Table of contents:
- Sanding parquet: the preparation
- Rent the parquet sanding machine at the hardware store
- Coarse sanding removes sealing, slight dents and stains
- Sand the parquet: the intermediate sanding
- Fine sanding is done with a small grain
- Seal the parquet with varnish
- Seal the parquet with oil and wax
- Protect parquet floors from new damage
- Restoring parquet: that's why the effort is worth it
Video: Sanding parquet: Instructions for do-it-yourselfers
Parquet, wooden planks and other solid wood flooring can be easily restored by sanding and then re-sealing. With these instructions, this is also no problem for skillful DIY enthusiasts.
Noble solid wood and parquet floors stand for cosiness, are characterized by durability and give your own four walls an elegant look. From time to time, however, it is advisable to sand down and re-seal the parquet - as it gets old, it loses its shine, becomes stained and may also show some dents. The good news: Solid wood parquet can be restored with manageable effort - and almost any number of times.
Laying new parquet is time-consuming and expensive. The better solution: just sand off the old parquet when it is getting old and then reseal it. In the course of the restoration, you can also repair minor damage such as cracks and dents in the parquet - after sanding and sealing the wooden floor, they are hardly noticeable. All you have to do is make a few preparations and carefully follow the individual steps in this step-by-step guide so that the parquet is not damaged in the course of the “makeover”.
Parquet with slight signs of wear is usually a real eye-catcher after three sanding cycles. About five sanding cycles are necessary if the ravages of time have already left considerable traces on the floor. Either way, it's worth the effort, because in the end, the work will be rewarded with a flawless wooden floor that enhances the entire room.
Sanding parquet: the preparation
Before you can start, you have to remove the furniture from the room. Bulky furniture - for example a massive wall unit - can also stay in place if necessary. However, you should cover it completely with paint film so that no sanding dust gets into the cracks. In addition, the base area with glued cardboard strips must be protected against rejection by the parquet sanding machine. It is best to wrap the ceiling and wall lights in foil and remove all curtains and drapes. If the room is cleared as best as possible, do-it-yourselfers remove the baseboards using a hammer and a small chisel. Pull out protruding nails. In order to create not only a free, but also a clean work surface, the parquet must be thoroughly cleaned again. After that, however, the vacuum cleaner should not disappear into the depths of the utility room - it will be used even more frequently in the course of the project.
A lot of dust is created when sanding. To prevent it from getting stuck in furniture and cracks, you should clear out the room to be sanded before work.
Photo: iStock / bagi1998
Rent the parquet sanding machine at the hardware store
If you want to sand your parquet, you should always get a good parquet sanding machine. Since it is hardly worth buying a professional device for one-time use, it is best to borrow it from the hardware store. Important: Have it reserved a few weeks in advance for the weekend on which the parquet renovation is planned. Do not make the mistake of sanding the parquet with a small belt sander: this is extremely tedious and the result will disappoint you, because it is hardly possible to smooth the surface.
Let the distributor give you a thorough introduction to the parquet sanding machine. Finally, there are a few basic rules to be followed when using the device. For example, the grinding machine should always be guided quietly over the wooden floor. The sanding rollers may only be placed on the parquet or floorboard when they have reached their full speed. You should definitely avoid lowering while standing, instead the grinding rollers are only lowered when the machine is slightly propelled. In this way you prevent the formation of grooves on the floor. For the same reason, it is also important to lift the grinding rollers in a forward motion at the end of a grinding cycle.
The sandpaper required is divided into different grits: starting with 24 and 36 for rough sanding, over 60 for intermediate sanding up to 100 and 120 for fine sanding. As soon as the sandpaper is used, the room should be well ventilated, because a certain amount of dust development is inevitable in the project. Be sure to wear a P3 filter mask even when sanding your parquet. Good grinding machines collect most of the grinding dust in a bag, but a certain amount always escapes into the environment. Safety glasses and hearing protection are also highly recommended when sanding parquet floors.
It is hardly worth buying a parquet sanding machine because of one-off restoration work. Better borrow one at the hardware store.
Photo: iStock / fotokostic
Coarse sanding removes sealing, slight dents and stains
When the preparations are complete and the tool is ready, it's time for the first grinding step. For coarse sanding, use sanding paper with 24 and 36 grit. Guide the machine diagonally to the grain over the parquet. The following applies: The more uneven and stained the wooden floor, the coarser the cut and the smaller the grain number. The aim of the coarse sanding is to remove dirt and flat dents that have penetrated the wood, and at the same time to remove the residues of the old sealant - either paint or oil and wax. Attention: The sanding dust is easily flammable! Do not operate the light switches during the grinding work and do not smoke during work. The resulting sanding dust should best be disposed of in a metal container on the balcony. You should also leave the windows open when sanding.
