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Friday, October 21, 2011

How Many Times Can My Hardwood Floor Be Sanded?-

The number of times your hardwood floor can be sanded depends on several things.  Flooring manufacturers recommendations, the type of sanding equipment used, flatness of the floor, remaining wear layer and the skill of your floor sanding professional sanding your floor.  

Always measure the remaining wear layer thickness in a few different areas.  This will give you an idea of the flatness of the floor system and help you determine whether you should even attempt sanding.  You can measure the wear layer either by removing floor register covers or shoe molding so that you can see how much "life" is left before you hit the blind nails.  Another option to measure the wear layer is to locate a gap between floor boards and use a "feeler" gauge to measure down to the tongue of the board.  This method will work well on solid hardwood floors, however, I do not suggest using the gauge on engineered products, as they are a ply construction and the "real wood" wear layer will NOT go all the way to the tongue.  If the wear layer measures less than 3/32"...  No sanding!

Another point I would like to make, while on the subject, has to do with factory pre-finished products that have micro-bevels.  Should you decide to refinish these types of floor systems...  Please be aware that there is no way to sand these floors without completely eliminating the bevels!  If they are not completely sanded out, they will be extremely inconsistent across the floor system.  In other words... It looks bad!  Also, keep in mind that by sanding out micro bevels, you will also sand off more of the wear layer on the floor system's first on-site sanding than you will on the second or third sanding.

Using the proper grit sequence on the sanding equipment is also very important in managing the life of your floor system. The rougher the paper, the more life you are sanding away...  Why start with a 24 grit paper when you can start with 40?  Educate yourself on the sanding process and your local sanding professionals...  After all...  A bad job will cost you more money and limit how many times your floor can be sanded.  Remember... You get what you pay for!

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