Often homeowners commit to DIY floor sanding and refinishing projects only to get not-so-great results. Why don't you get a perfectly sanded and finished floor? Are there important details you are missing? When it comes to sanding and finishing hardwood floors, the little things contribute to the outcome of your project. Whether you are refinishing your entire floor or a portion of it, overlooking the following steps will yield disappointing results.
Punching down the nails
Most homeowners skip this step during the sanding project. Punching down protruding nails not only fastens any loose boards, but it also provides a better environment for sanding. Unset nails can damage sandpaper causing sanding lines on your hardwood floor. Sanding lines are usually not detected until the floor is stained. They are often unappealing and indicate a poorly done project.
Sanding against the grain
Proper hardwood sanding requires that you sand against the wood grain. If the wood is all running in one direction, you want to be standing diagonally across the grain's direction. Although sanding with the grain creates a smooth surface, it does not tear the fibres of the wood effectively. Sanding against the grain creates an aggressive and faster process that efficiently removes the worn surface of the wood floor.
Vacuuming before the wood filler application
Vacuuming your hardwood floor before the application of wood filler is a major step that most homeowners overlook. A floor that is not vacuumed before the application of the filler will have plenty of cracks barely a year after completion of the project. The reason is that failure to vacuum results in the application of filler on a dusty floor. The dust fills the cracks and prevents the wood filler from filling the cracks properly. Since the wood filler will be sitting on dust, that dust will eventually come off and push the filler out of the opening too.
Hand sanding after scraping the floor
Scrapping the floor in the inaccessible areas is a requirement when sanding hardwood floors. However, it is not enough to give the excellent finish you want. For a nice smooth surface, hand sanding should be done after scraping the floor to create a smooth base for the application of finish.
Hardwood floor sanding and refinishing is a project that should be carried out only a few times in your lifetime. By adhering to these minor but important details, you will get a beautifully finished floor that will last more than a decade.