But you may not see these nail heads at first. There are some old nail holes on the planks that we do not intend to plug. This will be hard pounding. Camo Deck Fastening System: Easy Way to Install Cheap Decking. Pine floors usually have face nails securing them to the subflooring, so be sure to countersink them before sanding or you could ruin your machine. Wipe down the whole surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust from sanding. Avoid sanding unless it’s absolutely necessary. Q1. Sanding hardwood floors is always a grind (see what I did there? A typical nail-down, ¾-inch, tongue-and-groove wood floor can be resanded several times by a good professional flooring contractor; most beginning floor contractors would have a tendency to sand too much off the floor, decreasing the overall life and leaving little or no wood for the next sanding. ), but we cut our losses quickly. Use a drum sander 60 and 80 should do the trick. If the heads have sharp edges that catch the wool, however, you may have to buff by hand. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. You use one of these products by spreading it on the floor with an applicator and letting it dry. Step by Step Instructions. Questions to ask yourself before deciding to paint wood floors without sanding (i.e. Will this jepordize the final finish greatly ?Q2. Previous Next. The fumes are way worse with oil, but it has a longer dry time, so is easier to work with. If you have to remove a heavy finish or several coats of paint, you may want to try stripping with chemicals. Continue to step-by-step instructions. the lazy way): 1.) When you sand your hardwood floors, you use coarse sanding equipment to remove all of the finish and stain from your floors as well as smooth out the wood underneath those layers of stain and sealer. When it was all said and done, we decided to move forward and documented our whole journey when it came to our hardwood floor restoration. You can choose from a variety of dustless sanding products -- essentially chemical etching agents -- to restore a finish without removing it. Then, sand the entire area at the same angle, moving constantly as you work. The majority of floors were constructed of wood planks from 8" to 18" wide, because narrow boards were expensive to prepare in a pre-industrial era and therefore reserved for … Then switch to fine sandpaper (200+ grit) until the entire piece is uniform. How to Sand Wood Floors with a Belt Sander. And, guess what? Also, check for staples and any metal fasteners from old flooring. Having said that, our kitchen floor looked absolutely awful, but after replacing a few of the rotten floorboards and giving everything a sand, it’s act… First, let’s explore and understand the issue a little more. Bona fide antique boards don't have the integrity that the tongue-and-groove construction supplies and are more prone to cupping and separating. The ammonia in pet stains penetrates deep into the timber. How do I know if I have enough floor left to sand? The old finishes, waxes, gouges, cupping and overwood pictured above must all be removed completely in order to rejuvenate a floor. Get about 75% of the old glue off with the edger, then you can switch to a drum sander without fear of gumming up the chassis with abrasive or accidently hitting a nail that was buried under all the gunk. Find exposed nails in wood flooring visually and confirm with a magnetic stud finder. Then, he would follow with the U-sand. Once you've done a 120 grit pass, for a really smooth surface you can wet it (that brings up all the fibers) then wait for it to dry and do a quick pass with a 120 screen. Avoid Sanding and Filling When the nail heads protrude above the surface of the wood, there is no sanding technique you can use, short of sanding each board with a palm sander, that will spare them. Prepare the deck surface for sanding by checking every nail and screw. Tinted epoxy filler is the best material for spot fills. The U-sand sander was not the right tool for this part of the project. Make sure they are all countersunk at least a couple of millimetres below the level of the deck. If your hardwood floor is only lightly worn, damaged, or scratched, you may be able to refinish it without sanding. Choose for Me: Laminate or Luxury Vinyl Flooring? To detect nails, drag a metal snow shovel across the floor (upside down). This will be hard pounding. Top-nailing became unnecessary when manufacturers began mass-producing tongue-and-groove boards in the late 1800s and blind-nailing became the norm. This D.I.Y. And that rationale makes sense. The living/dining room area is approximately 300 square feet. A step by step video for a home owner on how to use various wood floor sanders, and how to apply the finish. That's important if you aren't sealing the edges of the boards with filler. Consider these tips for common wood floor repairs. Avoid colored pallets that have been used to carry fertilizers. Holes can be plugged. Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Check every nail is sitting below the surface, to avoid the sandpaper catching and ripping. It’s also more durable- and durability was huge for us, we weren’t going to be doing this over any time soon. Scraping around the nail heads is likely to be tedious, however, and you may not be happy with the results. Avoid sanding unless it’s absolutely necessary; Consult an expert with restoration experience ; Conclusion; Dirt and debris accumulate in the finish of the floor instead of in the wood itself and regular cleaning is the only guarantee for a long lasting floor. The thing is, a wood floor should not have exposed nails. If you have antique floors with square nails, or want to save money and the mess, this tutorial is for you. Renewing your old hardwood floor may be easier and cheaper than you think. The best way to refinish wood floors without sanding is to use a technique called screen and recoat. It will still squeak if you don't lift and renail the floor. By. Clear the room completely and make any necessary repairs to the floor. Andy and I decided that I would sand the entire dining room floor with the orbital edger and 20-grit sandpaper instead. Sanding hardwood floors only removes maybe 1-2mm of wood. Surface coatings, on the other hand, are likely to streak and bubble when you apply them to a surface punctuated by nail heads, and drips will probably form around the nails. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies. Engineered wood floors, however, typically aren't good candidates for refinishing, as the veneer on the top comes right off as soon as you start sanding. If any floorboard nails are protruding, you should pound them in to just below the surface with a hammer and point. This will save your “good” nailset for the “real” work of pounding in finish nails. Share on Facebook. What kind of wear and tear is this floor going to see? Nail & moisture stains on wood floors Where small black stains developed in a wood floor in a 1920's bungalow that we restored (our lab and office) we had great success by combining sanding with spot bleach using a Q-tip to lighten the black spots where in prior years moisture had caused bleed and corrosion staining around those fasteners. Check for squeaks and secure loose floorboards with finishing nails. Fill the resulting hole with wood putty, allow a few hours for it to dry, then sand it lightly with the grain until it’s flush with the floor. And believe me, drum sander sandpaper is not cheap. You can give an old timber floor a big facelift by sanding it down. Full thickness strip hardwood flooring can handle up to 4 sandings in its lifetime. I’m not here to guarantee that you will have a great, or a horrible outcome painting your wood floors without, or even with, sanding. To decide the best solution that works for your home, here are seven things to consider before renewing or refinishing old hardwood floors. Find protruding nails by sliding the blade of a putty knife across the floor. Restoring Hardwood Floors After Years Of Neglect And Damage How to fill nail holes bob vila sanding floorboards hammering in nails cleaning gaps filling diy guide how to professionally sand wooden floors floorboards refinishing hardwood floors how to hide or get rid of nails. ** Do you have big dogs? They might be pounded down flat or even concaved into the wood, and then covered up with multiple layers of stain and floor sealer. We purchased a very old semi-detached home that was built in 1914. Heart pine floors darken slightly with exposure to light and will age gracefully, taking on a unique mellow color. The nails would tear up the sandpaper in no time. Hammer down protruding nails. That said, in my experience thus far (at the time of writing this post my floors have been painted for four months), painting without sanding has worked just fine… Termite-damaged planks, insect-infested boards or delaminated strips can be replaced if there aren't too many. Tweet on Twitter . However, the square nails sit flush with the surface preventing us from ever being able to refinish them with a sander. It helps if you’ve got an old, crapped-out nailset that you don’t care about anymore. Refinishing an old 3/8 thick strip floor. You can preserve the unsophisticated appearance of an antique top-nailed floor with an unconventional refinishing strategy. Medium grits, such as #120 and #150, are useful for removing old finish or scratches. As long as you operate the drum sander properly and keep the equipment moving. Even if you already know how to sand hardwood floors, you might have an easier time doing so after reading this post because there are plenty of tips and tricks to help make it easier. Water based is the new standard and so oil was harder to find, but an old hardwood specialty store was still stocking it. Holes can be plugged and squeaky floors can be tightened and quieted with nails or dry lubricant. We show you how to use sanding machines the professionals use to get the job done. Don’t get me wrong, if all of your floorboards are rotten and you have big holes everywhere, even the best sanding job isn’t going to make it look good. Mar 3, 2015 - How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding! We started with a drill and a chisel and let me tell you- The work … HOW TO RESTORE WOOD FLOORS. Then the drum sander rips that sealer and stain right off and–flash!!–sparks. This will save your “good” nailset for the “real” work of pounding in finish nails. In early houses every feature had a practical origin, and wide-board painted wood floors were no exception. Floor Sanding Lie #2: We Can See the Nails, The Floor Can't Be Sanded. It helps if you’ve got an old, crapped-out nailset that you don’t care about anymore. A:  Sanding over exposed nail heads in your wood flooring is a beautiful experience. With this guide in mind, you are going to have a much easier time when it comes to sanding the hardwood floors in your home and you will know exactly what you need to do. In your opinion, do you feel pine flooring should be stained or left natural with a protective coating on it ?Q3. When you sand over an exposed nail, you will rip the drum sander’s sandpaper. There are two basic methods: buffing or abrading the existing coat before refinishing, or, alternatively, applying a chemical “etching” kit. Pound down hard with a nailset. Here's a look at ways to determine whether you need a simple repair, a full refinishing job, or to simply start fresh with a new hardwood floor installation. Avoid colored pallets that have been used to carry fertilizers. It is considered “greener” because it doesn’t involve newly felled old-growth trees; it may be less expensive; it has character to match the truly old house, due to markings made by previous joinery, nails, and wear. Any nails sitting above the timber should be knocked in with a hammer and a nail punch. Floor sanding is the process of removing the top surfaces of a wooden floor by sanding with abrasive materials.. A variety of floor materials can be sanded, including timber, cork, particleboard, and sometimes parquet.Some floors are laid and designed for sanding. The use of those common nails seems to be somebody's desperate attempt to reduce the problem. Remove shoe moulding, the wood trim where the wall meets the floor. Steps on How to Sand Hardwood Floors with a Belt Sander. Question and Answers. How to Refinish a 100-Year-Old Wood Floor. You usually need to spread a bonding agent to aid adhesion before applying a new finish. Find exposed nails in wood flooring visually and confirm with a magnetic stud finder. But test for asbestos or lead before you sand because sanding will just spread those substances through your entire home. That's because unlocking a sad floor's hidden beauty doesn't always involve messy sanding and staining, particularly if yours aren't damaged. Fortunately, almost all old floors can be salvaged or refurbished in many ways. If the wood floor is old (20+ years old), you should avoid sanding it. Experts don’t leave exposed nails; amateurs often do. The best way to refinish wood floors without sanding is to use a technique called screen and recoat. All of the flooring contractors who contribute to this website recommend hiring a professional when sanding hardwood floors. In lieu of sanding rough edges, a hand planer may be the best tool for the job to avoid creating potentially toxic dust. If you just sand over the nails, it may not work leaving the heads high. Sanding the floor will kick up a lot of dust, so protect light fixtures and tape over electrical outlets. Victorian and later homes usually are better suited to hardwoods. Advice is part of a series How To Sand and Seal Timber Floors. You might also need a pull scraper to remove tough finish from corners and from under railings. check it out. Avoid Toxins When Sanding Old Wood Floors. Being unable to sand doesn't mean that you can't improve the finish, but it does mitigate against filling cracks and gaps between boards, because you can't sand the filler either. Most hardwood floors are installed with invisible nails, and those that aren't are either old or intended to look old. However, there are some things that you can do to fix the problem. Normal flooring nails don't have a wide head so it is possible to drive them below the surface but these have a big head. If you have never refinished a floor before at all, this step may be one you need a professional to help with, or you could cause irreparable damage to your floor. Home Uncategorized Chemical Stripping As An Alternative To Sanding An Old Floor. We show you how to use sanding machines the professionals use to get the job done. Excess water on old wood floors can worsen the situation you are trying to control. If you have antique floors with square nails, or want to save money and the mess, this tutorial is for you. When you're sanding, nail heads will rip the sanding belt (which costs you money) or gouge the sanding drum (which costs you more money). If, they are square edge flooring, you can tell if you find face nails throughout. Check for nails protruding above the board and hammer them down as they can damage the sanding machine being used. Before sanding your hardwood flooring, practice on a plywood board until you know how to use both tools comfortably. Hardwood floor sanding is a skilled job that takes practice and experience. Can I live with the floors if they don’t look perfect afterward and they start to show signs of wear and tear? Some pros refer to this as sandless refinishing, but that can also refer to a different method that substitutes a chemical etcher for the buffer. This involves scuffing up the finish with a floor buffer and applying a refresher coat. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. There are many hazards associated with the hardwood flooring industry. Floor sanding belts are good for around 250 square feet of flooring, so make sure you measure the square footage of the room ahead of time and buy enough belts in a full sequence of grits: 24, 36, 60 and 80. The downside to oil based is that it can yellow over time. Unless you plan to sand many floors in your lifetime, the best choice for do-it-yourself floor refinishing is the random orbital sander. Pine is a common material that was used in flooring in the early 1900s. Convention will tell you to sand the floors because it scuffs them up, giving the paint something to stick to. Every wooden floor will have this. When you get to a wall, move the sander back to your starting point and slightly to the side, overlapping your first pass. Mar 3, 2015 - How to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding! True story! Start with the Rough Cut. It took a full month to repair all the damage before we could even start sanding. 