Sanding Hardwood Floor
Sanding Your Hardwood Floor
For do-it-yourselfers, probably the most annoying part of hardwood flooring installations is the part where the floor is to be sanded. See, because there is never any precision or accuracy when you're dealing with an organic material like wood, having uneven plank heights and gaps is inevitable. And when this happens, your only option is to sand that area down to even levels.
There are different kinds of sanding machines. There's the drum sander and there's the orbital sander. The orbital sander is said to be easier to use and more reliable, but the drum sander is more commonly available. If buying your own sander is not an option, you can rent it from floor installation specialists, who will also be willing to teach you how to operate it.
The best sandpaper for new floors is 20 grit, but you can change to higher grits once you've got the initial sanding job done. Sanding experts say the best way to sand your hardwood floor is by using just one direction and going from right to left. This is because sanders are unevenly constructed, with the left acting as the 'digger' and the right part as the 'sweeper'. Surely you wouldn't want to sweep first before cutting through the excess wood.
Expect to have quite a workout while you sand your floor because the machine is not a cinch to handle. It can be very heavy and will require force on your part to control its direction. If you just leave it to its element, it could run around toward unpredictable directions and cause damage instead of result in smoothness for your floor.
It is for this reason that sanding is not something that you should experiment with. If you value your hardwood floor, get information on the right sanding techniques first before you take the plunge. If this proves too tedious for you, then just hire professionals sanders to do the job. It's better to spend on professional services than end up shelling out a greater amount because you've sanded your floor the wrong way.
Overall, all woodworks require sanding if you are to expect zero splinters and total smoothness. If you don't want to go through all this work, just go with prefinished hardwood flooring. It's a little more expensive but it's a small price to pay for the convenience.