When your wooden floor stays dull and dry no matter how many times you polish it, then it is time for a complete makeover in the form of refurbishment. Also called refinishing, this process involves a stripping off of the existing protective veneer, sanding the boards and applying a fresh coating. Refurbishment is also a good opportunity to repair those little annoyances like squeaks and clicks caused by loose boards or spaces between the planks.
Every floor, no matter how well maintained, will eventually show signs of natural wear and tear in the form of scuffs, scratches and scrapes and areas exposed to direct sunlight will appear faded. Happily, all of these signs of aging are correctable with a complete wood floor refurbishment.
Whether you elect to DIY or choose a specialist London floor sanding company to do it for you, your floor will thank you for it. There is nothing more beautiful that a newly finished and beautifully smooth wood floor. Such flooring instantly becomes a talking point with guests and a source of pride for the homeowner.
Going it alone
If you have some knowledge of carpentry and are armed with a good supply of enthusiasm and elbow grease then you may wish to refurbish the floor yourself. This being the case then it is likely that you will need to lease an industrial sanding machine. DIY outlets and hire shops can supply a belt or drum sander which you should, realistically speaking, hire for two days. The best way to botch a refurbishment job is to rush the process so don’t fall into that trap. Take time with both the sanding and the preparation stage before you introduce the sander to your floor.
However if you choose to have the refurbishment professionally carried out then it is likely that the floor sanding specialists will use a hi-tech dust-free sanding machine which eliminates the need for family members with respiratory issues to leave the premises as is often the case with other types of sanding machines.
Assuming that the room has been fully prepped for sanding with furniture and movable fittings removed, windows open and interior doors sealed off then you are ready for the first stage of the process which is to inspect the floor thoroughly for signs of loose or damaged boards. Gaps between the planking should also be filled with woodfiller. You can make your own filler by mixing a little sawdust with resin and apply to the spaces with a plastic spatula, making sure you wipe off residual spills.
When you are ready to begin sanding then you should fix the coarsest grain of paper to the machine and sand in steady lines, walking the machine from end to end. The bulk of the machine will not allow you to get flush with the skirting, so you should leave a 12-inch area around the room which you can hand sand with an orbital sander. Subsequent sandings should be carried out using a finer grain of paper each time. If the floor has not been sanded to your knowledge then you will probably require three sandings although two is the norm. When the floor feels silky smooth and even throughout then you have finished sanding.
The final stage in the process is the finishing. Your choice of finishing product should largely depend on the type of room and how much traffic it receives. For example, dining rooms look very elegant polished with a varnish or lacquer finishing, whereas bedrooms and den rooms look great with woodstain that nourishes and protects the floor.
Whatever finishing you choose it should be applied to small areas working along the boards. Never over-use the product in an attempt to save time. Your floor will require more than one coat of finishing and should be given maximum drying out time before returning furniture to the room.
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