Hardwood floors are simply unbeatable when it comes to choosing a type of flooring for your home, business premises, or commercial property. They make a statement and add a sense of extravagance to any room, no matter the size or shape.
Wooden flooring is popular not just for its beauty, but practicality too – they can be swept and mopped to have them looking as good as new with minimal effort. What’s more, if you’ve had your wooden floors installed for a number of years and they’re starting to look tired or worn, there’s no need to replace it; sanding a wood floor and adding a polish can restore it to its former glory.
When it comes to sanding a wood floor, you can, of course, attempt it yourself, or you can leave it to the professionals to ensure a high-quality and long-lasting restoration. Quicksand Flooring are here to offer their expert advice on sanding a wood floor by hand or accepting the help of trusted professionals, like us!
DIY floor sanding
The over-arching advantage of attempting some floor sanding DIY is the money you will save. Professional services will naturally cost more, with you paying for the time, skills and equipment of your floor sanding company. Keep in mind though that doing it yourself isn’t all smooth sailing, you will need to hire the necessary machinery and prepare for the mess and dust created by the long process. If you have a small budget available, plenty of time to dedicate and are feeling physically fit, trying your hand at sanding a wood floor yourself is a viable option!
Let’s take a look at the main floor sanding DIY steps to follow to give you the best chance at getting a high-quality and even finish.
Equipment and materials.
Preparation is key, don’t just get stuck straight into sanding a wood floor as this can only lead to disaster in the form of an uneven or unsightly floor finish. First up, make sure you’ve hired or purchased the right equipment. You will need a heavy-duty sanding machine which can be hired for a fee from your local DIY store or from the range of specific companies online. If you want to go all out and do the job to the best of your ability, you may want to also hire a separate piece of kit known as an edge sander to make the quality of your sanding consistent around the whole room.
Of course, a variety of sandpaper is needed to fill your machines. There is a range of grades available, with the highest and coarsest grit of paper coming in at 16, and the lowest being 150 to create the final smoothing effects. Your best bet is to start with a 40 and work your way up to remove any and all signs of wear from your floor gradually.
Health and safety.
While it’s entirely possible to sand and refinish a wooden floor yourself, there are important precautions and drawbacks to consider. There will be significant dust produced by the process, so be sure to seal off doors and windows, remove or cover any furniture, and warn other residents or neighbours of the noise.
The masses of dust produced will be in the air around you, so it’s essential to wear facemasks to avoid breathing too much in. Gloves, glasses and dust suits are also recommended to protect your eyes and skin. If you have sensitive ears or are planning to sand a large area of wood floor in one go, wearing ear protectors is advisable too.
Once you’ve protected yourself and your surroundings, you need to consider your sanding technique. Get it wrong and you risk damaging your wood floor beyond repair or ending up with uneven and shoddy appearance. Always move the machine forwards when sanding a wood floor rather than using a backwards movement and go from left to right to suit the natural grain of the wood. It’s not the end of the world if you travel from right to left but this can leave your floor with a more brushed and less smooth effect. Rather like when mowing a lawn, overlap yourself slightly and don’t hover in one spot for too long or you risk causing indents in your wood which may require professional help to remove. Our last tip is to religiously hoover your floor in between each grade of sandpaper and leave time for the dust to settle.
As you can see, yes, DIY floor sanding can be successful, but there is plenty of opportunities for untrained people to make mistakes and end up with a poor-quality looking appearance. When refinishing a wood floor in a room of your home that receives a lot of attention, we would always recommend letting professionals work their magic to prolong the lifespan of your wood and achieve a stunning look.
Professional floor sanding
Floor sanding is a highly-skilled job to do, which is why relying on professionals with years of experience and tons of training under their belt is recommended in most instances. Getting a professional company in means they will assess the condition of your hardwood floor before carrying out any work to tailor their sanding techniques and tools to your specific needs. It’s important not to sand a solid or engineered wood floor too many times as this will lead to the floor being worn down too far, making it impossible to seal and protect.
On top of this, some types of hardwood flooring will require their own technique. Take parquet patterned floors, for example, this needs to be sanded at a specific 45-degree angle, to achieve the desired effect and avoid damaging your wood. If you attempt to sand patterned or certain types of wood and get it wrong, you can end up needing professional help anyway to repair the damage.
Offering professional floor restoration services ourselves, we understand the questions you should ask yourself and companies before having any work done. Always check out previous projects carried out by a company and ask for client testimonials to help you make an educated decision before making the investment.
To answer the question of whether professional or DIY floor sanding is the best option, it is completely dependent on your needs. If you have the budget, we would always recommend working with hardwood floor specialists – the finish and durability of professional floor sanding services unequivocal. Chat to our team of floor experts today and book in to save yourself the hassle and upheaval of sanding a wood floor by hand.