Floor Sanding and Polishing Sydney

Questions Timber Floors

Floor Sanding and Polishing Sydney

Can timber floors be placed over concrete floors?

Quite often yes, if there is no moisture issues. If the concrete is allowing moisture to soak through then a moisture barrier is need below the timber floor.

Does a subfloor have to be perfectly Level?

There can be some imperfections in the subfloor, high or low spots of less than 3mm. Often a low spot can be filled in, and certainly a protruding nail or raised timber edge can be sanded back.

Some leveling compounds can be used to fill in low spots on the floor.

The underlay between a subfloor and the floating floor is flexible, so it will accomidate some unevenness.

What condition must a subfloor be in?

As long as the subfloor is clean, dry and reasonably level then we can add a floating floor above. A less than perfect subfloor may be the reason why you add a floating floor.

Can we use hydro or electrical heating under floors?

Yes, underfloor heating works well with engineered floorboards. Engineered timber boards experience very little shrinkage or expansion with changing heat, so underfloor heating works well.

What happens with damaged floorboards?

Superficial damage on solid timber, like scratches, can be sanded way on. Sometimes then can even be removed by polishing.

Engineered floors cannot usually be sanded; because the to layer of timber is too thin. Sanding will remove the top layer of wood. A few type of engineered timber can be resanded once if the top layer is reasonably thick.

Does timber need to Acclimatize?

Yes. To acclimatize timber boards they are left in the room where they are to be installed. Timber will expand or contract slightly depending on humidity and temperature conditions. It is best if they expand or contract before they are installed, rather than after.

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Solid timber or engineered floors remain popular because they are attractive and extremely long lasting. Timber can be stain coloured and treated to suit many decors.

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Protect Your Investment

Floor Sanding and Polishing Sydney

Hardwood timber floors area great alternative to carpeted floors. They are easy to sweep clean or vacuum; there is nowhere for allergens or dust to hide. And many people like the classic look for natural timber.

Hardwood floors are a sizable investment, but a worth one. They last for decades, sometimes over a century. So in the long term they work our cheaper than other floor that need replacing after a 20 years. At the same time we want to look after the hardwood floors to that they will last this long.

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Floors will suffer surface damage from people in shoes, for furniture, form anything hard that contacts the floor. The main structure of the floor remains unharmed, but the shiny new appearance is lose.

We can greatly reduce the damage by removing shoes in the home, and using coasters under furniture. But over time we might still want to remove light damage.

Many homes with timber floors have those floors re-sanded every 10-15 years. This re-sanding removes a tiny (half millimetre) layer from the top of the wood to reveal fresh wood underneath. This essentially give you a new floor, which can be refinished in many different ways.

Often a re-sanding is unnecessary. Many a floor looks great with a re-polishing. This removes the type light damage most common in floors. Only deep scratches, which are are, need more serious work.

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Hardwood timber floors can be restored to virtually new with re-sanding and re-polishing.

Old Homes and Hardwood Floors.

Old Homes and Hardwood Floors.

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Many modern building have chipboard (particle board) for floors. Even when there is carpet, vinyl, or other materials on top there is usually a chipboard surface behind this. Occasionally (as in bathrooms) there might be a cement floor.

Older homes were different. The wooden floors were made of solid timber, even when there was carpet or vinyl or linoleum on top. That was simply the way almost all houses were made up until the 1970, and sometimes even latter. Chipboard became popular when carpets were ubiquitous. Chipboard was cheap, and if there was carpet or another floor surface on top then nobody had to look at the ugly chipboard.

Or course this means that many older buildings have fine hardwood floor under their old carpets. and because the hardwood was kept under the carpet all these years it is still in good condition.

If you remove the old carpets you can have the hardwood polished to make a very impressive looking floor. Even cheaper hardwood of yesteryear looks surprisingly good when polished, and perhaps sanded if it has been damaged.

Home renovations have become popular over the last generation, at least partially because of reality TV shows. If we want to restore an old home or even just a single room, then re-polishing hardwood floors and painting walls may be 90% of the changes.

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Re-sanding and re-polishing can make an old hardwood floor look like new. Consider this if you want to give a home or room a makeover.

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Reasons to Prefer Engineered Timber Floors

Reasons to Prefer Engineered Timber Floors

Some situations work well with engineered timber floors. These floors have a thin layer of attractive timber on top of several layers of extremely strong, stable wood. So they look like genuine hardwood, but cost lest and prove strong and stable.

