SANDING AND PREPARATION
The process of hardwood floor sanding and refinishing may present a certain level of uncertainty for anyone who has not had first hand experience with it. There are many steps involved in sanding and preparing newly installed or pre-existing hardwood floors. Moreover, the refinishing process itself will present several possible options to achieve the results desired for your home’s specific interior design concept. The following is a walkthrough of the variable steps necessary to complete a hardwood floor service project.
Sanding and Preparation
Our well trained craftsmen begin by determining the proper grit sandpaper required and number of sanding passes necessary for each specific work site. Based on experience, the mechanics will recognize the grit needed to remove any old finish, scratches and/or embedded dirt within the wood floor. Yet still not allowing too much wood to be removed with each pass. The floor may need to be sanded two to four times depending on the age and type of finish, and the condition and species of wood being refinished. Newly installed unfinished hardwood floors will need to be sanded as well, due to slight milling imperfections and minor board edge unevenness. We utilize the flooring sandpaper grit grades of 12, 16, 20, 30, 36, 40, 60, 80, 100, and 120. The main areas of the floor are sanded with a large professional drum sander, while the perimeter is completed with a circular edge sander. A hand scraper is used to remove old finish from corners, bullnosing on steps or ledges and generally any small area our sanders can not reach. After the hardwood is completely sanded, a fine grit silicon carbide sanding screen is then passed over floor with an upright buffing/polishing machine. This extra step is taken to ensure the wood has been sufficiently smoothed down and that the grain has been evened out. The floor is then vacuumed, and tacked (passed over with a dampened towel) to remove any dust, prior to stain or finishing polyurethane being applied. Between polyurethane coating layers the hardwood floor is burnished with a sanding screen. The first coat of polyurethane commonly absorbs into the wood and raises the grain. This will give the dried coating a slightly irregular and rough feeling – which is perfectly normal. The dried polyurethane simply requires a ‘screening’, so the floor will be made smooth prior to cleaning and recoating again.