Wooden Floor Polishing
Wooden Floor Sanding & Polishing
A wood floor cannot remain as good as new forever. At some point it is going to require attention and you will have to consider doing some repair or restoration work on it. Wood floor restoration cannot be attempted by just anyone. It is something that should be handled by a professional company only.
Wood floor sanding is just a stage in the wood floor restoration process that relates to the preparation of the timber surface. Sanding removes the protective layer of your floors – be it varnish, oil or hard wax-oil and makes their surface smooth, clean and ready to the new finish.
Sometimes thinner or cracked board or loose parquet block may need to be re-fitted, or entirely replaced if parts of the floor have been damaged due to moisture, wearing and lack of solidness.
Dust Free Floor Sanding Service
All contemporary floor sanders come equipped with a dust capturing bags, which comes quite useful and reduces by a large percentage the dust released in the air. However, the floor sander is just part of the equipment used during the floor finishing process. Usually a larger amount of dust is released during the buffing of the floors and some dust is also left uncaptured from the smaller tools used for finishing corners and difficult to reach areas. In general nowadays sanding the dust released from the sanding process is reduced to minimum. The dust discharge will not exceed 2 mg per cubic meter.
Sanding machines may be either the drum type or disk type (floor polisher). By the drum sanders the sandpaper is mounted on a cylindrical drum that rotates on an axis parallel to the plane of the floor. Thus the sandpaper makes its scratches in straight lines in the direction of movement of the machine. By the disk sanders the sandpaper is mounted on a disk that rotates in a circle on the plane of the floor. As the disk sander is being moved over the floor, the grits make spiral scratches that necessarily cross the grain of the wood. A drum sander, however, cannot reach the last few inches of floor nearest the baseboard. Electric edgers, which are small disk sander, are available for sanding these edges of the floor or they may be done by hand.
Sandpaper acts by gouging fine slivers from the wood surface, leaving scratches, the size of which is governed by the size of the grits on the paper. Coarse grits act rapidly, but the scratches they leave are conspicuous, especially if they cross the grain of the wood. Fine grits act slowly, but the scratches left are too small to see. Scratches are least noticeable when they run with the grain of a wood. Scratches must be especially fine to escape detection on a wood with close texture, such as maple, and must be still finer to remain unnoticed if they cross the grain of the wood.
In sanding a floor, time is saved by starting with coarse sandpaper to remove the grosser roughness and imperfections and to make the floor level as quickly as possible. The scratches left by the coarse grits are then removed by successive sanding with finer sandpaper. The scratches left by the last paper should be too small to be observed even after the finish has been applied.
Wooden Floor Finishing
The two most popular wood floor finishes are Lacquer (Varnish) and Oil (Hard Wax Oil). One of the most difficult questions is which one is better. It is actually entirely depends of your personal taste and to what is expected of the floor, e.g. easy maintenance, shiny look or natural appearance of the wood.
Lacquer is more hard wearing and it’s easy maintaining. The wood flooring with lacquer finish are usually pre-finished or lacquered/varnished on site. There is a choice between high gloss and matte appearance. The newest innovation in lacquer even has the same appearance as an oiled floor to make the wood look more ‘natural’.
The biggest disadvantage of a lacquered finish on a wooden floor is that it “sits” on the floor. When damaged with a sharp object or due to the long term abrasive effect of dirt (“dirty” shoes “sanding” away in heavy traffic areas or under chairs, tables) the lacquer doesn’t protect the wood anymore and dirt/moist will make the wooden floor look “grey” regardless of maintenance efforts. In fact, cleaning damaged areas with a moist cloth will make things worse. The only proper solution would be to sand the complete floor and to apply a new finish. Applying a proper lacquer layer is not an easy task, it is a job for a specialist.
Applying a Hard Wax Oil on your floor will prevents any other moist coming into the wood, while it still allows the wood to breath. It also keeps the natural look and feel of the wood itself. Oil based floor finishes also come pre-finished or can be finished on site with Hard Wax Oil. It is very easy to apply and pretty much anyone can do it with the appropriate tools (but please if you decide to do it by yourself – read the instruction on the product first).
It has a great surface density and therefore very resistant to abrasive movements. Besides that, any (small) damages are very easily repaired with some wax or maintenance oil without the need to sand the whole floor. The appearance of the finished wooden floor is satin or mat with the advantage of making the floor look warmer and deeper in colour over the years.
An Oiled wooden floor requires more maintenance than a lacquered floor, the good thing is that the modern maintenance products have taken care of that (we strongly advice to use a maintenance/cleaning products recommended of the manufacturer of the Hard Wax Oil finish that you are using for your floor).
The greatest disadvantage of oil based floor finishes is that you still need to re-oil your floor with another coat every 16 – 24 months for residential or 4 – 6 months for floors with commercial use (depends entirely on how it’s maintains).