Floor sanding or floor polishing is done with specialized sanding machines. The floor is then finished with the desired protective coating.
Floor sanding is the process of sanding the top surface of the floor, be it timber, cork tiles, particle board or even parquet.
It requires 3 stages. Preparation, sanding and sealing.
Floor sanding is done with specialized sanding machines. The majority of material is removed by large belt or drum sanders. The areas where the large sanders cannot reach, such as edges, corners, and stairs, are sanded by an edger/hand tool. A finishing machine is then used for the final sanding.
Preparation is the first stage of the sanding process. All nails which protrude above the boards are punched down. Nails can severely damage the sanding machines which are being used. Staples or tacs used to fasten previous coverings (if any) have to be removed to reduce the possibility of damage. Adhesives which have been used to secure floor coverings will have to be removed. These adhesives can clog papers and running gear of the machines used, and some can even make sanding impossible. Other machinery like grinders need to be used. This adds to the overall cost.
After the floor is prepared, the sanding begins. The first cut is done with coarse-grit papers to remove old coatings and to make the floor flat. The differences in height between the boards are removed. The large sanders are used across the grain of the timber. The areas which cannot be reached by the large sanders are sanded by an edger. If filling of holes or boards is desired this is the stage where this is usually done. The process is then repeated for the second cut using a finer sand paper. A finishing machine is then used to create the final finish.
The sanded floor is coated with polyurethane, oils, stain or other sealants to give the end finished result and to protect the floor.
Maintenance coats will be required around 2-5 years later. These are crucial to the long life of the floor, known in the industry as a 'reglaze', cost is minimal. If proper maintenance is not kept then these coatings will be compromised, this will lead to a re-sand of the entire floor. There are only 6-8 sands in a floor before it needs to be replaced.