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Floor Sander Advice: How to restore your timber floor

A timber floor which brings an old world charm to a room or marries in with stylish modern finishes can only be fully appreciated when you see and feel it first hand as description alone never does it justice.

At times however, you will need to sand the floor to restore it to its natural beauty. The good news is that this is not too difficult and you can do it yourself. If you live in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane, then you can hire floor sanding equipment from Centenary Hire. Our competent and experienced staff will guide you as to which equipment will be best for your job as we have a range of floor sanding equipment which includes: a Hiretech & Hummel Floor Sander, an Edge Sander and two types of Finishing Floor Sanders. Get in touch with the guys on the Hire Desk at Centenary Hire today to enquire in more detail about the type of floor sander best suited to restoring your timber floor.

How to Sand Your Floor Yourself. Here are some pointers for restoring your timber floor to a professional finish.

Get the right equipment for the job
You’ll need three floor sanders.

  1. A heavy duty drum sander such as our Hummel Floor Sander
  2. A heavy duty sander for the edges such as our Edge Sander
  3. A sander for in between coats such as our Finishing Floor Sander

Each sander has its own sandpaper and will possibly require different grades of sandpaper as well. Talk to the guys on the Hire Desk about the best grade of paper for your particular job.

With all sanders:

  • Ensure that the sander does not sit in a stationary position when sanding as this will cause a divot or low spot in the floor.
  • If you need to change the sandpaper at any point in time during the sanding, turn the machine off and unplug the sander.

Prepare the room and floor surface
You should close the door of the room you’re working in so that the dust does not go into other areas, but open the windows so that it can escape the room. You may even consider taping up the gaps around the door to keep the dust contained.

If any nails/screws are sticking out from the floor, then hammer them with a nail punch/screw them down. Protruding nails/screws with tear your sandpaper and also cause significant and expensive damage to the floor sanding equipment.

Fill in any gaps in the floorboards with wood or wood putty depending upon the size of the holes.

Using the Hummel Floor Sander & Edge Sander
Fit the floor sander you are using with coarse sandpaper ready for sanding. When starting the drum floor sander the drum needs to be off the floor. As you move the floor sander forward you can gently let it down in contact with the floor to begin sanding.

If your floor boards are slightly uneven in height you can sand diagonally across a room first to make them all the same height. This will ensure that you achieve a better finish when coating them later.

Start at one end of the room and progress forward with the Drum Floor Sander. The sander will pull itself along and it is your job to keep it going straight and to restrain it to a slow walking pace. Lift the drum off the floor before bring the sander to a stop.

Regardless of how many grades of sandpaper you need to use, the final floor sand should be completed with a 120 grade paper.

Once you’ve done the main part of the room, move onto the edges and corners with the edge floor sander. Keep a firm hold on the edge floor sander as you start it and moving back and forward from left to right move along the entire area of skirting boards. To get a good finish on the corners, you may consider using a corner sander but they can also be done by hand with a sanding block.

Prepare the sanded floor for coating
After the completion of sanding wait for the dust to settle down then sweep and vacuum meticulously as your chosen floor sealant will not adhere to dust. Next wipe over the floor with a damp sponge – if you feel any rough areas, sand them by hand. When dry, rub the floor surface with white spirit such as methylated spirits as this will help to remove any residual moisture. When it is dry you are ready to apply your chosen varnish, stain or timber oil so that the floor surface becomes sealed.

Check with you sealant provider as to which product is best for your timber and desired finished appearance.

Coating your floor surface
The best advice says that in order to achieve a professional finish you must go over the floor using a light sandpaper in between the coats. This is where you will need to use a Finishing Sander as it has a gentle sanding action and can be used with very fine grade sandpaper such as 180 or 240.
After passing the finishing floor sander over the floor, it will need to be mopped and wiped with paint thinner on a cloth which will pick all the dust up. After that you can seal once more.

Where a high gloss finish is desired, it is common that three coats of varnish are recommended for a good finish and a harder more durable floor surface. Again, check with your sealant provider about how many coats of your product is recommended.

Remember, if in doubt the guys on the Hire Desk at Centenary Hire are a source of great information and knowledge – talk to them about equipment use and tips for achieving the best result. You can book your equipment online by clicking here.

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Centenary Hire is a Tradesmen & Weekend Warrior’s best friend. Our ever increasing range of hire equipment consists of modern tools, machinery, scaffold, access equipment and site services all of which are aimed at helping you get the job done right – the first time. Our friendly staff can help you to choose the right equipment for your project or you can view & book your equipment online now at www.CentenaryHire.com.au. Drop into our store at Sumner Park or request an equipment delivery as our efficient transport service extends well beyond the limits of Brisbane on a daily basis.

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