The Most Common Problems Faced- DIY Floor Sanding

Everybody likes to save a little money wherever they can pitch in to reduce labor costs when it comes to home renovation work. For the average home handyman there is a lot more involved than they are generally aware of when attempting the sanding and polishing of the timber floors in their home.

There are a number of contributing factors which can lead to an unsatisfactory or poor quality finish, which, in most cases, will only be revealed once the coating has been applied and the job completed. click here to find more.

Any imperfections in the process of sanding the floor will be highlighted by the applied coating, combined with reflected light. One of the most common sanding imperfections is ‘stop marks’ where the machine has been left stationary while engaging the floor, even for a fraction of a second, or has not been lifted while it is still in motion while engaging the floor. This is a very easy mistake to make for the unskilled operator. The level of damage this sanding imperfection can cause will depend on the depth of the ‘stop mark’, and in some cases it can be extreme. Tongue and groove timber flooring is generally 19 millimeters thick, although there are only four to five millimeters of timber above the actual tongue and groove itself – this is the amount of timber you can safely work with when attempting to level your floor. This sanding imperfection usually occurs when the operator concentrates on a particular isolated uneven area of the floor. for further information, visit : http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/floors/how-to-sand-a-hardwood-floor

The two best tips here are:

  • Make straight runs of the machine all the way to the wall, and all the way back without stopping.
  • Start with more coarse sandpaper to flatten the floor before moving to a finer grade paper.

Among other sanding imperfections that are common are ‘chatter marks’. These marks are seen in reflected light as a fine corrugation throughout the entire floor and are generally caused by machine vibration. This imperfection is more to do with the quality of the machinery that is available for hire. Industrial floor sanding machines used by professionals are not available for hire, and are precision built and balanced for optimum results. A way to minimize or eradicate chatter marks is to rotary sand the floor as your final sand using 100 grit and finally 150 grit paper. These 16 inch diameter rotary machines are readily available for hire and known as ‘Polyvacs‘.

The Most Common Problems Faced- DIY Floor Sanding

Although there are other sanding imperfections that are possible and can contribute to a poor finish, the sanding is only one component of the work.

Foreign material including atmospheric dust particles in top coats are also a very common problem for the D.I.Y. handyman. The meticulous cleaning down of the floor before coating and especially between coats must be carried out properly as floor polyurethane tends to mound around very fine dust particles accentuating them when viewed in reflected light after the coating has dried.

Final coat preparation tips:

  • Blow down any dust settled on ledges and skirting boards and let it settle before vacuuming.
  • Our final cleaning down method is the secret to a dust particle free top coat.
  • Method: Completely soak a large rag in warm water and wring out as much as possible to leave it slightly damp. Wrap the rag around a broom head and use it as a tack rag to collect the very fine particles the vacuum cleaner will not pick up. It will amaze people when they see the amount of very fine particles this process will remove.

Stated here are only a few common imperfections the home handyman will encounter.

The fact is that if your timber floor is sanded and polished properly, it can be and usually is a prominent feature of the inside of any home. Depending on the level of natural light present, a poorly sanded floor will almost certainly be an eye sore.