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  • Floor sanding advice
  • chrispalmr
    Free Member

    Seriously considering pulling up the (now very grotty) dining room carpet and sanding the floor boards below. Dog and small child have pretty much done for hte beige carpet that was laid when we bought the place!

    Any suggestions, tips or advice on how to, with what, etc etc much appreciated.



    Free Member

    Find a specialist company and pay them. That’s the best advice I can give you. It’s the worst, most unpleasant job you can do.
    I hired a proper big-ass belt sander, it’s like hanging on to the back of a speeding car and you’ll have aches in muscles you didn’t know existed the following day.
    Even if you tape all the doors up, you’ll have a film of dust on everything for the next 5 years. Trust me, the specialists have better kit, they use extractors and they’ll get the job sorted in a day.


    Free Member

    I did my hall a few weeks back using these people. IIRC they only delivered in the SE, but their equipiment is great

    – It will be much harder to heat the room, we have bare boards in the lounge and the rest of the house is 18-20 the lounge is about 15.

    – I did my hall recently, in a day (to match the lounge, whilst saving up for a plank floor!) and the modern equipiment is very good IMHO, the dust bags got nearly everything.

    – Look at the price of the sanding belts / disks as they are where the greatest cost is.

    – Apply an accrylic varnish liberally in 2 coats with a mop, anything alse is too faffy.

    Free Member

    I can 2nd Floor Sander Hire, much better products than those available from local tool hire places. I hired some equipment off them to sort our parquet flooring out and there service seemed pretty good.

    Free Member

    Have a GOOD look at that floor when you’ve lifted the carpet. Any crack, or mis-join in the T&G will result in a minor gale whistling through your room – PLUS the room will just feel colder. Having said all that, it looks good and will last much longer than a carpet.

    I’d have thought that the wood floor would have been a better idea when your child was younger.

    If you decide you want it done, then as above, prepare for some hard work or shell out for someone to do it. I had a BIG room to do and it took me a whole weekend, Luckily, it was before we moved into the house, so I could do it with windows wide open and regardless of the noise and dust.

    Free Member

    Pay someone, its a horrible job.

    Free Member

    Free Member

    Love doing it. Check for nails, be sure that the papers are screwed in place properly. Ensure the dust bag isnt full, thats when things get dusty. I always sand along the boards, and if there are parts that the drum cant reach, use the edger.

    Its a very satisfying job. Get a good mask and ear pugs and ear defenders. Dont use water based varnish, its mince.

    Free Member

    pay someone if you have the money to spare,
    and are that way inclined with diy stuff,

    but it’s an easy job, and never found dust too be that big an issue,
    just make sure you close the door and tape the bottom up,
    the dust doesn’t linger around if you air the room, and vacuum up well.

    drum sander and edging sander hire for a day(which is how long a normal room would take) is around £70-ish depends on how much/many sand papers you use,

    if you do it then you’ll need to white spirit the boards in preparation of varnish and you’ll also need to give a light sand (by hand is fine)inbetween coats as the varnish will pull up the grain, this will give you a nice smooth finish.

    Free Member

    Pay someone to do it!

    I made the mistake of doing a room myself years ago. Never again…

    Full Member

    Hire a floor sander from a tool hire shop.

    Just take your time and work through the grades of paper.
    Always go with the grain of the boards.
    Make sure you empty the bag when it gets anywhere near half full.

    Not a difficult job at all. If you’re fighting the sander you’re doing it wrong.
    If you hire the sander from a good shop they’ll give you proper instruction.
    Also get an edging sander for the edges.

    Oh and did i say TAKE YOUR TIME.

    Free Member

    It’s easy to do. Bang all nails well in with a big punch, and don’t get too sensitive about splits and gaps.

    Full Member

    I’m going to say pay someone.

    We had our lounge done, paid £300, the guys came in, we left them to it. I came back after work and it was all done. We then evacuated the house for the weekend to let the varnish stench dissipate.

    The floors great, it’s taken some heavy traffic including dog claws, heeled boots, bit’s of gravel and SPD cleats. it’s a bit chipped, but a year down the line and it’s only a minor repair to mask it up.

