Refinishing wood floors is a process that includes sanding off the top layer of the wood planks. You don't have to worry about the wood loss, as most hardwood floors can be sanded down several times during their lifetimes. That's why hardwood floors last so long. Here's why wood floors need sanding to restore them and a look at what the sanding entails.
Why Sanding Is Necessary to Refinish Wood Floors
You refinish wood flooring to get rid of imperfections that don't come out with regular cleaning. Sanding gets out gouges, scratches, and other imperfections. The refinishing process also removes built-up cleaning products and old varnish.
When the sanding is complete, you're left with bare wood so you can finish the floors with the coating of your new choice. By removing the very top layer of wood through sanding, your floors are like new again.
How Traditional Sanding Is Done
Sanding is a disruptive process, and you may need to be out of your home for a few days. Sanding creates dust, although the refinishing crew works to contain it as much as possible. If you bought an old house to fix up, you may want to refinish the floors before you move your furniture in so you won't have to move everything around again later.
Sanding may seem like an easy process, but that's only because professionals make it look easy. The sanding machine has to be kept under control so the right amount of wood is sanded off. You don't want to take off too much, but enough has to be sanded off to get rid of all the scratches.
Sanding usually involves using different types of equipment so the floor can be sanded against the walls and under cabinets too. The flooring professional often goes through different levels of grit paper when sanding, so the floors are usually sanded a few times.
The dust is cleaned up constantly to keep it from spreading, and the contractor may even put up sheeting to seal off each room as it's sanded. Everything has to be removed from the room, and the contractor may even want doors removed too so every part of the floor can be reached.
How Dustless Sanding Is Done
If someone in your home has asthma or other respiratory sensitivities, you may prefer the dustless method for refinishing wood flooring. This may still create some dust, but it isn't as dusty as traditional sanding.
With this method, the sanding machine is also a vacuum. The vacuum hose stretches out to a truck so the dust is kept contained the entire time. Everything else about refinishing the floors is done the same way. The only difference is the equipment used for sanding.
You'll probably have a lot of questions about how to refinish wood floors and what you need to do to prepare. Your flooring contractor will explain everything you need to know so you're prepared for the disruption from sanding. Once the sanding is done, the floors are ready for their protective coatings, and it won't be long until the floors are ready to use.