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Avoid Scratches & Stay Polished

Many London flooring contractors have asked this question facing the same difficulties – how to avoid scratches and colour variations when using oils and stains? So, in this article, we will talk about the ways to avoid these situations during the process. A reputable London flooring company says that there are different aspects of floor sanding that may affect the end results.

  • The machinery used, the quality of the abrasives and the type of treatment which is applied after the process are significant factors that influence the quality of the sanded floor. When timber London flooring is sanded, different types of machines and abrasive grit sizes may be used – however, if the surface is treated with lacquer after that, most of the variations will vanish. Yet, the colour variations will be harsh when a penetrative treatment, such as “Danish” stain or an oil, is applied. The reduces texture of the places where the more effective sanding has appeared will use less of the treatment. What does that mean? The central part of the London flooring will be darker than the “frame” of the space. London flooring specialists say that this can be avoided by using a finishing sander – it will provide a more consistent texture and a more even colour.
  • Other commonly reported flaws are visible scratches, swirl marks and unsatisfactory intensity of colour. In such cases, London flooring professionals point out that the abrasives should be further considered for the end finishing sanding. For example, if we start with a new sanding screen on the rotary buffing machine, its sharpness may result in highly visible scratches. For that reason, London flooring experts recommend the use of worn screens – the sanding effect is decreased and they start having a polishing effect so the result will be a lighter colouration. This can be effective but of course it comes with a downside – a decreased intensity of colour. However, Swedish professionals use a technique called “water popping” – what is it all about?
  • The process is simple – technicians wet the timber surface using a flat mop or a roller. The whole surface must be wetted as any missed spots may be very visible when the treatment is applied. London flooring experts explain that water will raise the grain of the timber – the fibres will swell. Therefore, a coarser texture will be formed so the oil/ stain will penetrate better resulting in more intense darker colour. An important factor is to let the surface dry completely before applying the treatment.
  • Diamond grit abrasives can be developed to be used with a rotary buffing machine. They are thin and flexible and have a woven backing – this allows them to follow the outlines of London flooring. These abrasives are available in standard grit sizes – 80, 20, 240 – and the grit is within the woven backing. It remains sharp and allows continuous abrasion without polishing – this ensures that the colour intensity won`t be reduced.
  • London flooring specialists summarise that the impeccable sanding includes the correct mix of abrasives and machinery. Ceramic abrasives grit 50 should be used for a coarse sanding to remove existing finishes. The process can be made using a belt-sander as this is the fastest way to take flooring back to bare wood. For a “medium” sanding the best you can do is to choose dedicated wood floor sanding abrasives – they consist of two materials – silicon carbide and zirconia. Grit 60, 100 and 120 are recommended when a stain or oil is to be used – the grits are used with the powered multi-head drive plate on the buffer. This way of using the buffer is simple and provides better control of timber removal as well as avoids sanding defects. The final sanding has to be made with an unpowered multi-disc drive plate – the abrasion is less eager and will achieve a greater outcome. Use grit 120 for that purpose.

Now that you know how to handle such these sanding issues, you can be positive that you will achieve free of scratches uniform colouration!

Inspired by www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk