Top 3 Floor Sander Trade Secrets for DIY
Straight off the bat it is unfortunate that the DIY floor sander handyman is severely handicapped. Even with previous skills within the industry, the hire sanding equipment available to the public is nowhere near the quality of the precision and balanced industrial equipment which the professional floor sander uses. This being the case, you will need to take every precaution to achieve a satisfactory result.
#1: Floor sander technique – Get that timber floor dead flat!
Do your first sand on a 15 to 30 degree angle
Forget sanding with the grain when you initially start sanding. This only allows the large belt sander rock and roll into all the depressions and imperfections present in the floor. It also allows the wheels to run lower on one side if a random floorboard is sitting slightly lower.
While performing this technique you will notice all the imperfections as you sand them out due to the high points sanding clean first. You will be amazed at how efficient this action is, and will be most appreciated in reflected light upon completion of the coating processes.
#2: Clean the wheels of the floor sander
This action is more effective after the initial coarse sand whilst using the finer grit sandpapers. Although it might seem insignificant at first glance, it makes all the difference between an average polished timber floor, and a jaw dropping stunner, especially when using the higher gloss finishes.
If grit is lodged or stuck on the polyethylene wheels of the floor sander, or the wheels have flat spots it will cause a slight rocking motion causing the drum of the machine to slightly tilt back and forth. It may not even be noticeable to the user, but in the end, direct light reflection on a finished polished timber floor is very unforgiving. It’s these little precautionary measures that contribute to a professional standard of work that Economy Floor Sanding take very seriously when sanding their customer’s floors. A thorough vacuum of the floor surface should be carried out also before each finer sanding begins.
#3: Vacuuming is not enough
Edging towards the coating processes cleanliness is your top priority. If dust particles are present prior to the coating processes, you will need to sand them out before the next coat regardless, so do your best at cleaning down the floor, walls and environment prior to the first coat being applied.
Vacuuming between coats is not enough. Microscopic dust particles will still be present from sanding between the coats no matter how many times you vacuum the floor area. The secret? Use a well wrung out slightly moist towel wrapped around a broom head to push across the floor. This collects all the surface dust held by static electricity on the surface of the floor.
Personally I like to go over the floor twice, once to remove the bulk of the fine dust, and again to remove any residual particles. I cannot express enough how this will improve the quality of your work.
Handyman Versus a Pro Floor Sander
There are a host of reasons why a handyman would want to sand his own timber floors. These may include a tight budget, the need for a quick flooring alternative or just someone who enjoys getting their hands dirty and giving anything a go. These are all good, well justified reasons.
If on the other hand you’re trying to add real value to your property, are preparing your home for sale or trying to achieve an impressive top quality looking renovation, you really need to use the benefits of the skill, equipment and experience of a professional floor sander.
It is often compared to the difference in quality of a handyman car body repair/paint job to a professional panel beater/spray painter’s work. Once again, reflected natural light on the panel surface is very unforgiving and will expose every little imperfection.