& Hardwood Floor
Kentucky & Cincinnati,
Floors is now using dustless wood floor sanding methods!
Why dont wood floor finishing contractors
publish their specifications for wood floor finishing?
floor finishing projects are unique, requiring a sanding process and tools
specific for that job.
The majority of wood floors can sanded and finished
using the same sanding process and tools.
We refer to these floors as
Typical, covering most new construction and residential resands.
page depicts the sanding and finishing methods that we use.
First read Conventional Wood Floor Sanding below
The top of this page describes the changes that we made to
our process when we started doing dustless wood floor finishing.
Dustless does not mean no dust, just less.
We still use Lägler
built Hummel belt sanders, but have added a Trio rotating disk sanders and
Cyclone vacuum systems connected to all of our Clark/Alto edgers and Fein hand
Before sanding, fill the floor with latex wood floor filler,
Wood Wise or Zar.
It's good to have the wood floor installers fill the
floor right after installation.
Sand the body of the floor with 50 grit
belts on a Lägler Hummel.
Sand the edges with 100 grit sanding disk on
an Alto/Clark edger.
The edges can be sanded before, during and after using
Note that the dust bag has been removed from the edger and the
edger has a hose attaching it to a Cyclone vacuum system sitting outside.
The corners can be scraped anytime after edging and before hand sanding
Inspected and filling the floor for a second time.
Any newly applied
filler needs to dry and be sanded with a Fein hand sander, attached to the
Cyclone vacuum system.
Sand the floor with the Trio using 60 grit, 80 grit
and 100 grit sanding disks.
An alternate method is to sand the body of the
floor with the belt sander twice, first with 50 grit and then with 80 grit.
Using this method only requires one sanding with the trio using 100 grit disks.
Hand sand, using a Fein random orbit sander with 80 or 100 grit sand paper,
along all walls and anywhere the Trio couldn't get.
The floor is ready to
vacuum and stain.
|Conventional Wood Floor Sanding
Northern Kentucky &
light is preferable when sanding wood floors, so get an early start. Inspect
the floor carefully, pull out or counter-sink any protruding nails, cleats or
staples. On rare occasions it is necessary to use 36-grit or 16-grit sand paper
to do the first cut to a wood floor. Usually we do the first cut with 50 grit
paper. There are 3 types of floor sanders, 220-volt belt sanders, 220-volt drum
sanders and 110-volt tilt drum sanders. The latter is the type that most tool
||We prefer the Lägler Hummel,
it's a 220-volt, 8- inch wide belt sander. Always run a floor sander close to
the direction of the wood grain, between 15 & 30 degrees. The belts and
drums of most floor sanding machines are pitched to create a cutting edge and a
feathering edge. You will start sanding with the feathering edge toward a wall
and the cutting edge toward the center of the floor. The pitch of a floor
sander can be changed and adjusted, most floor sanders are set to cut from
right to left.
|LÄGLER Hummel sanders are not pitched, therefore you can
sand a floor in either direction.
||After completing the first sanding
operation with the drum or belt sander, use an edger to sand along the
perimeter of the floor and any other areas the drum or belt sander did not
reach. The preferred edger is an Alto (Clark) American Supper 7 or B2, both are
8-inch disk sander. Use 80-grit sanding disks, in most cases you only need to
edge the floor once.
When sanding new floors the shoe molding should not be
installed until after the floor is finished.
| When sanding
a previously finished floor, it's often advisable to remove all or some of the
shoe molding prier to sanding. With experience and a well-tuned edger it is
possible to leave the shoe molding in place and sand up to it.
||During or after the floor is edge
sanded it's time to fill the floor. General filling of nail holes, gaps,
gouges, blemishes, cracks, etc., needs to be done with a commercial wood floor
filler such as ZAR. ZAR is a latex filler that is oak colored, easy to sand and
will take a stain. ZAR can be thinned with water and dries quickly. ZAR will
shrink when it dries, so large voids will need to be filled twice, allow drying
time between applications.
||Once the floor has been completely
filled and the filler has dried thoroughly its time to do the second cut to the
floor. This cut, sand, is basically the same as the first. The only difference
is the grit of the sandpaper or sanding-belt. We use 80-grit sanding-belts to
cut the floor for the second time. Since the first cut of the floor got the
floor level and smooth, the purpose of this second cut is mostly to remove the
latex floor filler and the scratches produced by the first.
||Then next step in wood floor sanding
is hand scraping. Scraping is necessary to prepare the floor in all of the
small areas that an 8 inch edger disk can not reach, such as: inside corners,
around door casings and jambs, up to cabinet kick plates, next to and behind
toilets, around sink pedestals and the sloping surfaces of reducers. We use
generic wood handles with 1½-inch wide RED DEVIL scraper
blade kept sharp by a STANLEY NO.
6 File, mill bastard.
|| Although the body of the floor and
the edges of the floor were sanded with the same grit sandpaper, the edges are
slicker. The edger cuts across the grain producing a surface that is more
polished than the area sanded with the drum or belt sander. Also the edger will
leave sander marks in the floor that do not go with the direction of the grain.
Staining the floor in this condition will produce a floor that has a lighter
color around the walls that is loaded with dark little arced scratches.
|To remove the
arced scratches and to produce a surface texture that is more similar to the
main body of the floor it is necessary to do some hand sanding with 50-grit
paper. By hand sanding I mean a powereful electric vibrating sander. Sand all
areas that have been edged or scraped.
||Okay, it's all down hill from here.
The third and final cut to the floor is done with a 120-grit, 150-grit or
180-grit sanding screen. Put the sanding screen on the floor, lay a 3M white,
red or maroon pad on top of it and set a plastic or wire bristle buffer head on
top of that. Using a heavy floor buffer running at low to medium speed, buff
the floor overlapping each path by 50 percent. This will smooth out the wood
floor surface while leaving enough tooth for the finish to grab.
||Vacuum the floor using a clean or new
vacuum filter. Start out by running the vacuum hose or wand, with the vacuum
head remover, along the baseboard or shoe molding. If your wand is metal apply
masking tape onto the outer edge to avoid metal marks on the raw floor or
baseboard. Attach the vacuum head and clean the balance of the floor. Make sure
that your vacuum head has either soft bristle or felt bottom edger to avoid
scratches or metal marks on the floor.
|At this point
the old timers will want to tack clean the floor with a paint thinner soaked
towel wrapped around a push broom. We don't do it, its unnecessary.
||Now were ready for an oil-based
penetrating stain. How to STAIN After the
stain dries, or if the floor is to be natural, it's time to apply the first
coat of polyurethane. The edges are coated first using a wide brush. As long as
the stain is not moving, it doesn't matter how the polyurethane is applied as
long as its eventually stroked with the grain direction and coated fare enough
out into the floor to allow the lambs wool applicator to not touch the
||The balance of the floor must be
coated while the edges are still wet. Slow down the coating of the edges as
needed. Pour small amounts of oil-based polyurethane onto the floor and
distribute it evenly using a natural
lamb's wool applicator. Keep a sharp eye out for drips, heavy spots and
skippers. Imperfections can be touched up before the polyurethane begins to
tack dry by walking out onto the wet floor. After this coat has dried for 48
hours a second coat can be applied.