Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Floor Sanding

The beautiful hardwood flooring throughout our home was one of the reasons we purchased it. Having timber floors has been a dream of mine after years of mouldy/flea ridden/glass riddled/hairy carpeted rental homes. We gained access to the property before settlement in order to do a bit of a clean up. One of these tasks was to remove the carpet and sand the floors before we moved in. 

The not-so-beautiful carpet above is what we had to work with. It was ripped, stained and best of all, smelt like dogs. It wasn't tacked down very hard so the initial carpet removal process was the easiest part of the whole process. The carpet ran through from the living/dining space, down the hall, and one of the bedrooms (the office room) was carpeted also. Two bedrooms were already polished floors, but were a high gloss varnish and a mahogony stain, which we didn't really like.

Once the carpet came up we realised we were dealing with a MDF covering over the dining (and kitchen once we ripped the lino up) floor. This took a little more muscle power to remove than the carpet but was a relatively easy job.

Prepping the floors for sanding was honestly the most time consuming and difficult process we faced during the whole sanding experience. The hard work wasn't made any easier by a severe heat wave, that saw temperatures reaching the low 40's and sweat beading from our brows. We each took a skateboard and worked our way across every inch of floor, removing the boarding that the carpet was tacked too, and pulling each and every nail and staple out of the floor. The MDF in the kitchen and dining room was tacked down with thousands of ridicuoulsy small staples which our removers were too big for. With some creative use of a screwdriver and a hammer they were painstakingly removed at half the pace of the regular staples.

Once all theses extras were removed each flooring nail had to be punched into the floor to ensure they didn't tear sanding pads as layers were stripped off the timber during the sanding process. Lucky for us my parents (DIY floor sanders from way back) came to visit and lend a hand. So each of them grabbed a hammer and assisted in this process.

We hired a floor sander and an edge sander from Bunnings for two days, and worked solidly taking layers of old flooring off (starting on a course grit and working up to a fine one), until the floors were at our desired consistency. The edge sander was back breaking work and a little difficult to get an even finish with. We had to use mouse sanders for the tricky corner areas as the large sanders just would't fit.

Some areas of the floor (the edges and corners) look a little 'rustic' and DIY but we are overall quite happy for our first ever floor sanding attempt. I never thought I would know a floor as well as I know this one. I have seen every plank of flooring SO many times over I feel I could draw a picture of it with my eyes closed.

Once the sanding was finished we coated the floors with two coats of Cabots CFP Floor. This product was selected for its water based clean up, low odour, and fast drying time. We wanted a low sheen finish and the natural wood to shine through.

Normally you would mix some sanding dust with the CFP and use it to fill the nail holes. My man and I decided we liked the 'industrial' look of the exposed nail holes and decided to keep them to theme in with the rest of our decorating.

The supervisor was kicked out for the polishing process. He isn't really that impressed with being outside, or the fact that his doggy door is a little undersized.

A few days later we we finished the move and the dreadlocked removal crew (my man and one of my good friends) cooked our very first BBQ for our very first night in the new house. Following on from past moves, the first meal is eaten on a cardboard box table!

The most exciting part for me was getting to read the RUSSH magazine that I had bought prior to the move and hadn't yet had a chance to read. So I sat on my thai cushion, on my floor and spent an hour devouring every page with a nice cup of green tea.

First pic credit here

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