Floor Sanding Preparation and Expectations : Handy Tips From The Experts

Mixed hardwood with semi gloss finish

Mixed Hardwood Flooring with semi gloss finish

Floor sanding preparation: Before we arrive to sand your floors

If building or renovating, the start date for sanding and coating floors is critical particularly in relation to other trades.  Carpentry, electrical, plastering, plumbing and glazing should be completed before work on the floor can start.  For the best results ensure all other tradesmen have completed their work or are away from the floor before the floor sanding begins, aside from those areas noted below such as the final coat on skirting boards.

Preparation for sanding and coating

  • #1 We need clear and safe access to the site. Is there sufficient parking/access for getting the heavy machinery in?  If not, please discuss with us so alternative arrangements can be made.
  • #2 We’ll need to power our floor sanding equipment, so ensure there is adequate lighting and power available. Power should be on inside the house – not from job site power box. Water also needs to be available.
  • #3 Make sure the floor area to be sanded is cleared of debris and furniture. All furniture should be removed together with all floor covering including staples, tacks etc. If there are staples, tacks and smooth edges on the floor, a quotation for its removal can be provided so plan for the extra cost.
  • #4 Remove all unsealed food from the pantry and other storage areas – the smell of polyurethane can taint them.
  • #5 It is advisable with new kitchens to leave kick boards off until completion of the floor. If new carpet is being laid in some rooms it should be done after the floor is finished.

General information to be aware of

  • #1 Modern sanding machinery is fitted with dust collecting equipment and sanders will endeavour to clean dust away by vacuuming and wiping down surfaces. It is impossible to totally eliminate dust completely from any job. This has a couple of consequences;1. You will always find some dust particles that settle on the newly finished surface. There will always be an amount of dust throughout the house.
  • #2 Any silicone or silicone-based product which comes into contact with the floor will cause rejection.  (Rejection is when a coating is not compatible with the surface being coated and ‘pulls back’ rather than flowing over the surface smoothly, In some cases, rejection is caused by contaminants on the surface, such as silicone, household chemicals). Silicone is often found on the footwear of plumbers and glaziers.
  • #3 Rugs can leave a backing pattern mark on the floor, so move them after 2 weeks if possible, otherwise they may permanently mark your newly sanded and polished floor.
  • #4 Removal of deep cuts from carpet knives or deep gouges in boards will not be removed if too deep.
  • #5 It is recommended that all painting, except for the final coating on skirting boards, be completed. Your painter can apply final coat after completion of floors.
  • #6 Stain around the perimeter of some older timber may produce a two tone effect.
  • #7 You are likely to get some variation in colour and grain between new and old boards. This means natural inconsistencies in the colour and grain.
  • #8 We quote on what we can see, prices may vary if unforeseen problems arise after coverings are lifted or borers  (borers are insects which attack dry seasoned wood, such as, timber flooring) exposed, black japan stain etc.
  • #9 Previously painted floors or decks may retain paint in between boards and in the grain of the timber.
  • #10 We do not fill gaps between boards. These gaps are not filled because subsequent natural shrinkage and expansion from heat and moisture in the environment will cause cracking in the filler.
  • #11 Floor boards damaged by borers will not have the same gloss level as those boards in good condition.
  • #12 Putty does not have the same feel as the timber after application of coatings.
  • #13 Water stains around nail holes are not always removable.

On completion of sanding and coating your floors

  • #1 Avoid walking on the floor for at least 24 hours.
  • #2 It takes 7 days for the polyurethane to fully harden. At least 72 hours after the final coat is applied you can put your furniture back in the rooms. Avoid dragging furniture; lift and place where possible otherwise the polyurethane will be damaged.  If you drag your furniture across the floor you will risk scratching or gouging your floor.
  • #3 Be careful not to walk in grit and other abrasives (socks only) until the floor is fully cured after 7 days.
  • #4 Never wear stilettos on timber floors as the heel point damages the floor and leaves unsightly indentations.
  • #5 To assist with minimising scratching of your newly sanded and coated floor, place or glue small pieces of felt or protective furniture pads to the feet of all furniture and heavy objects. These can be inexpensively purchased from hardware stores.

Care and Maintenance

To keep your floor looking its best, dust and mop once a week at a minimum. Dust more often depending on the amount of dirt carried into the house and the number of people living in the house.  Sweeping and vacuuming will remove most dirt, but not all.  A good quality dust or static mop is the most effective tool to collect dirt and for removing the finer particles of dust and grit that will grind off the polyurethane.  Office chairs require a floor mat to protect polyurethane coating.

Spills and tracked-in dirt can be cleaned by damp mopping the floor regularly with a tablespoon of methylated spirits to a 3 litre bucket of warm water. Use this mix as both the methylated spirits and water will evaporate and not leave a residue, in contrast to waxes and polishes, which may dull the floor.

Be careful to use only a damp mop, not wet, as excess water can soak between the boards and cause damage to the timber.  Waxes, oil soaps, liquid ammonia, vinegar or silicon cleaners should not be used on the floor.  Some household detergents can be abrasive and dull your floor over a period of time.  Use a non-alkaline floor cleaner.  Avoid using steam mops as they can dull coating and swell timber.

For more valuable floor sanding preparation tips, contact the experts at Brisbanes Finest Floors today on 0411 220 488.

Brisbanes Finest Floors, with over 20 years of experience in adding wow to any wooden floor, internal or decking.

Request a free quote

Talk to us today and discuss your floor restoration, repairing your deck and new flooring.

More from our blog

See all posts