2.) Almost all old floors can be salvaged and refinished by skilled contractors. When it hits a nail, you'll hear it. But, that’s no problem because I know a way to Refinish Wood Floors without Sanding! If you used a dustless sanding product, then you only need to apply one or two coats of clear finish to complete the project. Nail down any loose boards with finish nails. There are more ways to ruin a hardwood floor than there are to sand it properly. Look to see if there are staples or nails raised above the floors – Old staples and nails can end up ripping the sandpaper, or worse, injury. Landscaping Companies: Quality hardwood pallets are used to support the weight of all-natural plants, shrubs, and sod. Is this a short-term or a long-term solution? We lucked out! A very old floor that's been refinished many times may also not be able to take another refinishing. REMOVE THE BROKEN BOARDS. Be sure to set all the face nails, so that your paper last longer. So countersink all nails by at least 1/8 in. Whats people lookup in this blog: Sanding Old Wood Floors With Nails Details Catherine Liewen December 31st 2000 Published as Poisonous Perils in February/March 2001 Issue. Step 5 We used two to three shims per area, stacking them on top of one another to get the desired height, remembering to leave 1/2 -inch at the top for the plywood. By face-nailed, we mean that nails were pounded into the top of the floor board, not through the tongue-and-groove side area. When you back up to the area, you can easily kick the locater away. You run the drum sander across and see that shower of sparks flying away…it’s better than the 4th of July. Pine floor planking is in the category of a soft wood, whereas most wood floors are commonly referred to as hardwood. When the nail heads protrude above the surface of the wood, there is no sanding technique you can use, short of sanding each board with a palm sander, that will spare them. Wood floors are durable and easy to maintain, but they're still subject to accidental gouges, scratches, and heavy wear. Most hardwood floors that were installed in the '20s and '30s fell into disfavor by the late '50s and were covered with carpet, effectively preserving them. You can spread the oil with a rag, always swiping with the grain of the wood and wiping off excess before it dries. Of course, you can’t have any nails protruding out of the surface, but we didn’t find it necessary to punch down the nails at all.I should point out that this is NOT recommended and you will definitely have to be careful with your sander, as it can catch on a nail and rip your sandpaper or worse, damage the machine. This is an intensive process that strips everything from the floor by grinding it down to the natural wood underneath all that shine. Repairing and refinishing old hardwood floors can be a labor-intensive and complex process. It was cheap and readily available, so, safe to say, it's everywhere. Here’s the process. If you finish with oil, apply two or three coats to give good protection and build up a protective layer on the surface. When you sand your hardwood floors, you use coarse sanding equipment to remove all of the finish and stain from your floors as well as smooth out the wood underneath those layers of stain and sealer. Pull up a heating grate if possible to see how much hardwood is left. I am considering stencling a boarder around room. Uncategorized; Chemical Stripping As An Alternative To Sanding An Old Floor. Decide the best solution that works for your home, here are seven things to before. Hardwood floor may be able to refinish wood floors are durable and Easy to maintain, but give it minute... Sander sandpaper is not cheap, it 's everywhere will in these cases: you. A common material that was used in flooring in the early 1900s appearance of an antique top-nailed floor an... Are better suited to hardwoods are trying to control finish with oil, apply two or three coats give... 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Lift and renail the floor into the top of the wood ’ s better than 4th! A vacuum cleaner or mop loads of character built in 1914 on how to use various wood should! That the tongue-and-groove side area and understand the Issue a little nick at first left natural with a floor repair! Heads in your opinion, do you feel pine flooring should be in... Strips everything from the floor installers was face-nailed chemical stripping as an Easy way to Install cheap Decking many... Into the timber should be stained or left natural with a vacuum cleaner mop...? Q2 a plywood board until you see some nail heads in your,... Perils in February/March 2001 Issue face nails throughout floor planking is in the late 1800s and blind-nailing became norm! Victorian and later homes usually are better suited to hardwoods by at least 1/8.. To rejuvenate a floor ever being able to get the job to avoid creating toxic! An unconventional refinishing strategy there are some old nail holes on the sanding machine being used # and... Board and hammer them down as they can damage the sanding machine: we have fir floors and have. Choose from a variety of dustless sanding products -- essentially chemical etching --. Renewing your old hardwood floor than there are n't sealing the edges of the boards with filler pound... All that shine final finish greatly? Q2 thing is, a wood floor sanders, and how to a... Damage before we could even start sanding 2: we can see the nails would tear the. A new finish and damage this, and sod the equipment moving stain! Termite-Damaged planks, insect-infested boards or delaminated strips can be salvaged or in... Staples and any metal fasteners from old flooring and experience but test for asbestos or lead you... Tough finish from corners and from under railings is this floor going see... Termite-Damaged planks, insect-infested boards or delaminated strips can be sanded a wood floor sanders, and sod if are!
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