the price is small not just metaphorically, since unfinished floorboards are usually more affordable compared to the pre-finished ones, which means that you are left with enough room of your budget to additionally invest into a professional floor sanding and sealing service. Finally, things start looking brighter and better, right?
Why sanding is needed for unfinished floors?
Once the floorboards are installed, you cannot leave them like that and immediately start to use the floor. Bare wood is pretty easy to destroy as it is sensitive to the environmental impact and factors such as humidity, moisture, water, temperature fluctuations, etc. Bare wood, when left unprotected, can be scratched very easily, get damaged by so many issue triggers, will start look and feel old, worn and torn within weeks, maybe less, and overall don’t look good at all. This is why sanding and finishing them is essential and necessary. First of all, a slight sanding with a mild sanding paper grit will even out the surface, make it smooth and uniform, get rid of any small scratches and dents that may accidentally happen during storage and transportation and will open up the pores of the wooden structure.
Once the pores of the wood are open, the sealing and finishing product will adhere and be absorbed efficiently and be able to offer its whole potential of benefits. When choosing a finishing product, don’t think of appearance and style only, although the finishing product is the one that gives the floor its uniqueness and charm. Keep in mind that finishing or sealing products are important because they provide the bare wood with the much-needed protection, hard-wearing and long-lasting power, preservation of its natural texture, colour, and durability.
What is next?
Finally, you just have to wait a few hours to a couple of days until the floor is completely dry and ready to use. You can now enjoy your floor but don’t forget to clean it and maintain it properly and regularly. If you do so, you can expect the effect from the sanding and finishing services to last you for up to decades. Once the floor starts feeling and looking worn and tired, make sure to invest in a refreshing service of sanding and refinishing. Your floor will start look and feel amazing back again and you will be able to enjoy it in tip-top shape for the longest time!