Resistant to moisture

Because it has several layers of wood, with the grain running in different directions, the wood will not bend noticeable when exposed to moisture. Solid timber tends to bend in a manner that relates to the direction of the grain. So the whole plank will bend in one direction. But the cross-grain of engineered timber does not have a single grain direction, so any forces acting on the timber pull in different directions and cancel out.

Easy installation

Engineered timber is built with ‘tongue and groove’ sides that lock the adjacent planks together. This makes the reasonably easy for DIY installation. They can even be installed without nails and glue, making them a floating floor.
A floating floor is great for sound or thermal insulation.

Range of Styles

The appearance of engineered timber is entirely due to the top layer. And as this can be any type of timber, so engineered floors can look like any type of hardwood.

Environmental Factors

Because there is only a small amount of expensive wood used so engineered floorboards do not deplete us of rare, slow growing tree, at least not as quickly. This allows time for more exotic timber to be regrown.

Heated Floors

This has only started to become popular in recent years, people like to heat their floor with hot water pipes or electrical heating elements. Engineered timber suits this well because they are stable with changing heat.

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An engineered timber floors it is often not too difficult to repair. We can usually just replace a few individuals boards. This is quite cost effective, especially if a few spare floorboards have been set aside.

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Type of Wooden Floor

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There are many type of timber used for flooring, and many types of flooring that use timber, or imitate the look of timber.

Laminate

This is an imitation product, made to look like timber. It is not a bad product for some situations, and modern versions look fairly realistic. But it will eventually start to wear, and need to be replaced. It cannot be sanded or polished.

Engineered Floors

These uses a combination of different woods. The top layer is chosen for the appearance, the underling layers provide strength and stability. These engineered floor look like solid timber flooring because they are real timber on the top.

Most engineered floors cannot be re-sanded, because the top layer is very thin and will be sanded away. But a few type of engineered floorboards have a 6 mm top layer than can be re-sanded several times.

Engineered floors can be polished to an attractive finish.

Solid Timber Floor

This is the standard that the other floors try to live up to. Solid timber is extremely durable and lasts for decades, perhaps over a century. And it looks great, with many species of timber to choose from.

Solid Timber can be re-sanded to removed superficial damage like scratches. Even with the re-sanding removing a thin to player of wood the floor will easily last for many decades.

Reclaimed Timber

If is sometimes possible to reuse the wood form older buildings, because timber is so durable it may last longer then the building does.

Reclaimed timber flooring is much like any solid timber flooring. It can be re-sanded for a new finish.

Parquet Flooring:

This is a patterned floor, with the pattern made with small pieces of timber. This looks elegant. And it is not too expensive because the smaller pieces of timber can be off-cuts.

Parquet floors can be re-sanded to remove damage. And it is easy to replace individual pieces should they suffer serious damage.

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Higher quality floors like solid timber will last for decades, and can be re-sanded to restore their original natural appearance.

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Water Damaged Timber

Almost no floor is immune to water damage. About the only exception is concrete, and this is not suitable for most homes.

Water will cause most floor materials to warp and bend. Under other conditions it may also cause contamination.

Types of water damage

Fresh Water – This will cause timber to warp and bend, though if the water is removed quickly the damage may be minimal.
If the floor remains damp for too long there may be problems with mould and mildew. This requires decontamination.

Black Water – this is basically polluted water, sewage or something unhygienic. Floors that have been flooded by black water will need to be replaced.

Gray Water – This is mildly polluted water, from fish-tanks, dishwashers, laundry or any outdoor sources. Floors that have been flooded with gray water will need to be decontaminated and probably re-sanded.

Drying floors.

Try to drain as much water out of the room as possible. And then dry mop the floor.

Use old bed-sheets, towels or other cloths to soak up as much water as possible.

Use fans or perhaps an air conditioner to help evaporate the remaining dampness. Be careful of the electrical appliances in these damp conditions.

 

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Water damaged timber floors will suffer warping and buckling as the timber soaks up the moisture. This can often be repaired with re-sanding. With re-sanding and a new protective surface finish the timber floors can look like new.

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Stains on Timber Floors

Stains on Timber Floors

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Both engineered timber and solid hardwood are long lasting floor options. But of course like any floor they are not immune to stains and other damage. Stains or superfical damage on the wooden floor will not affect the function or lifespan of the floor, only the appearance. Often these can be removed with the right technique.

Ink and dye stains
A mixture of bicabonate of soda and vinegar, make a paste, will often remove these stains. Apply the bicarb paste and leave it for a few minutes. Then rub it gently with a sponge and wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Permanent Marker
Isopropyl alcohol will remove many makers from pens Use a damp rag or white paper towel to rub and clean the stain.
Hand sanitizer gel will also work on many pen and ink stains.

