Solid wood flooring offers more authenticity than laminate or engineered hardwoods, but it doesn’t come without its own problems. For example, solid wood is prone to certain stains and scratches and may require periodic sanding. However, sanding your solid wood floor can be an effective way to repair scuffs and stains and get the flooring back to good condition, which can boost the value of your home.
The best equipment to use for sanding a solid wood floor is a drum or belt sander, which can be rented from most hardware stores. In some cases, it’s also possible to rent a specialty sander with a flat sanding head that can fit into tight spaces like around radiators and under furniture.
Before beginning to sand your floors, you should carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions for the sander you plan to use. Also, you should familiarize yourself with the grits of sandpaper used for flooring. This will help you know what type of sandpaper to purchase for your project and how coarse or fine it should be.
To protect yourself while sanding, it’s important to wear protective gear. Ear protection is a must to prevent hearing damage, and eye and face protection is a good idea too. You should also be aware of the fumes produced by some sanders and take steps to reduce them. If the fumes become too much, a face mask can help you avoid blockage. It’s also a good idea to have a dust collector on hand, as it can significantly reduce the amount of dust you’re exposed to.
You should remove all the furniture from the room before beginning sanding. You should also tape over light fixtures and cover any electrical outlets that you don’t want to damage. Finally, you should remove shoe molding, which is the trim that borders the bottom of a wall and usually covers the gap between the floor and baseboard. You can reinstall this once your work is done.
Once you’ve finished sanding the entire floor, it’s important to wipe it down and make sure it’s free of all dust. You can also vacuum the floor one last time before applying a finish. To apply a water-based finish, use a paint pad or china-bristle brush; for an oil-based finish, use a lamb’s-wool applicator.
Before applying a finish, it’s a good idea to sand again with your pole sander or buffer using 120-grit paper. This will blend the straight scratch lines from the drum sander with the circular scratches from the edger to create a smooth surface. Similarly, you can use a wire brush to clean out the grooves left behind by the sandpaper. Finally, you should vacuum again and tack rag the floor before applying a second coat of finish. This should be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours before removing the tack cloth and cleaning the floors with water. After that, your wood floors are ready to enjoy!