Parquet floor sanding tips would be incomplete without mentioning that homeowners can save a lot of money by doing this task themselves. As with almost any home improvement job, careful preparation is key, as well as using safety equipment. Allowing enough time to get the job done is also essential.
Don Safety Equipment
Before beginning any maintenance, be sure to wear the appropriate safety equipment. Since there will be much sanding and dust, be sure to use an adequate respirator mask. Use ear plugs to protect against the constant noise of electric sanding machines, and goggles to protect the eyes. Wear gloves to protect hands from machinery, cuts and chemicals. Protect nearby furniture with adequate drop cloths.
Preparation Is Job One
Returning parquet flooring to an original, newly finished look begins with careful inspection of what the floor needs. Careful attention to noticeable blemishes, scuff marks and scratches should be attended to first. Begin by meticulously removing deep scratches, or marks with rough 60 to 80 grit sandpaper. Work up to a finer 220 grit. This can be done with either an electrical hand sander, or a block of wood to which the sandpaper is attached.
Once all the major scratches and marks have been removed from the parquet floor, a larger orbital sander can be used to evenly sand bigger areas. Care should be taken to move the commercial sanding machine in an even series of sweeps across the floor to provide a uniform sanding of the entire floor. This too, can be started with a smoother grade of sandpaper, perhaps 100 to 150 grit, and finished with a finer 220 grit.
Clean up and Move On
When all the sanding is finished, it will be time to clean up before moving on to applying the final finish and waxing. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove all dust from the area. It is also suggested vacuuming nearby areas as well as workmen’s clothing before proceeding further. After all the dust is removed from the flooring, with a clean cloth soaked in mineral spirits (odorless variety is recommended) carefully wipe all areas of the flooring to insure it is clean and free from lingering dust and dirt.
Several Coats Are Better than One
Whether applying polyurethane, acrylic or varnish, sealant layers should be applied thinly and allowed to dry thoroughly between applications. After each coat is applied, a light sanding should be done to provide a better bonding surface for the next layer of sealant. Wipe the flooring after each sanding with a cloth soaked in mineral spirits. Three to five coats of sealant should be applied for maximum protection, more if desired or if flooring is older and needs greater protection.
Apply Final Coat of Hard Wax
When floor sealant has thoroughly dried, apply a generous final coat of a hard floor wax. Buff this out with a clean dry cloth, or using a commercial buffer. Buff the floor evenly. Apply as many coats of hard floor wax as is necessary to bring the parquet flooring to a bright, protective sheen.