A common question we get asked is “Can I sand my own floor”? The simple answer is, yes DIY, you can sand your own floor, but there are several factors to consider before you start. It can be an exciting prospect to take on a home project, and if you have the time, skill and equipment to hand, it can also make a small saving in cost.
Here are three key points to consider if you’re thinking of trying this at home:
It’s important to ensure you’re using quality, up-to-date equipment for the best results. At Alresford Interiors, our tools of choice are from Lagler, Festool and Fein. Specifically, the Lagler Flip, Hummel and Trio, the Festool RO150 and RO90 and the Fein Multi master. These machines are used by many professional floor sanding companies and either carry dust free classifications or are plugged into dust extractors, reducing the level of dust to virtually zero.
Many hire machines, even those described as ‘high performance’ or ‘high quality’, are often not up to standard and can quickly clog the room up with dust. Standard belt sanders are not only heavy and difficult to handle, but can only travel up and down your floor, whereas professional sanding equipment can also travel across the room, ensuring the whole sanding and finish process will be even and level. These are important factors to consider when choosing the right tool for the job.
As with all skills, the more you do something, the better you become at it. A floor sander may look easy to use at first glance (after all, they’re just being moved up and down a room, right?), but it is vital to keep an even pressure and perfectly straight lines to ensure a quality finish. An even pressure is crucially important due to the wear layer on your floor boards. If you have an engineered wood floor, then you potentially have a 4-6mm wear layer, so mistakes in pressure distribution can reduce the floors lifespan drastically. If mistakes are made during attempted DIY and a professional floor sander is then called in afterwards, they would have to access what wear layer is left, if any, before being able to commence work.
Dusting the sanded surface thoroughly before applying a finish is also vitally important. Whilst this sounds like a case of simply bunging a vacuum cleaner around and hoping for the best, a standard home vacuum is liable to leave drag marks and leftover dust on the floor surface, especially around awkward corners and edges, which will then be permanently trapped beneath the finish you use. It’s important to have not only the right kit for the job, but the expertise to use it effectively.
When you weigh up the costs of hire machinery and floor finish, you will undoubtedly save money, but in the grand scheme of things, what you do save cost wise will be offset against what it looks like. If mistakes do happen, you would then have to factor in the costs of having to employ a professional to remedy the floor. If the wear layer has been badly compromised then a new floor may be your only option. We have seen and helped rectify many homes where people have taken on the challenge of sanding their own floors and unfortunately made mistakes in the attempt.
It is for these key reasons we wholeheartedly recommend calling in the professionals to help refurbish your flooring, however, if you still want to take on the challenge, take a look at our ‘How To’ blog on DIY floor sanding.
For any more help and advice please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email email@example.com or pop into our workshop and we can get your flooring project off the ground today!