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How to Sand Floorboards Like a Pro
If you're looking to renovate your house, sanding floorboards can be a great way to achieve a new look. Floorboards that have been heavily stained can be stripped back and treated in a way that suits your new scheme while retaining their natural charm. It can be a rewarding process, but it's important to be prepared for the noise, dust and effort involved. If you're on a budget, hiring a sander isn't extortionately expensive, so it's a good way to trade off some hard work for a nice timber floor.
When is Sanding Floorboards Necessary?
Floorboard sanding can be a great way to improve the look of your floors and remove any unsightly blemishes. In some cases, you may only need to spot sand floorboards to remove stains or scratches. However, if you are looking to strip back floorboards or remove a stain across the entire floor, then more intensive sanding will be required.
Can you Sand Floorboards by Hand?
Sanding floorboards by hand can be a labour-intensive process, but it is possible if you're willing to put in the work. First, you'll need to remove any debris or loose material from the surface of the floorboards using a broom or vacuum cleaner. Next, use coarse sandpaper to sand the surface of the floor boards, working in small sections. Once you've finished sanding with the coarse sandpaper, switch to finer grit sandpaper and repeat the process. Finally, use a clean cloth to remove any dust or debris from the surface of the floorboards.
What Kind of Sander Should I use to Sand Floorboards?
Hiring a professional to sand your floorboards can be expensive, so it's important to know what kind of sander to use. A drum sander is best for sanding floorboards. It's important to make sure that you get the right size machine for the job, and that you're using the right type of sandpaper. The drum sander is a heavy-duty handheld sander that you can usually hire from the same place as the edge sander. The edge sander is a smaller handheld sander that's perfect for finishing off the edges of the floor and any areas the drum sander can't reach. A mouse sander or orbital sander can also be helpful. You should also be aware of the potential hazards of sanding floorboards, such as creating dust or causing damage to the boards.
When sanding floorboards, always start with coarse grit sandpaper and work your way up to a finer grit. This will help to avoid damaging the boards. If you're not sure which kind of sandpaper to use, ask a professional at the store where you're renting the sander.
How do I Sand Floorboards?
Prepare your floor for sanding
The first step in sanding your floor is to evaluate the existing floor. You need to make sure that the floorboards are level before sanding, and also check for any nails that may be protruding from the floor. Use a nail punch and hammer to knock all nails below the surface of the floor, then repair the wood floor to level it. Once you've completed these steps, you're ready to start sanding your floor!
Sand the floorboards with the drum sander
After sanding the floorboards with the drum sander, if they are not perfectly level, start by sanding across the room diagonally. This will help to level them out. Then, sand back and forth following the grain of the wood. You can go as close to the wall as you can, leaving just the edges to finish with the edge sander.
If you're using a rented sander, be sure to go over the manual before you begin. This will help you to understand how to use the machine properly and avoid any damage to the floorboards. Sanding can be a dusty process, so be sure to wear a dust mask and open the windows.
Start by selecting the appropriate sandpaper grit for your needs. If the floorboards are in bad condition or have a thick stain, start with 16 or 24-grit sandpaper. slowly progress to finer grit sandpapers to ensure a smooth finish. If the floorboards are in good condition, you may be able to start with a 40 or 60 grit and then progress to an 80 or 100 grit for the final sanding. Keep in mind that the lower the number, the coarser the sandpaper, while higher numbers equal finer sandpaper. You'll want to vacuum regularly to make sure you can see any spots where the pre-existing stain remains on the floorboards. It can get very dusty!
Sand the edges with the edge sander
You'll need to use the edge sander with the same progression of sandpapers as the drum sander. To keep track, it's probably best to use one grit at a time, completely sanding the whole room. The floor will slowly become a uniform colour as more of the stain or dirt is removed. You may find that in tight corners, a mouse sander will come in handy to finish off. These are sometimes hireable, but you can also pick up a cheap corded one from your local DIY store.
How Many Sandpaper Sheets Will I Need for Sanding Floorboards?
The amount of sandpaper you'll require depends on the size of your room. However, as a guide, for a 3m x 4m room to be sanded, it is usually used around 6-7 sheets at the roughest grit and 2 or 3 of the finest. The same goes for the edging sander. You'll need fewer sheets the finer the sandpaper gets. It's pretty standard for hire companies to refund you for any unused sheets, so don't skimp if you run out, you'll be wasting your hire time. Have extras just in case any tear on nails you've missed.
How Long Does it Take to Sand Floorboards?
Sanding floorboards can be a time-consuming task, but it is worth the effort in the end. Make sure you are well prepared before you start, by reading the instructions and practising with the equipment. Expect it to take 2 or 3 days per medium-sized room to complete the sanding process. Take regular breaks to avoid fatigue, and be sure to sand in a well-ventilated area.
What is the Best way to Finish Floorboards?
There are many ways to finish floorboards after they have been sanded. The best option for you will depend on the type of finish you want, and each type of finish has its own unique characteristics. For example, varnishes are great for producing durable floors that need less maintenance and are less likely to stain. However, when your floor does need to be recoated, you will likely have to sand the floorboards again.
Other options for finishing floorboards include stains, waxes, and sealants. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the right finish for your needs. One popular choice is to use a hard wax oil. This is a floor oil with a small amount of wax in it, which improves its durability. The surface of floorboards treated with hardwax oil will wear more quickly, especially in high-traffic areas, but you'll be able to maintain and reapply in these areas without re-sanding the entire floor.