Take a look at the ‘Before’ photo which shows the condition of the wood floor at a home in Bengeo, Hertfordshire before we sanded it. Then compare it to the photo taken ‘After’ the floorboards had been cleaned, sanded and oiled by Saul, at Cornwell Services. It’s a remarkable transformation with the Victorian wood flooring restored to its natural beauty with our professional help. Happy homeowner, happy us! And a Hertfordshire wooden pine floor sanded to perfection.
The challenge: sanding Victorian pine floorboards
The new owners of the property had removed carpet in their sitting room and found a tired looking pine floor underneath that had bags of potential. Not only was this wooden floor scuffed and discoloured, it had been painted over around where a rug was placed in Victorian times. Happily, the wall-to-wall carpet, commonly used from the 1950s, had preserved the floorboards from further dirt and damage.
Initially, the homeowner decided to restore the pine floor themselves and hired a drum sander and edge sander for the project, After struggling valiantly to remove the paint, clogging expensive abrasives in the process, they turned to Saul at Cornwell Services to restore this wooden floor.
The kit: DIY drum sander or professional belt sander?
When you hire equipment to sand floors, typically that means using a drum sander. Professionals don’t use drum sanders because they often produce poor results. Unfortunately, DIY floor sanding usually results in drum marks in the floor, an uneven surface, deep scratches and disappointment with the finished look.
Fortunately, professionals use top quality belt sanders, powerful edging sanders and planetary sanders to get consistently high-quality results. DIYers don’t have ready access to this equipment, without investing serious money and undergoing extensive training.
Seven steps: how we restored this Victorian wood floor
- The first step was to thoroughly vacuum the entire floor and remove any grit. This process included an hour spent on hands and knees, manually scraping out grit and plaster debris from between the floorboards. This was a vital step because this debris would be shaken loose by sanding. Any debris would cause major problems later on by getting under the sander and causing scratches.
- The second step was to scrape off as much paint as possible by hand since paint clogs the abrasive belts and discs immediately rendering them useless and unable to do their job. At the same time, a thorough check for protruding nails and staples was completed, to prevent serious damage to the equipment. Nails and staples were either removed or hammered deep into the boards. Any loose boards were also secured at this stage.
- The next step was to sand the floor flat with the belt sander. This is where the most material is removed and the process leaves the floor nice and flat, except for the edges and corners. It is one of the most important steps to get right!
- Having sanded the main floor area, the edging sander comes into play. It takes care and time to sand the perimeter of the room and any awkward spaces, all the while working on hands and knees. This is the professional’s least favourite part of the process but it’s vital it’s completed with meticulous attention to detail.
- By now the floor was looking like new, except the floorboards had deep scratches due to the coarse grade of abrasives used. So, the next task was to remove the scratch patterns put in by the belt and edge sanders. Saul used a rotary machine with a three-disc planetary attachment where each disc spins whilst being rotated around in a circle. This machine worked right up to the edges and allowed less aggressive edge sanders to be employed. Using progressively finer grits and different types of specialist abrasives, the floor was prepared to accept a finish.
- The last step before applying the hard-wax oil finish was to thoroughly vacuum the entire floor, closely examining it for any scratches that may have be missed or introduced by a rogue piece of grit.
- Once satisfied with the smoothness of the surface, the floor could be finished. The homeowner wanted a natural finish so hard-wax oil was applied. This brings out the warm tones of the wood grain and protects the floor from spills and stains so that it looks like new for longer. The results speak for themselves.
Ask us about sanding your wooden floor
Please get in touch to restore your wood floors. We can remove years or decades of damage, sand away tired finishes and protect the floor with oil or lacquer. Cornwell Services are based in Hertfordshire and we cover Hertfordshire, Essex, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and north London. We work for both homeowners and businesses. For a quote just contact Saul at Cornwell Services on 07738 022813.