Hardwood Floor Buffing – Should You Sand Or Buff Your Floors?
If you are considering refinishing your hardwood floors, you may be wondering whether you should choose sanding or buffing. Sanding is the process of removing polyurethane sealer, stains, and any damage to the wood. This process reveals the underlying wood beneath and makes it ready for a new finish. While buffing is more difficult and time-consuming, the end result is a floor with a high sheen.
The first step in buffing your wood floors is to remove any wax layer. You can do this manually or by using mineral spirits, but this can be hazardous to humans. If you are planning to buff your floors yourself, you can purchase an electric floor buffing machine that will work the wax into the wood and give it a shiny finish. Once you have the machine, install the buffing pad. Then, buff your floors until they look as good as new.
Once the process is complete, you should leave your wood floors for at least a day. Be sure to keep furniture off the floor while the wood is drying. It is a good idea to use felt furniture pads to protect your floors while they are drying. If you are unsure of whether or not you need to sand your floors, it is a good idea to consult with a professional refinisher. If you have a very old floor, they can determine whether you need to refinish it.
If you have a large room or area to sand, you may want to consider screening instead of buffing. Screening is more affordable, cleaner, and faster. A professional screening job will last an hour or more depending on the size of the area. Then, one coat of polyurethane is applied to the surface. Then, it is covered with a buffer to help with the bonding process for the new coat of polyurethane.
After applying the finishing solution, you may need to use a buffer with polishing pads. These machines are powerful and can reach high speeds. However, you should take note of the position of the electrical outlet while buffing. After you have finished the process, leave the floor for at least 24 hours and do not put any furniture or rugs on it until it dries completely. It should take an hour to dry completely, but light footfall shouldn’t be a problem after that.
To sand a hardwood floor, use a sanding buffer. Position the buffer parallel to the grain of the wood, so that its most aggressive cut cuts the wood. Make sure the buffer overlaps about half of the width of the floor. Then, repeat the process from room end to room end, and work your way from right to left, across the entire floor. You should repeat this process until you have completed about eight inches of flooring.
There are many different combinations of abrasives and pads. When not in use, a buffer should never sit upright on the buffer pad. This will cause the pad to compress, resulting in bumps and loping that can cause deeper scratches in wood floors. A double-sided disc or other abrasive can be placed under the buffer for extra protection. If possible, you should position the abrasive close to the center of the buffer.
The recommended frequency of hardwood floor buffing is every two to five years, depending on the amount of traffic in the room. After a period of time, the floor can show signs of wear and tear, and may require another coat of finish. Hardwood floors that are high-traffic areas will need to be buffed and coated more often than low-traffic rooms. It may be necessary to refinish damaged floors completely.
After the sanding process is complete, the wood floor can be finished by polishing with a finishing product. Professional buffing will involve applying a spray-on buffing solution to the area to remove the residue and enhance the shine. Then, using a long-handled roller, you can begin applying the finish. It is important to wear protective clothing and gloves. And, as mentioned earlier, a respirator with organic vapor canisters is recommended while doing the job.