Following are instructions to pass along to your homeowner customers when they rent floor care equipment for their wood floor refinishing projects.
The decision's been made: you're going to refinish that old wood floor. Now where do you start? Following is a step-by-step guide to help you in your efforts.
The first step during your floor refinishing project is job preparation. Be sure to have enough people on hand to help you with the job. Remember, you'll have to move furniture, and the sanding process is easier with two people.
Remove all obstructions from the area to be sanded, including: furniture, drapes, pictures, breakables, etc. Heating grates can be removed now or as you’re sanding near them.
Inspect the floor to be sure any nails or staples are removed before beginning the sanding process.
Next, when renting the equipment for the project, don't forget to partner with your rental store. Ask for and use the guidance and expertise of its staff. Make it easier on yourself by doing one-stop shopping. A good rental center will not only carry the appropriate floor care equipment, but all the sandpaper, finishes, and other items you'll need to complete your project.
If the rental center offers a video tape to review -take the time to watch it. Also take the time to read any how-to handouts offered.
Be sure to ask the rental store about safety tips on how to properly use floor refinishing equipment. It's important to know how to lift and hold the equipment, as well as how to correctly transport it.
Saw dust is a concern when sanding floors. Many suppliers offer dust control systems that can save a lot of time and protect your home. Be sure to ask your rental partner about them.
Sanding is a process in which you cut your floors with different abrasives to remove old finish, level the floor and smooth out the wood to accept the new finish. Start with heavier grits that make deeper cuts into your floors and finish with lighter grits that smooth out the surface to make the hardwood floor ready to be finished with your choice of coatings.
Sanding jobs can be completed in either three or four passes with different abrasive grits, depending on the condition of the floor being refinished.
For old floors, the first pass is to remove the old finish and level the floor. This will be the heaviest sanding and will make heavy scratch marks. The second pass is made to eliminate the roughness from the first pass, smooth out the scratch marks and remove any finish that was not removed with the first pass. The final pass is done to obtain a smooth finish when the coating is applied and removes more of the remaining marks from the previous sandings.
For newer floors, the first pass is to level the floor. Because the leveling process isn't as aggressive as it is for an older floor, the grit used will be higher, so the marks to be removed will not be as deep. Then finish the sanding process in the same manner as with an older floor.
Start your sanding using the lightest grit that will achieve the objective of your first pass. For example, if 40 grit does the job, then stay with it. Move to a lower grit only if you find the finish is not coming off. Don't skip more than one grit from pass to pass - follow 40 with 60, not 80 or 100.
Sanding will be done from left to right. Locate an outlet in the room that will allow the cord to be behind you as you sand. Before you put on any sandpaper or plug in the machine, you might want to practice the movement of sanding. There are different types of sanders - drum, orbital and circular. Be sure to ask your rental partner which is best for your application.
Now it's time to actually sand. Install the paper and don’t forget your personal protection equipment such as earplugs and dust mask.