Sand the parquet: the intermediate sanding
After you have removed the coarse sanding dust and sandpaper residues from the parquet with the vacuum cleaner, the intermediate sanding follows. Depending on the condition of the wood covering, it is carried out in several passes. The choice of sandpaper now falls on a 60 grit. In this way, you can compensate for scratches and slight unevenness in the parquet floor that arose during rough grinding. Use the laying pattern of the parquet as a guide: With a so-called cube parquet or mosaic parquet, it is important to proceed diagonally to the grain from left to right. In the case of a herringbone parquet, the grain must be worked in diagonal paths. If you want to give a strip parquet a new shine, you should sand along the grain and be careful to guide the sanding machine at an angle of about 7 to 15 degrees to the wood grain.
The corners and areas near the edge of the room are difficult or impossible to reach with the conventional parquet sanding machine. Use special angle grinders and grind these areas in circular movements and without additional pressure. Sandpaper with a size of 40 is used here.
If over the years, heavy furniture or working the wood has caused cracks in the parquet or wooden flooring, these can be repaired with a little wood putty or parquet joint solution. The latter is simply mixed with a little grinding dust. Press the mass into the cracks with a spatula and cleanly remove the remains on the surface. The solution usually takes about 45 minutes to dry. Thorough vacuuming then ensures a clean work surface.
Fine sanding is done with a small grain
The final sanding step - also called final sanding - ensures that the parquet becomes absolutely smooth and looks new again. A 100 or even 120 grit is used for this. This also applies to the edge and corners. If you now grind parallel to the incidence of light, you are doing everything correctly. The room is then cleaned again with the vacuum cleaner.
Seal the parquet with varnish
Now it is time to seal the parquet in order to give the open-pore wood flooring the necessary resistance to stains and dirt. There are different variants to choose from. One option is the popular, because mostly very low-pollutant and odorless, sealing with special parquet lacquer. Make sure that the room temperature is below 25 degrees so that the paint does not dry too quickly. Too intense solar radiation can also have a negative impact on the end result. Do-it-yourselfers should choose a day when there are some clouds in the sky for this activity or darken the windows as a precaution.
First, a primer is applied so that the pores on the parquet floor close. It is best to start in one of the two corners opposite the door and proceed in such a way that areas that have already been primed no longer have to be entered. The treated parquet should now dry between two and four hours. Then the primer is sanded by hand using a sanding block or an orbital sander with 120 grit. This is necessary because the primer causes the wood to swell, making it somewhat rough again.
After vacuuming off the fine sanding dust, the parquet varnish is applied, which usually has a drying time of 24 hours. Attention: The parquet must be protected from direct sunlight in order to prevent the formation of bubbles on the surface. The parquet or wood floor varnish is applied in a uniform brushing motion with a brush or a lint-free paint roller. The next day is the second shift. Before that, the parquet needs to be sanded and vacuumed off again, as after priming. For wooden floors that are already getting old, it is advisable to paint the parquet a third time. The floor can already be walked on the day after the second coat of paint has been applied, but you should wait around 14 days before cleaning the parquet with a damp cloth - only then will the paint be fully hardened and hard-wearing.
Freshly sanded parquet must be sealed. This is the only way to give the open-pore wood covering the necessary resistance to stains and dirt.
Seal the parquet with oil and wax
Sealing can also be achieved with oil and, if necessary, wax, whereby non-hardening oil does not reliably seal the wood. Rather, it forms an open-pore protective film on the wooden surface, which is only completed by sealing with wax. The oil is applied with a rag in at least two passes. It has a drying time of at least one day. Finally, the non-hardening oils are sealed with wax, which is available in both liquid and solid form.
Protect parquet floors from new damage
So that the freshly restored parquet floor stays beautiful for a long time, you should observe a few important basic rules:
- Do not push heavy furniture over the surface.
- Glue felt gliders under all chair and table legs.
- You should place a protective mat made of plastic under office chairs with casters.
- When watering flowers, make sure that no puddles of water remain on the parquet floor.
- Lay out a simple carpet under the dining table as parquet protection.
- Avoid stepping on the floor with heavily soiled street shoes - especially coarse-grained sand permanently dulls the surface.
- Reseal oiled and waxed parquet about every five years.
Restoring parquet: that's why the effort is worth it
Parquet has one major advantage over vinyl or laminate: their lifespan is almost unlimited, as they can be restored again and again if necessary. For this reason, they are also referred to as "permanent floor coverings". When restoring, less than a millimeter of material is usually removed. The solid wood layer usually has a thickness of 2.5 to 6 millimeters in the inexpensive multi-layer parquet. In solid wood parquet, it is even 20 millimeters thick.
As you can see, the “Sanding parquet flooring” project involves a lot of effort, but in the end the floor covering shines again in new splendor and is ideally prepared for intensive use in the coming years.
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