Floor sanding and polishing
Why choose an expert?
What’s the difference between floor sanding yourself or engaging a trained professional?
If you decide to sand, polish, refinish or resurface wood floors yourself, rather than engage an experienced floor sanding professional, you’ll need to get the equipment at a tool-rental center. Take note that these are domestic sanders and will not sand a floor as effectively as the commercial grade dust-free system we use at Island Floor Finishing. The main tool you will rent is a drum sander, but there are many other items needed to complete the various stages of floor sanding and polishing.
Professional floor sanders use either a rotating 8, 10 or 12-inch belt sanders. These machines are heavy and draw power from the same 220volt outlets used by most kitchen ranges and dryers in Vancouver Island homes. Unlike rental machines(which are smaller and less powerful) commercial belt sanders will remove old coatings, scratches or paint when combined with different grit cloth paper belts. It takes many hours to develop the skills to sand a floor evenly using either a commercial belt sander or rental machine. Domestic rental machines are powerful enough to cause irreversible dents and gouges in your wood floors if not handled correctly.
Large belt sanders can only reach up to 6 inches away from baseboards. For this reason, a rotary edge sander is required to finish off the areas left after belt sanding. Even though “edgers” are smaller and lighter than belt sanders, they are still extremely powerful. The speed and power produced by a 110v floor edger will remove old coatings and flatten areas not accessible by the larger belt sander. Hours of training is required to both remove old coatings and smooth out the areas around based boards. A professional is able to sand all the way up to the baseboards without the need to remove them as well as sand and strip difficult to reach places around the home. Using either a commercial or rental belt sander or edger without the proper training and safety equipment is guaranteed to either ruin your floor, cause serious harm to yourself or both.
There are several commercial grade floor polishers are available to professionals and as rentals. The 2 main types are the rotary(spinning) style which pros use, and orbital(oscillating) for the rental and D.I.Y person. Polishers are only effective at either polishing raw wood floors prior to coating or in-between coats. Polishers are not effective at removing existing coatings and should never be used for this purpose(regardless of what rental companies tell you). Most professional floor sanders prefer the rotary style polishers as they are more effective at removing the marks left behind after belt and edge sanding. Every process in wood floor resurfacing complements the one before and if polishing is skipped, or rushed the final finish will be compromised. Just like the large belt sander, polishers are unable to sand all the way to the edges of baseboards and in corners. For this reason, a random orbital sander is used. Island Floor Finishing use commercial vacuums that are connected to polishers and orbital floor sanders, this drastically reduces the dust created while floor sanding on Vancouver Island.
Coating a wood floor with either an oil or water based product is a highly skilled process. Any attempt by an inexperienced person to coat a floor can lead to failure of the finish and the entire refinishing process. A professional will train for several years to correctly coat a floor with stains and finishes. Temperature, humidity, moisture and the various species of wood found around Vancouver Island will require different coating techniques. Coating a floor requires many different pieces of equipment, these include; painters pole and brush, applicator or roller, bucket or tray, gloves, non-marking old shoes, protective clothing as well as humidity and moisture meters. Solvents may be needed to clean your equipment after each use if oil-based finishes are chosen. A 2-3 coat system is considered the industry standard and varies on the species of wood being coated and the type of finish used. A coating system is generally a sealer coat(or stain coat if required) and 2 top coats of clear finish in either satin, semi-gloss or gloss with polishing between the 2 final coats.
How to sand off old floor coatings?
Will you punch and fill nails?
What type of sandpaper will be used on my floor?
Can floors be sanded year round?
How much dust will be left behind?
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Island Floor Finishing
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