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Engineered Wood Floor Sanding Guide
Engineered wood flooring skyrocketed with popularity and the appreciation of people. There is no wonder why this type of flooring gains more and more popularity and becomes the best alternative for more and more households and commercial premises. The reason so many people opt for engineered wood floors nowadays is the reason people get tired of the classic timber floor option – real wood, in the case of solid wood flooring, can be way too sensitive to moisture, humidity, and temperature fluctuations and prone to damages.
Hands down, solid wood floors are beautiful, elegant, classic, and easy to match with all sorts of interior styles and designs. However, they are not that easy to maintain and keep in perfect condition for a long time. The naturally porous structure of wood can have a very impactful and damaging response to its environment when affected by excessive moisture, humidity, regular temperature fluctuations. Therefore, solid wood floors are generally not installed in bathrooms and kitchens, basements and conservatories, and anywhere where indoor moisture can turn them in the subject of issues. Timber floors also require a very specific cleaning and maintenance routine. And people want that changed, so this is how engineered wood flooring was designed and common choice for many nowadays.
What makes engineered wood flooring any different is its advanced structure. Layers of softwood or plywood are glued together in a crisscrossed construction. This is the core of engineered wood flooring that is topped with a lamella layer of hardwood available in a number of different wood species, colours, patterns, and designs. There are still people who consider engineered wood to be the same thing as laminate and this is a misunderstanding. Engineered wood is made out of real wood products only, unlike laminate. Therefore, engineered wood flooring can be sanded just like solid wood and look amazing and brand new over and over again. Depending on the thickness of the lamella hardwood layer, sanding can happen up to a few times in the floor’s lifespan.
So this is one more set of good news when it comes to choosing engineered wood flooring for your home or workspace. Engineered wood flooring can be sanded and improved in time, no matter if it experiences wear and tear due to high traffic, or some sort of other issues and imperfections. Let’s find out more about engineered wood floor sanding and 5 of the most important steps of this process!
Every real wood floor requires good preparation before sanding. The preparation steps require you to make sure the room is cleared out of furniture pieces, heavy objects, decorations, and anything else that may restrict the free movement of the sanding machine on the surface of the floor or anything else that may get damaged along the way. Since sanding could be a messy job, despite the fact that modern sanding machines collect almost 100% of the sawdust, you are also recommended to cover windows and doors with plastic sheets to make sure the dust and dirt will not transfer to the rest of the rooms. Next, the floor should be thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the sanding process.
Sandpaper with different grit should be used during the process of sanding of engineered wood floor in order to achieve the smoothest surface possible and get rid of the majority of all imperfections. Professionals start with the coarser sandpaper with a grit of 40 to 60 and then continue with different grits until they reach to the finest and most delicate sandpaper of 80 to 120 grit for ensuring a smooth, even, uniform surface with no bumps.
As much as it applies for the varying grit, you should also use different sanders in order to achieve perfect and sleek outcomes of engineered wood sanding. Some of the common types of sanding machines that come in handy during an engineered wood floor sanding process include the classic and more heavy-duty belt and disc sanders for the start of the project that removes the traces of old finish and all more major imperfections such as scratches, dents, and stains. Edge or detail sanders come in handy for reaching to all corners of the room and other areas that are hard to access. Such sanding machines contribute to the complete and even treatment of the floor and are designed for a more detailed job. Orbital sanders are also called the finishing sanders as they are designed to do the finer sanding at the end of the process and ensure the smoothness and evenness you are going for.
Sanding With The Grain
Engineered wood floor sanding with the wood’s grain and not against it is crucial for achieving the best possible results and minimize the risk of damaging the wooden floorboards during the process of sanding. Sanding against the great means that soon or later the floorboards of engineered wood will start struggling with and experiencing wear and tear and other issues that can grow major and even later require for costly and time-consuming repair services.
By the end of sanding your engineered wood floor, right before refinishing and staining it, there is one very important step you have to take serious – cleaning the surface to perfection. Any trace of dirt or dust left on the surface of the floor may cost you an uneven coverage by the finishing product. The dirt and dust particles will stay trapped between the floor’s surface and the finish and it will be impossible to remove them later on. Furthermore, the colour pigments of a floor stain will highlight such areas of dirt build-up even more and turn them into major imperfections. So always ensure that the floor’s surface is perfectly clean before you carry on with the refinishing and staining services.