Whether you’re considering sanding floorboards in one room or neck deep in a full house renovation, you’ve come to the right place for expert advice.
Nothing looks better than beautifully sanded and polished floorboards, especially in a renovated, grand old Queenslander. There are so many benefits to sanding floorboards professionally, including getting the best possible result and adding instant value to your home. Of course, there is also something truly satisfying in doing the job yourself.
If you consider yourself handy and have the time, patience and physical capacity to tackle this tough job, you can certainly consider sanding your own floorboards. Before you start, check out our industry secrets for sanding floorboards like a pro!
Sanding floorboards secret #1 – Preparation is key
When sanding floorboards, this point can’t be stressed enough. It’s ‘secret number 1’ for a reason! The more time you put into your preparation, the less stress and mess you will have later on when you start your project.
These are our top tips for preparing your project area:
# Remove all furniture from the room/s
# Have all your equipment ready in the room or very close by
# Use a nail punch to punch down all the nail heads to below the floor surface
# Ensure you have prepared your safety equipment and wear your PPE (personal protective equipment)
# Don’t rush the job; take your time for best results
# Understand that sanding floorboards is very physically demanding and account for extra time to take breaks throughout
# Have plenty of drinking water on hand
# Open windows carefully – fresh air is important, but you don’t want a strong draft to stir up dust and blow it around.
Sanding floorboards secret #2 – Selecting the right equipment
Selecting the right equipment can make or break your project when sanding floorboards. Equipment selection will also determine just how long and how difficult your project will be. Whilst DIY sanding is generally about cost savings, invest in the best hire equipment your budget will allow to help reduce the physical impact.
The following equipment is recommended for the best results on your wood floors:
# A large floor sander for the main floor area
# An edge sander for the edges and for stairs
# A variety of large and small grit sandpaper (from 40 grit through to 120 grit) for different stages of the job
# A nail punch and hammer
Sanding floorboards secret #3 – Safety is key
Just because you aren’t contracting a professional for sanding your floorboards, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adopt professional safety practices. The right safety equipment reduces your risk of accident, which can significantly delay your project and blow your costs out, especially if you’re hiring equipment.
As a minimum, you should wear safety glasses, ear plugs, disposable face masks and overalls. The fine dust builds up quickly and gets quite thick on face masks, so buy spares and change them often.
ALWAYS make sure you know where the power cord is and don’t run over it!
Make sure someone else is aware of what you are doing and can check in on you in case of an accident. Take regular breaks and stretch out your back as it will get quite sore after a couple of hours bent over the sander.
Sanding floorboards secret #4 – Using the right technique
This is the nuts and bolts of sanding your own wooden floors! You have the equipment – now work on your technique for a finished floor that shines. When selecting the sandpaper to use, remember that the lower the number of the grit, the coarser the sandpaper is. Start with about a 40 grit sandpaper then move to a 60 grit then 80 and so on, using a 120 grit for fine sanding at the end of the project. The fine sandpaper takes out any scratches and leaves a smooth surface.
Moving through the grit sizes slowly will result in a more even finish. Don’t try to rush to the end by using a finer grit sandpaper before the surface is ready. You will waste paper and spend a fortune!
When sanding, start with the edges first, before moving on to the large floor sander. Don’t leave the sander sitting in one spot too long as this creates uneven surfaces and may even rip up the floorboards. For best results, you should always sand with the grain of the wood, not against it.
When using the floor sander, work in slightly overlapping each pass to keep the surfaces even.
Sanding floorboards secret #5 – Clean as you go
Sanding floorboards creates dust Clean up as much of the dust as you can throughout the sanding process to avoid a major build up at the end. This will also help keep dust contained rather than spread throughout your house.
Most edge sanders are belt sanders that have a built-in dust extraction feature. This will help reduce some of the dust and is a great option to look for if you’re hiring.
You can hire a separate dust extractor if your budget stretches that far, otherwise keep a vacuum handy and regularly suck up the dust as you go. A damp cloth or mop will help pick up the residual fine dust that the vacuum misses.
Before you proceed to polishing your floorboards, the final clean up should be meticulous. You may need to clean the area a couple of times as the dust continues to settle.
When you are happy with the clean-up, use a cloth soaked in white spirit to give the floor a good wipe over. This will pick up any surplus resin that has come out of the timber and degrease the floor ready for polishing.
Want Brisbane’s finest floors? Choose professional floorboard sanding
If you are hesitant to try your hand at sanding floorboards yourself, Brisbanes Finest Floors is here to help! With years of experience and specialist advice, our team of professionals are happy to assist you with your floorboard sanding project. Our team offers competitive pricing and impressive results to bring life back to your floorboards.
To get a free quote, or have a chat to one of our friendly team, call Brisbanes Finest Floors on 0411 220 488, or contact us here today!