Hardwood Floor Buffing – What You Need To Know

Installing a new set of hardwood flooring in your house is an excellent investment as wooden flooring is typically known to be much more expensive over time and is likely to have many more problems. However, with correct care and maintenance, many old houses with hardwood flooring built many decades back are revealed to possess very beautiful, perfectly-intact wooden floors. This indicates that hardwood flooring, though a luxury nowadays, was always a highly desirable option in previous times. Of course, no-one likes to replace their flooring – especially if they have invested a large sum on it – but the point is that this is now possible with a relatively minor amount of work. If you’re thinking of installing hardwood flooring but aren’t quite sure how to go about it, then these basic steps should help you.

Hardwood floor buffing|Hardwood floor buffing

Hardwood Floor Buffing – What You Need To Know

Installing a new set of hardwood flooring in your house is an excellent investment as wooden flooring is typically known to be much more expensive over time and is likely to have many more problems. However, with correct care and maintenance, many old houses with hardwood flooring built many decades back are revealed to possess very beautiful, perfectly-intact wooden floors. This indicates that hardwood flooring, though a luxury nowadays, was always a highly desirable option in previous times. Of course, no-one likes to replace their flooring – especially if they have invested a large sum on it – but the point is that this is now possible with a relatively minor amount of work. If you’re thinking of installing hardwood flooring but aren’t quite sure how to go about it, then these basic steps should help you.

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There are two stages involved in hardwood floor buffing; the first is the clear sanding stage, where the surface is blasted with a fine grit sandpaper so that all the small scratches and micro-scratches are brought out, and which leaves a gleaming and stunning luster. After the siding is sanded down to the luster required for the application, the finishing process commences. This involves a mixture of mineral spirits (the chemical used to make hardwood appear damp) and urea formaldehyde, which creates the wet ‘ink’ that forms the luster of the floor. Finishing can also be achieved with various chemicals, but this process requires a great deal more maintenance and attention than the previously outlined ones do.

Once the surface has been sufficiently buffed, it can then be treated to prevent future staining. This is done by either applying either oil or water-based sealants, or both. As already mentioned, the oil-based products are more preferred because they leave no oily residue behind, whereas the water-based products have a far better absorption rate. Most hardwood floor buffing stains contain either one of these ingredients: polyurethane or mineral spirits, although some do contain both.

Once the surface has been prepared, it is ready for the second stage of hardwood floor buffing – the clear coating service. This service is achieved with a brush or roller application by using a specialised squeegee. It is very important that this stage of buffing is performed quickly so that any noticeable pitting of the wood floors can be avoided. If the coat service is done too late, the floors will become pitted and dull looking. This is not only unsightly but also causes damage to the wood floors themselves. If the coat service is done to prevent damage it is possible to receive a refund if the damage is caused as a result of the buffing process.

The third stage is the actual floor sanding. Although it might sound relatively simple, it is actually very difficult to perform successfully. Floor sanding should ideally be performed before the polishing process as it prevents the floor from becoming uneven and seeing more scratches and imperfections appear after the finish is applied. For this reason it is normally carried out by a professional floor sanding machine which is specially fitted to the floor. It must be stressed that hardwood floors need to be regularly sanded as their natural polish can wear away at the surface during this sanding.

When buffing your wood floor with a machine, ensure that there is enough lubrication in the moving parts to prevent them getting stuck and stop them jamming together. The sanding itself should also be performed at a very low speed to minimise damage to the floor’s finish. If you notice some gouges whilst sanding, stop sanding and consult your manufacturer for instructions on how best to repair the damage.

Once the floor has been sanded to an ideal level, the next stage of the buffing process is the topcoat. Whilst most people are aware of the term, few know what the clear coat is and why it is required for hardwood floors. The coat protects the wooden finish from scratches, marks and spills. This can be buffed off with a hand buffing machine, however many people prefer the professional hardwood floor buffing machines for the consistent and even results. Professional flooring machines also provide a higher degree of control when working with hardwood floors, allowing for precise and even application. This is essential when dealing with large amounts of wood.

The final stage in hardwood floor buffing is the finish. This coating is purely there to protect the wooden finish from damage, scratches and spills, but also acts to give the floor a gleaming clean look. There are many different finishes you can use with buffing, but polyurethane is probably the most popular and can be found in most DIY stores. This type of coating requires buffing machines with a special surface scrubber as it is quite thick. If you are working on a painted or varnished floor then you may find it best to use a primer before applying the polyurethane, it should also be applied as per the manufacturers instructions.