Timber deckings are the outdoor surfaces used for entertaining. These might be verandahs, gazebos, or BBQ areas. Often these are attached to the main house and under some light roof cover. Despite being outdoors and exposed to the weather a timber deck can last for decades if properly built and given some basic maintenance.

People often enjoy the door experience of a timber deck structure. These outdoor structures combine the natural environment and fresh air with furniture and a firm floor. They are easily made to compliment both the house and the surrounding natural landscape, and are available in many types of wood and finish. Australian climate and culture are well suited to the outdoor lifestyle an external decking offers.


For all the durability provided by wood, all outdoor decking is constantly exposed to the elements. Sun and rain will steadily take their toll.  A well-designed timber deck, made from solid wood and either oiled or lacquered, will last far longer than a poorly built, maintained one. But no timber decking will last forever. Some periodical services will be required.

If the surface of your timber decking is showing signs of wear if water soaks into the wood rather than runs off the surface, or if the planks start to buckle, then it is time to have the surface sanded. The underlying wood of most timber decks is usually quite sound. Re-sanding the surface gives the outdoor decking a new lease on life. If the oil or top coating is good a timber deck can be re-sanded about once per decade to provide a lifetime of reliable service.

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SK Flooring can sand back the surface of your timber decking and bring it to the condition it was in when newly installed. We can also repair any damaged boards before re-coating or re-oiling the timber, allowing your timber decking to last for many years to come.

1. How long before you can walk on sanded floors?

Most residential grade finishes require 3 days of drying time before any foot traffic is possible whether it be solvent-based or water-based. However, this is based on a specific condition of 25°C and less than 50% humidity. Under extremely moist and cold conditions the finish would need 1-2 days extra drying time. Furthermore, the drying time is only for the foot traffic and it differs in nature from full cure time/full oxidation period.

Full cure time - generally acknowledged as the earliest date furniture can be placed -  is one full week. 

Full oxidation period - generally regarded as the earliest date colour imperfections would settle - can range from 3 months to 6 months and has much greater variance between the types of timber and coating finishes.

2. How many times can a floor be sanded?

Given the existing level is in good shape, we usually sand 0.5mm ~ 1mm timber off the top of the floor boards and most timber floors have a good 5-7mm top composition above the tongue and groove system. Hence, the maximum number of sanding possible on a newly laid down levelled timber floor would be 5-6 times, although it is always best to enquire sanders to inspect the floor for the possibility and affordability of sanding & polishing beforehand.

3. How do you prepare for floor sanding?

Preparation for floor sanding can be quite tiresome as you would need to remove furniture and cover up your valuables against the dust that sanding machines produce. Just keep in mind that no one can walk on the floor during the fine sanding process and polishing stage, and a further 3-4 days of drying time afterwards. It's always a good idea to make a list of things that you would need for a few days which you would have no access to the floors. Sometimes, there can be timber boards which require repairs prior to the sanding but this will be detailed out at the time of inspection for the quote.

4. How do I know if my floor can be sanded?

Laminated floors and hybrid floors cannot be sanded. However, engineered boards and solid timbers can be sanded. Floating floors such as bamboo and pre-finished timber are most likely able to be sanded. Please take a good photo and send it to our team and we are happy to let you know the sandability of the timber floor you have!

5. How often do wood floors need refinishing?

Refinishing - applying another final finish of the same coating over the existing timber floor in order to rejuvenate the look and cover up minor scratches - are generally not recommended to start with. You might still end up with some scratches and cope up with the chances of rejection. Refinishing is highly recommended for wax-based coatings only. The process of refinishing is a simple but thorough polishing using a buffing machine and a clean-up before one layer of the same finish.

However if you look to give a full sanding and a new set of coatings then roughly,

5 years - if you wear work boots/high heels often inside the house

10 years - if you mostly wear soft shoes/always keep the floor dry

15 years - if you only wear indoor soft shoes/always maintain the floor using adequate floor cleaning products/keep pets with claws away

20+ years - if you only wear socks or no shoes indoors/always clean the floor using special floor cleaning products recommended by the professionals/keep the timber away from UV lights and pets with claws

6. Should I refinish my own floors?

In case of exterior decking, it is highly recommended that you refinish the deck using the same finish. Leave the hard and tedious sanding process to the sanders and save money by applying the coatings yourself. However, refinishing interior timber floors can be more difficult because they often require a thorough buffing before a coating can be applied. Don't worry if you mess up though, we can always fully sand the floor for you when it comes down to the worst.

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