When it comes down to sanding hardwood floors, orbital sanders are what comes first. They are widely available, portable, reasonably priced, and extremely easy to use, these are reasons why people tend to fall towards orbital sander. However, after a while, even a new floor can start looking dull, and there is no getting around from that. Either you fix that, or you replace the flooring.
Replacing the flooring will take a good deal of money and it is not necessary as long as it can be fixed by sanding. On the other hand, hiring experts from sanding will also cause you to spend money. Why should you spend money when you can save it?
This is exactly why I have come up with this very guide where I have shown how to sand hardwood floors with an orbital sander. Sanding floors is fun, it is something you will enjoy. And the money will be saved, you can invest that in somewhere else. Anyways, with no further ado, let’s get standing with floor sanding.
Why Choose Orbital Sander?
There are sanders as well but why should choose orbital sander? If you are a professional who sands a lot of floors, an orbital sander is definitely not a good option for them. Orbital sanders are for the homeowners whose purpose is to sand their own floors. Removing old finishes from the flooring with orbital sander takes time but for occasional users, it is the best.
For operating an orbital sander you don’t need any experience. And there is very little chance that it will damage the floor if done wrong. Plus, they are affordable. So these are why you should consider choosing an orbital sander, you will not regret.
Keep your Back in Mind
This is a thing that most people forget when they prepare the wood for sanding. If you are climbing stairs with a heavy sander or moving heavy furniture from the room, make sure you maintain a good posture and have a helper. Even if you can do it alone, it is suggested to have a helper who will help you move items. It is extremely mandatory for you if you are at old age. Back injury is very common when older people try to prepare the floor for sanding.
Wear Safety Gears
The sanding floor will generate a lot of fumes and dust which can easily get into eyes, ear, nose, and mouth. And this is something you definitely don’t want. So before you start sanding the floor make sure to wear the proper mask, eye goggles, and earplug. If there is anything that covers your ear, then there is no need for earplugs.
Not only that, if you add sealers or polyurethane then wearing NIOS approved vapor respirator is a must, but it is also for your own safety. Plus, you would want to wear vinyl or neoprene hand gloves as well. Trust me, spending on safety gear is the best investment.
You don’t have to start sanding with grit abrasives that are coarser than 60. This should be enough for the initial stage, it will remove the old finish easily, you might have to make a couple of passes through. Using grit coarser than 60 can damage the flooring at the beginning. You have to increase it gradually until you get the smoothness you are looking for in the flooring.
What most professionals suggest is, starting with 60 grit, then moving on to the 80 grit. And the doing finishing with 100 or 120 grit. And this seems to work pretty well. For greater effectiveness, you will have to sand like mowing the lawn. Go row by row, care for overlapping. Don’t stay in a place for long, that will make the flooring uneven.
With an orbital sander, you cannot reach the corners, palm sander might work in this case. But you don’t have to spend on a palm sander only for corners. Use a sharp scraper, it should remove the old finishes from the corners, it might cause you to give little effort, but it worth it.
Remove the dust
Once you think you are done with the sanding, then it is time to get rid of the dust caused by sanding. Wipe the entire sanded area with a cloth and you use a vacuum to remove all the dust. However, then if you notice stray hair on the dried polyurethane that means you still need to do little more sanding.
With a fine abrasive, 320 grit should be fine, sand over the hair. Slowly take out the hair with your nail or a pin or anything else that helps. After removing the hair, do little more sanding. Then you have to recoat that with polyurethane, otherwise, the hair mark will be seen.
This isn’t actually necessary unless the flooring takes stain unevenly. Applying the sealer will make sure the stain coverage is even. However, I would suggest staining in a small area that wouldn’t be seen once the furniture is back at the place. Applying the seal evenly and properly plays a major role here. Though it seems easy but it isn’t. And it is extremely tough when it comes down to sealing a large floor.
However, the best way of applying stain is to target small areas. Applying stain with an applicator and then removing the excess with a rug.
Don’t start the process from the door, start from the opposite side of the door, so that you can get out of the room easily when the work is done. This is a thing that people often forgets and they end up walking over the stain and coating.
This is exactly how to sand hardwood floors with orbital sander. This sander is very easy to use and that is why people are very comfortable with it. However, when you get started with the process before that make sure you wear all the safety gear, eye protector, ear protector, mask, and gloves. Do not start sanding at any cost without them.