FLOOR SANDING PROCESS

Job Preparation

Before work commences on your floors, it is advisable for all trade work to be completed.

Make sure that electricity and water are available for the floor sanders, as these are essential in order for the work to be carried out.

All floor coverings, furniture, fixtures and fittings should be removed from the area to be sanded. It is also advisable to remove all staples and tacks, as this will reduce the price of the job. The emptier the premises are the better.

All painting except for the final coat on the skirting boards should be completed. However careful the tradesmen are, there may be a need to touch up minor scuffmarks on the paint work after the job has been completed.

Any items remaining on the premises should be covered to avoid the accumulation of dust. Any gas and electrical appliances in the immediate area to be sanded should be disconnected.

Ensure adequate lighting is supplied to the area to be sanded. Seal any vents, fireplaces and windows with masking tape or paper, as this will prevent dust from entering. Fold curtains into plastic garbage bags and seal them at the top.

Sanding the Floor

Generally the next step is to punch the nails down below the surface of the floorboards. Some older floors may need structural repairs and this can be discussed at the initial stages of the job.

The floor is then sanded with a coarse grade of sandpaper using specialised heavy weight drum / belt sanding machines. This initial work levels the floorboard timber of any lips and also removes any previous coatings or stains.

The large drum sanding machines cannot reach close to the skirting boards and this area is sanded by a smaller “edging” machine.
Next we sand again with a medium grade paper, after which the whole surface is vacuumed and the nail holes filled with a wood filler colour matched to your particular wood type.

Fine sanding begins after the filler is dry, and this phase removes any excess filler and smooths the floor surface in preparation for a final buff with a superfine paper which ensures the surface grain is closed and all traces of the previous coarse sandings are removed.

At this stage any staining or colour matching of new floorboards is done and finally the entire surface is vacuumed and readied to receive the finish coatings.

Polishing the Floor

The first coat of finish applied is a special “base” coat which seals the timber and prepares the floorboards to receive the final coats of your chosen finish. This first base coat tends to raise the grain of the timber and this is cut back with a superfine buffing machine before the final two or three coats are applied.

Because of the quick drying qualities of waterborne polyurethane the entire coating process can be completed in 1-2 days whereas solvent based finishes would require a day drying between each successive coat. You get back into your home sooner.

After We Finish

Waterborne coatings are usually dry within 8 hours, but will take up to one week to fully harden. However, fluctuations in temperatures throughout the year may cause variation in curing time.

You can walk on the floor with bare feet 8 hours after the final coat is applied.

Avoid wearing shoes or fluffy socks that may deposit fluff on the floor.

Light furnishings can be replaced after 2 days. Avoid dragging furniture over the floor as this may cause damage to the coatings while they are still curing.

Do not replace rugs for at least a week as they may leave a backing pattern on the floor.

See Floor Maintenance.