We would just like to say a BIG THANK YOU to the team at Brisbane Floors brisbanesfloors.com.au/sanding for doing such a great job on our timber floors. They have finally come back to life! Preserving such a historic building is a lot of work, and we are really happy with the work that Michael and the team did for us. Thank you again!
For those interested, Brisbane Floors made a really great article that we would like to make available to you. Here it is!
Why Restoring Old Timber Floors Is A Good Idea
Timber floors are solid and beautiful. They are much better than most cheap solutions that area available today. However, these floors require regular maintenance, otherwise they can become dull and rough. Most of the time, all these flaws can be eliminated by removing the top surfaces of the floor by a method called sanding. Timber floors are designed for sanding, so you don’t risk to ruin them if you try this type of restoration. However, the procedure requires special tools and skillful workers, so it’s not a good idea to do it yourself. If you want an outstanding result, you need to hire a professional team to help you get this job done. Don’t forget floor maintenance – this will prolong the life of your floor.
Timber floor refinishing projects include several stages. The first one is the preparation, followed by the sanding itself, and by the coating with a special sealant that helps protecting the surface for a long time, even in high traffic conditions.
Sometimes, wood floors are hidden beneath carpets or vinyl flooring solutions. The preparation of these floors implies the removal of all coverings, dirt and debris that may have accumulated for years. In addition, all nails should be either punched down or removed, in order to avoid damaging the sanding machines. If previous coverings were fastened with staples or tacks, they also need to be carefully removed, as they can also damage the machines. Adhesives and any other type of debris have to go as well, in order to secure a smooth sanding operation.
Once the floors are clean, they are sanded with special sanding machines. Their drum sanders and belts have the capability of removing most part of the material that needs to go. The first cut is usually done with coarse-grit sanding papers. They have a much better efficiency in removing old coatings and in making all timber boards even. Stairs, edges and corners are a bit more difficult, as large machines can’t reach them. Special edgers are used for sanding these areas. If there are holes that need to be filled, this is the perfect time to do it. When you are done, you can proceed to the second cut, which is usually done with 80 grit papers.
After the sanding stage, a finishing machine is used in order to polish the entire surface and make it even and smooth. In this stage, most experts use 100-150 grit papers, but this is not an absolute must. You can use what kind of paper you like most.
You should be aware that sanding removes all patina, so it changes the character of old floors. You may need to know this before doing any restoration works, especially if you need the floors to match the style and the character of the building. You may be able to give them an antique touch by applying a brown coating, but you have to discuss with a specialist before proceeding.
While restoring old timber floors by sanding and polishing is an excellent idea, it surely has its limitations. Here are some more tips and tricks if you need them. Sanding old wood boards may reveal worm-eaten cores that would completely ruin the appearance of the floor. In such situations it is possible that your floors are ruined, thus needing a replacement. However, you can’t know it until you try, so if you want to restore such floors it’s usually worth giving it a go.
When looking for timber floor sanding and polishing services providers, always ask them to provide you some photos of their previous work. In addition, ask them for a few references from current or former clients, so that you can get in touch with them and ask them how happy they’ve been with the services of that specific contractor. In addition, you should ask the contractors if they have any kind of liability insurance and if they offer any sort of warranty. You need to know what happens in case they damage your floors by mistake and who pays in case hidden flaws show up one or two months after the job has been completed. If you are careful when you choose your experts, you stand good chances to bring your old timber floors back to life and enjoy their beauty for many years to come.