Floorboard Polishing: DIY or Hire and Expert?

  • September 26, 2016
  • News

Floorboard Polishing: DIY or Hire an Expert?

Timber flooring is one of the most diverse and robust flooring solutions on the market and it makes a fantastic addition to any home. Timber has been used in the flooring of homes for centuries and there are many very good reasons for this. In particular, timber offers durability that is almost unrivalled and it complements the design features of almost any home – new or old. On top of this, timber is the perfect flooring solution for homes in subtropical areas such as Brisbane. During the harsh summer months, timber floors will feel cool and airy, thereby lessening the effect of the heat. Floor coverings such as carpets can let your home down somewhat in this respect, as they have a tendency to feel warm during hot summer months and can harbour the moisture that is consequent of high humidity, thereby developing mould. During winter months however, flooring solutions such as tiles can feel uncomfortably cold, whilst timber flooring will remain at a comfortable temperature.

Being so durable however, timber does have the propensity to outlast some of the protective coats and stains that are applied to help maintain its appearance. These protective layers are important for not only the appearance of your timber flooring, but also for its protection. Because timber is an organic material it can fall victim to such shortcomings as rot and surface damage. Stains and varnishes are designed to protect your timber from moisture and scratches, whilst enhancing its visual appeal and lustre. When the protective layers of your timber flooring begin to fade, it is important that you address the issue promptly to avoid any further deterioration and this leaves you with one option: floorboard polishing. Floorboard polishing is a great way to get your timber back to optimal condition and it can greatly increase the shine of your timber floorboards. When considering this however, you have two options: DIY, or expert floorboard polishing and whilst both have their advantages, it is far preferable to enlist the help of an expert.

The advantages of expert floorboard polishing

Contrary to many common misconceptions, floorboard polishing is not always as simple as you might think. The floorboard polishing process consists of many individual stages, each of which is of paramount importance. In every step of the process – from preparing and sanding the floorboards, to applying the correct stain – the slightest oversight can have dire consequences on the integrity and durability of your timber flooring. If you do not have a great deal of experience working with timber floorboards, it can be challenging to accurately gauge the extent to which certain preparatory steps are necessary. As well as this, it is not always easy to select the correct stain for your timber and failing to do so can leave you with inadequately protected timber flooring and potentially compromised aesthetic appeal.

It is also vital that you have appropriate consideration for the varying condition of the timber floorboards throughout your home. Timber flooring is an investment for the long term, so it is perfectly reasonable to expect some degree of deterioration over the years – the advantage of timber is that such deterioration is easily addressed by floorboard polishing. What many people do not realise, however, is that different floorboards are likely to degrade at different rates, even within the same house. This is due to a range of factors, including foot traffic, floor plan, humidity and furniture placement. Essentially, there are certain areas of every home in which your flooring will be subject to more wear and tear on a daily basis. With expert help, it will be easier to not only identify these areas, but also ensure that the correct steps are taken to address any damage and restore the flooring to its perfect condition.

Some stages in the floorboard polishing process

There are several stages necessary in the floorboard polishing process and each one serves an important purpose. It is crucial that each stage is done with consideration for your precise requirements and the specific nature of your timber flooring, which is why it is always advisable to contact an expert.

Preparing the floorboards

The first step to restoring your timber floorboards is to prepare. This stage might seem like a relatively straightforward one, however it is always useful to gain the insights of an expert. Professional floorboard experts are familiar with the needs of a wide range of timber flooring solutions and can very easily identify any areas of your floor that require special attention. The preparation stage is quite consultative and it generally involves inspecting your floorboards and assessing their suitability for a variety of products, before working out what needs to be done to facilitate the restoration of the timber. This will usually entail removing any furniture or carpets from the floorboards so that the polishing process can be done evenly and unimpeded.

Sanding the floorboards

The next stage in the floorboard polishing process is to remove any imperfections from the surface of the timber. It is not uncommon for timber floorboards to be scratched over the years and these scratches can compromise the protective layers of the timber and harbour moisture, which might then promote wood rot. To prevent this, it is necessary to sand the surface of the floorboard back and expose the uncompromised timber beneath. Not only will this address any surface scratches, it will also remove the old varnish or stain and create an even surface upon which new products can be applied. Sanding is an arduous process and requires an extensive knowledge of timber and the right tools. For this reason, floor sanding is best left to the experts.

Applying the appropriate sealing and polishing products

Following the sanding process, your floor will be ready for its facelift. When it comes to this stage precision is key, which is why this process can also be challenging for those without a great deal of experience in working with timber. It is important that the correct sealant and polish are used at this point, because they will have a direct bearing on the appearance of your timber flooring and the extent to which it is protected. Speaking to an expert will help shed some light on exactly what is necessary and they will have all the knowledge necessary to ensure that you get the best outcome.

Get in touch with Brisbanes Finest Floors, the experts in floorboard polishing and flooring across Brisbane.

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