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Tips for Sanding Hardwood Floors

Posted on May 10th, 2014 by

Are your hardwood floors worn and tired? Perhaps it’s time to update them and give them a fresh look. While you can always purchase new hardwood floors in San Diego, your floors might just need a little refinishing. If sanding your vintage hardwood floors sounds like an intimidating project, worry not because there are a few simple steps that can help ensure a safe product and a beautiful result. So for those determined DIY homeowners, check out these tips for sanding hardwood floors.

  1. Evaluate the Damage – Keep in mind that some stains are forever. For example, deep pet stains will most likely need to have the wood replaced, not sanded. There are some bleach solutions made for hardwoods, but these might leave your flooring pitted and blotchy. Evaluate the damages in order to save yourself time and aggravation and consider purchasing new hardwoods or even luxury laminate flooring in San Diego if your floors are frequently exposed to pets, children or heavy traffic.
  2. Prep the Room – Start by covering doorways with plastic and removing all furniture. You’ll also want to remove any doors leading into the room so that you can sand under where the doors would be. You’re also going to want to cover up your vents to keep any dust out of the ducts and it is best to turn off your heating or cooling system to reduce the amount of ventilation.
  3. Do a Nail Check – Making sure nails are set into the floorboards serve two purposes. The first is to make sure that any loose floorboards are secured. The second is to make sure that your sandpaper won’t tear while sanding. An easy trick to check for nails that have protruded from the floor is to run a metal snow shovel over the floor, listening for the impact. You can then hammer in the nails so that the head of the nail is level with the floorboard, also known as countersinking the nails.
  4. Rent from Professionals – This job will need two tools: a sander and an edger. We recommend renting from a flooring or a home improvement store so that you will have access to professionals who can provide additional advice on how to start and complete the project. Be sure that you understand how to operate all of the tools you are renting and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to complete the job.
  5. Pick a Grit – Picking a grit isn’t always easy, and usually a trial and error process is needed. Most of the time a 36-grit is needed. If this doesn’t work, move down to a 24-grit and possibly a 16-grit. Change your belt frequently. As you kick up dust it will be hard to see just how effective the sanding is, so judge by distance and don’t assume the job is getting done.

Once you are done, perform a thorough check to be sure that the entire flooring surface has been sanded to your liking. Use a carbide hand scraper to get corners or other stubborn areas. Rough up the area with sand paper first, followed by a hand scraper which will remove the finish effectively.

Sanding and refinishing is a great way to salvage old hardwoods while saving money. However, if the floors of your home are old, creaking and rotting in certain places, new hardwoods may be the best option. If this is the case, contact Unique Flooring in San Diego today for a free flooring consultation or visit our showroom in Oceanside. We offer the top names in the industry for affordable prices including Khars, Anderson and Armstrong Flooring in San Diego. Call us at 760-945-0010 for more information!

Posted in Hardwood Flooring

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