Food
Use a solution of warm water and dish detergent to clean the stain. Clean with a damp sponge and wipe clean. Make sure he floor is left dry.

Nail polish
Dish detergent in warm water should remove nail polish.
Acetone will also remove nail polish, but it risks causing damage to the floor.

Urine from Pets of infants.
Use a 5% phenol solution to clean the stain . This both removes the odour and sanitizes the area.

General
A magic eraser (melamine block) is very slightly abrasive and will effectively remove some stains.

Never use anything too abrasive on the floor. This risks damaging the surface.

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Scratches and dents are a little more serious than surface stains. Polishing will remove some light scratches. More serious scratching and dents will require the floor to be re-sanded.

Floor Sanding and Polishing Sydney

Floor Sanding and Polishing Sydney

Floor Sanding and Polishing Sydney – New Floors

New timber floors look great, and many people prefer quality timber over various forms of carpeting. It’s easy to sweep timber floors clean, and there is hardly ever an issue with allergies or dust. Of course if we have new timber floors then we want to maintain their new appearance to preserve our investment.

Floor Sanding and Polishing Sydney – Restoring Floors

The great advantage of solid timber floors is re-sanding. No other floor material offers this feature. The timber can be re-sanded to restore the appearance of the wood. It can also be re-sanded if you want to stain the floor a different colour. The average timber floor can be re-sanded a dozen times before the wood starts to become too thin. With most floors re-sanded every decade the floor can still last over a century.

Sanding is the way to remove superficial damage. All floors suffer scratches and dents from the occupants of the home. This does not impair the function of the floor, only the appearance. But re-sanding removes the top most level of the floor, perhaps half a millimeter, exposing a new untouched surface. A re-sanded floor can then be stained to look like new.

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Polishing Engineered Flooring

Engineered Flooring

Engineered floorboards are an alternative to solid wood floorboards. Engineered floorboards replicate the look of solid timber by having a thin veneer of attractive wood over a plain but sturdy backing. This offers some advantages and some disadvantages.

Engineered floorboards are very sturdy; they are far less likely to warp under humid, damp conditions or under extreme temperatures. this is because the boards is made of several layers of timber joined at cross angles. The cross angles of the timber grain means then plank is not likely to bend in any one direction. This backing material can be chosen for strength rather than appearance because only the top layer is visible when the plank is installed, so only the top layer needs to be attractive.

Solid timber floors are expensive, and sometimes there is a compromise between appearance and strength. the most attractive floors woods are not always the strongest, and the strongest are often not attractive. The timbers than are both strong and attractive will also be expensive. engineered floorboards are less expensive, because they combine the best of both worlds; the inexpensive strong wood as the main structure and a thin veneer of top wood to provide the attractive appearance.

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Of course one of the main attractions of solid timber floors, the fact that they can be re-sanded, doesn’t really apply to engineered wood. Solid timber can be re-sanded many times and still last for decades. Engineered timber with its thin top veneer layer, can perhaps be re-sanded once or twice. After this the top veneer will be sanded away.

Of course engineered floors can be polished, and this will give impressive results as long as the floor is basically sound and undamaged.

Damaged Floors Repair and Polishing Sydney

If engineered timber floors are damaged it is often not too difficult to replace a few individuals boards rather than repair the damage. This is quite cost effective, especially if a few spare floorboards have been set aside.

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Floor Materials and Allergies

Floor Materials and Allergies

Different floor material have their advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes we choose because of personal taste. At other times we have to choose because of the situation. If the residents have allergies then we do well to have floor materials that reduce aggravation to those allergies.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood is easy to sweep of vacuum clean. Unlike carpet there are no fibers to hide pollen or other contaminants. And these are very few issues with mold or mildew as long as the conditions are reasonably dry. So hardwood is preferable to those with asthma or hay-fever.

Hardwood also has very little processing, so the bare wood will not contain chemicals like formaldehyde that aggravate breathing problems. However, some protective coatings on the floor, like polyurethane, will give off chemicals when they are first applied.

Tiled Floors

Much like hardwood a tiled floor is easy to clean and contains no fibers or hidden areas to accumulate dust and pollen. And as long as the grout between the tiles is kept clean there is little issue with mold.

Floor Sanding and Polishing Sydney

Timber floors are very long lasting, and are a selling point for any home. But they can suffer superficial surface wear such as scratching or dents. Floor sanding removes the very top-most layer of a hardwood floor, restoring the appearance of the original wood.
consider floor sanding if you want your floors restored, or if you want to stain the floor a different colour.