Do you love the smooth, shiny finish of well sanded floors? You don’t need to hire a pro just to have one in your home. Because today, you’re going to learn how to do it yourself. But let me tell you this: It’s not going to be easy.
So are you ready to take on the challenge?
How to Sand Floors Like a Pro
Tip #1. Prepare the Room
First things first. Before you start sanding that floor, make sure you prepare the room first. Obviously, you have to clear away all furniture and other obstructions. Below are other stuffs you have to keep in mind when you sand floors:
- Cover doorways and air grills with plastic.
- Turn off your home’s HVAC system to keep the dust from drifting around the house.
- Raise low-hanging light fixtures so you won’t bump your head unto them. (It’s pretty annoying).
- Because you can’t completely sand by opening and closing the doors, it’s a hundred times better to just remove the doors that open into the room you’re working in.
- Got some loose boards? Nail them down with finish nails.
- Countersink all nails by at least an eighth of an inch. Nail heads can damage the sanding drum or the sanding belt which both cost quite a deal of money to replace.
- Missed a nail? Grab a metal snow shovel and drag it upside down across the floor. When the shovel hits a nail, you’ll know.
Tip #2. Change Belts Often
Dull belts can cause a problem that you’ll regret later on. How? By the time the floor finish is gone, the sanding paper is no longer sharp enough (even if it still feels sharp) to get rid of the scratches left by the previous grit. And usually, you will not discover these scratches right after the floor finish has settled. So play it safe by changing the belt after covering about 75 square metres. If you’re using edger discs, change after every 6 square metres.
(Note that these estimates vary depending on the type of sander, wood and belt so don’t forget to ask our experts at Nielsens Hire for advice.)
Tip #3. Scrape the Corners
Areas that are hard to reach such as corners can be scraped using a carbide paint scraper. Afterwards, don’t forget to sand the area with 80- or 100-grit paper so it will take in the finish evenly and effectively.
Tip #4. Master the Edger
The edger may look like a simple machine but truth is, it’s not simple to use. But it doesn’t mean you can’t master it! Below are some tricks on how to tame the edger and sand floors like a pro!
- After each phase of drum sanding, follow up immediately with edging.
- A nylon pad is your best ally. Place one under the sandpaper to create a cushion that minimizes those inevitable swirls and those treacherous gouges.
- Replace dull sand papers often.
- After edging, lay a flashlight on the floor to see any leftovers. If there are swirls left, sand them manually using an 80- or 100-grit sand paper.
Tip #5. Clean as You Move from One Grit to Another
Before moving up to the next grit, make sure you vacuum or sweep the floor first. A 36-grit granule caught under a 60-grit belt will leave an ugly finish in the floor, so vacuum it up! Wrapping the vacuum nozzle with tape is also a good idea to keep it from marring the floor.
Tip #6. Don’t Forget to Screen
Many DIYers skip this step after they’ve finished sanding the floor. (Well, I can’t blame them. The floor just looks so good already!). Screening makes sure that the floor is free from sanding scratches — call it a final touch. You can screen the floor using a sanding pole or a rented buffing machine. Whatever you choose, make sure to use a 120- or 150-grit sanding screen.
Don’t have the right equipment? We got you covered. Visit Nielsens Hire today and check out our collection of floor sanders and edgers.