    We’re not that fussed about the odd mark here or there, but you may want to look at laminate, or being very careful if you get the boards done if you want them to stay pristine.

    At least we can mop up dog piss now….

    Free Member

    If you d-i-y it, finish off by using rustins floor ‘varnish’.
    It’s not a true varnish, but a sort of plastic coating specially prepared for floors. You coat it, repeat ~1 hour later and can walk on it within something silly like an hour. I recommend using the matt or silk not gloss finish cos that is very shiny. go for the water soluble one, as the old type used to be a 2 part mix and not water soluble.
    It outlasts any varnish by multiples of years, once down that’s it.
    My first house i did all the floor with Ronseal hard glaze, but even after a few years had to re-varnish the lower hallway. After 16 years, never needed to re-touch rustins.
    my tuppence

    Full Member

    Don’t do what my dad did – attempt to sand a 12′ x 35′ space with nothing more than a handheld belt sander. It took him about six days, he had blisters over his hands, and probably spent as much in belt refills as he would on hiring a proper machine.

    Looks great though.

    Free Member

    I’m sure I’ll be lambasted by the ultra-talented members of STW but I have never, I repeat never, seen a job done by a DIYer that I didn’t think was a bit sh1t. If you can afford it, hire somebody to do it for you.

    Rustins is a bit bollox too.

    DO go for a two-part lacquer if you’ve got a dog/kids/wife etc…some two-part lacquers ARE water soluble. On the other hand, if you’ve got the patience, go for a wax/oil mix…which you can renew yourself every six months or so over the first few years which is patch-repairable (if you have to renew a damaged lacquered surface, you pretty much have to do the whole thing).

    Also, that gapseal stuff is crap too. Better off stuffing with wet newspaper, letting dry and then filling with a bead of black/dark brown silicone.

    My tuppence worth…

    Full Member

    I have used the solvent based Ronseal and also the water based Ronseal, DONT use the water based one! I am about to recoat the kitchen floor that had been coated with the water based stuff – rubbish. Light sanding in between coats and use a painting pad for smoothness. Second the matt or satin finish advice above. Gloss looks good for one day until it gets marked!

    Full Member

    Done it loads of times. I can now do a room, return the hardware, and put on the first coat of varnish in a single day.

    Here are my tips:

    Don’t worry too much about nails unless they are really sticking up.

    Go diagonally first with the roughest grade until the boards are flat. Then along the grain with finer and finer grade.

    Go evenly. Cover the whole area before going back over a bit. And let the machine drop gently or you will be left with a nice groove.

    It best to do the edges at the same time. If you leave the edges until last you will notice that the edge 6 inches are much higher than the rest. This makes it harder to do the edge. HOWEVER if there is only one of you I would not bother – leave all the edging to last.

    Empty the bags before they get too full and you will not get too much dust in the air.

    Don’t worry too much about all the bits you can’t do e.g. corners. Just try as best you can with a detail sander. When it is varnished and furnisher you will not notice.

    Full Member

    Every man should sand a floor once in his life.

    Then pay for it in teh future, it’s hard work, but satisdfying ot do once.

    Oh and warn your neighbours.

    Free Member

    llama – Member
    Here are my tips:

    Don’t worry too much about nails unless they are really sticking up…..

    agreed but you still need to check the whole floor and even then you can easily miss a nail,
    I ripped the retaining bar off a drum sander recently,
    and had to go back to the hire place with tail between legs,
    they replaced it fine but I meant I wasted an hour, messing about in traffic.

    Free Member

    Best tip…..get yourself an old portable hoover, connect to the sander where the dust bag goes …no dust and jobs a good un.!!

    Free Member

    Fit carpet

    Free Member

    Forget all the above advise for varnishing. The ONLY choice is OS Hard Wax Oil. It lets the wood breathe, it is hard-wearing, it doesn’t make your floor look like a cheap MFI pine wardrobe and above all, if you mark an area, you can spot sand and re-finish seemlessly.

    It is expensive mind you, but very well worth it.

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