Sanding Floorboards With a Belt Sander
When sanding floorboards with a belt sander there is no set process that every company adheres to. In fact, they differ greatly in terms of technique, skill set and what they trying to achieve. For example, some operators may want to plough through floor after floor as quickly as possible. In contrast, Economy Floor Sanding’s focus is on using the right tools and methods to achieve the best possible outcome for the customer.
Sanding Floors With a Belt Sander
We start with a coarse grade paper sanding floorboards with a belt sander on an angle of about 30 to 45 degrees. From time to time the angle may increase or decrease although it depends on the floor surface. Now we sand the floorboards with the grain with the same coarse grade sandpaper. As soon as 80 grit sanding is achieved, then the main belt sanding is complete.
Sanding the Edges of Floors
Sanding the edges of the floor is next. For the purpose of getting the edges perfectly flat there are two important factors. One, the edge sander must have a perfectly flat base. And two, a coarse sandpaper must be used first even though it does not seem necessary. Our edge sanders have a flat metal base with a Velcro pad attached. These edge sanders are purpose built to sand stair treads dead flat. We use them on all our timber floor edges as well. To be honest, they are a less aggressive sander in terms of weight in comparison to mainstream edge sanders. Despite this, they do a better job.
Rotary Sanding Timber Floorboards
The rotary sanding stage is what removes the final imperfections. Not only does it remove minor highs and lows, but also residual sanding lines in the floor surface. Once again, the best rotary sanding method is to use three grades of sandpaper rather than one. On the whole, the quality of the outcome is all in the prep work. With this intention, the rotary sander also overlaps the edge sanding area to within five centimetres of the skirting board.
Vibrate Fine Sanding the Edges
Hand-held detail sanders are used to finish off the join between the rotary and edge sanding machines. For the most part, only minor imperfections are corrected at this stage. Be that as it may, light reflection can highlight sanding imperfections at the edges. Usually this would depend on light direction and also where you’re actually standing on a particular floor.
The Most Common Defects we Find With Previously Sanded Floors
Chatter marks – Chatter marks are seen as a fine corrugation in the surface of the floor. They are created by inferior sanding machines or machines out of balance. It is highlighted in natural reflected light.
Uneven surface – Once again, seen in reflected light it can be described as a fine wave effect in the surface. Sanding floorboards on an angle of 30 to 45 degrees at the first sand can avoid this. Further, it has to be done the right way.
Convex or concave floorboards – When sanding floorboards with a belt sander without angle sanding, other defects can occur. The sanding machine will follow the contours of the floor. This will allow the imperfections to remain to a degree.
Wave effect at edges – Sanding the edges of a floor has to be done with a 4 step process. It must begin with a coarse paper to flatten the surface first. Edge sanding machines differ greatly. The base of the sander needs to be dead flat.
Sanding Floors Between Coats of Polyurethane
Once the first coat dries, the timber grain will be a little raised and a little rough to touch. Sanding floors between coats of polyurethane is a must. Some coating systems do not require sanding between the first and second coats. Be this as it may, we still carry out light sanding at that stage. The reason is that it just makes sense if you want the best possible outcome. The final coat of polyurethane cannot be buffed or sanded out to remove imperfections in the surface.
Getting a premium result with each coated surface will minimise any faults on the whole. Between the second and final coats, extra care is taken. Our process includes a two stage sanding technique unique to Economy Floor Sanding Brisbane. As stated in the beginning, our focus is using the right tools and methods, to achieve the best possible outcome.