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Using a Hardwood Floor Refinisher Without a Mechanic

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Hardwood floor sanding and refinishing are notoriously unforgiving work. Sanding by itself is harsh enough; even sanding with a fine grade of grain will cause some damage. If you are having your hardwood floors refinished or sanded, at home, the result can be catastrophic. Make sure you have the proper sanding tools before starting any project.

Hardwood Floor Refinishing|Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Using a Hardwood Floor Refinisher Without a Mechanic

Hardwood floor sanding and refinishing are notoriously unforgiving work. Sanding by itself is harsh enough; even sanding with a fine grade of grain will cause some damage. If you are having your hardwood floors refinished or sanded, at home, the result can be catastrophic. Make sure you have the proper sanding tools before starting any project.

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Hardwood floor refinishing takes a lot longer than other types of woodwork for reasons beyond the mere act of refinishing. Sanding is an involved process. First, you need to remove the old finish or coat and then remove the old wood. You must also strip the old varnish or coating because it often contains waxes that will not dissolve in new oil. Finally, you must evenly sand all surfaces, especially corners, where the wood is thinner. If the floors have already been stained, sanding will usually have to start over again with an especially light sanding on the areas that received the stain.

Finishes such as latex, varnish, and other synthetic resins are very slow to dry. This makes it necessary to use slow-drying polyester finishes that may require occasional re-finishing due to staining. Other finishes such as laminates may need a special solvent to clean and dry. A final choice for hardwood floor refinishing is either using one of the many brands of random orbital Sanders that can be found on the market or a hand-held machine with rotary or oscillating wheels. Each type of machine has its own advantages and disadvantages.

For easy dust removal when hardwood floors have been refinished, using an orbital sander is the most appropriate option. The power of this tool is directed straight at the wood grains to remove surface dust without damaging the finish. The cost of this product is greater than the rasped grain variety but will last longer. Orbit Sanders is available in three speeds and is generally more effective than machines that use different methods.

Rotary and oscillating tools are used to give hardwood floor refinishing a smooth look and to distribute the refinishing product across the floor more evenly. These types of machines use either continuous motion or rotating action to work the wood. Continuous motion machines are more expensive than those that have only oscillating motion capabilities, but they offer more consistent results and do not wear down as quickly as rotary ones. Regardless of the speed of the tool, the finished product should be much smoother and even in appearance.

Scratches and water damage can mar other kinds of hardwood floors, but with Sanders, they can easily be eliminated. Water damage can also lead to warping, buckling and splintering so it’s important to have your refinishing wood floors professionally done every few years. Sanding removes small visible scratches but will not remove deep scratches unless your installer uses an acid-free, oil-free and anti-bacterial compound on the moving parts.

Professionally stained hardwood floors take on a unique appearance that is very appealing in any room. When you combine the beauty of the wood with the stain and the protective finishes of refinishing, there is nothing that can compare to the finished look of your home. Many people choose this option because it takes much less time to care for the wood floors and keep them looking new. They also are protected from staining or water damage by the finishing process. In addition, you may be able to select exotic hardwood floors that are more expensive than your standard hardwood floors.

A sander is used in hardwood floor refinishing as well as other types of refinishing because it provides a smooth matte finish. Unlike a roller or an abrasive pad, a sander can give you the option of using the grain of the wood for a more natural and softer look. It also helps to prevent scratches from becoming deep and more pronounced. The sander works best with a wet sander as well as an orbital sander, but may be used with either if the floor is moist.

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