How to Buffer a Hardwood Floor
Despite your taking all the measures like cleaning, weeping and waxing to keep them shining, hardwood floors are sure to lose their shine over a period of time. Nevertheless, the appearance of a few nicks and cuts here or there on the floor doesn’t call for a replacement of the whole floor. That will be a very expensive and time-consuming option.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money to replace your worn scratched hardwood flooring, then buffing is an exceptionally excellent approach to restore the beauty of your floors rather than revamping the whole floor. Buffing is the final stage in any expert refinishing task, yet it can likewise be performed as a lone procedure to renew the sparkle of a dull, dead hardwood floor. (Looking to Buy a Floor Buffer? Know the difference between a buffer and burnisher.)
However, you should note that buffing is not the best solution under certain circumstances. If the floor is badly damaged the buffer can’t be expected to bring the true original shine and looks back. Buffing does take good care of petty flaws like small gaps, minor scratches, and gouges and slight wearing off of boards. Otherwise called the “screen and recoat” technique, buffing a hardwood floor won’t get rid of deeply etched scratches and substantial harm. A chipped, discolored or peeling floor ought to be sanded and totally restored whereas a dull floor for the most part showing only surface scratches and ordinary wear ought to be fixed by merely buffing and re-coating it.
Buffing hardwood floors is a potentially good way of getting partially refinished floors. Buffing is also helpful in removing the old existing finish quickly, thus enabling the floor to accept the new finish effectively.
ADVANTAGES OF BUFFING A HARDWOOD FLOOR
The main advantage of buffing a hardwood floor is that it is the easiest way to restore the floor damage caused by regular use, especially furniture and pet claws. A fair few property owners, in a bid to dodge the cost and disturbance of refinishing, now spend time to learn how to appropriately buff and re-coat their hardwood floors themselves.
If properly done, your floors will have a sparkling new look in no time, increasing both the beauty and value of your home.
TOOLS NEEDED FOR BUFFING A HARDWOOD FLOOR
BASIC FLOOR BUFFING SUPPLIES
When starting out, common cleaning supplies, for example:
- a mop,
- a good hardwood floor vacuum,
- sweeper ,
- a cleaning solution,
- an unscented mineral spirit (to get rid of oil-or wax-based coatings),
- Sand Pad
- a dust mask
- a dust collector or some fans
- a floor buffer,
- the screen and its matching pad,
- the floor finish,
- an applicator.
THE RIGHT FLOOR BUFFER
Floor buffers are machines built specifically for buffing hardwood floors. There are low-speed and high-speed floor buffers.
High-speed machines are often referred to as “floor burnishers” and are the machines intended for real buffing and polishing of hardwood floor, while their counterpart, the low-speed buffers, simply provide additional support for ordinary cleaning tasks. A common mistake people make is confusing Floor Buffers with Floor Scrubbers. Make sure you dont make the same mistake!
The high-speed buffer machines come in either electric or battery-powered engines.
THE RIGHT ATTACHMENTS
Together with the buffer, it is important to purchase the appropriate screens or buffing pads. Contingent upon the state of the floor, different sizes will be needed. The Medium 100 grit sanding pads is capable of getting rid of most surface scratches, while a fine, 120 or 150 grit pads will get the floor ready for polish application.
THE FINISHING PRODUCT
Choosing the appropriate hardwood floor finish is much more complicated than picking a buffer and pads. There are various sorts of finishes on the market, counting urethane polishes, high-gloss floor polishes and multipurpose floor buffer and finish restorer products.
Finishing products containing oil won’t hold fast to a water-based finish, for example, polyurethane. Be that as it may, numerous water-based finishes will hold fast to an existing finish, even polyurethane, so it is a smart plan to utilize one if the existing floor finish is not known. if you are planning on using wax, then make sure you pick the right hardwood floor wax.
You should test the finish by coating an obscure part of the floor with a little finish, allow it to dry and then check to see if it’s similar.
GETTING THE BEST RESULTS BUFFING HARDWOOD FLOORS
GET ALL YOUR PREP-WORK OUT OF THE WAY
Prior to starting a buffing procedure and re-coating your hardwood floor, it is important to get the floor ready for buffing. The initial phase of getting the floor ready necessitates figuring out what sort of finish and coatings are already on the floor.
REMOVE OLD FINISHES
Prior to buffing and recoating a wood floor, it is necessary you know what was previously laid on it. If any oily compounds and waxes and present, it will hinder the bonding of a few finishes. These products which are oil-based should be gotten rid of using low-odor mineral spirits prior to buffing the floor.
Inevitably, manufacturers modified their strategies and started applying the aluminum oxide beneath different sorts of finishes that can be easily buffed; it is prudent to get in touch with the maker to know the particular kind of finish you are dealing with.
KEEP IT CLEAN AND KEEP IT TIDY
When you’ve known the kind of finish, completely clean and mop the wood floor to evacuate all accumulated debris and dust. Additionally clean the baseboards and all gaps and ensure all hints of oil-based chemicals are completely gone.
Next, use some decent hardwood floor cleaner to wipe the floor then allow it to dry completely.
DONT FORGET NAILS AND SCREWS!
You have to make sure that you check the floor very carefully. try and flush all the nails by driving them in, tighten any screws, and if you had any carpets, check for staples and or other fasteners.
Any one of these could rip the paper on your sander if you are using a floor sander.
STEPS BY STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO BUFF A HARDWOOD FLOOR
After clearing the room and cleaning the floor, you are now ready to buff. Adopt the steps listed below in order to accomplish excellent results while buffing a hardwood floor.
STEP 1: GET ALL MATERIALS TOGETHER
Ensure every single material needed has been acquired. These are the buffer and the buffing and polishing pads, a vacuum for getting rid of accumulated dust particles and some kind of floor finish applicator, a big paint tray, and the polish to be used.
Mount the screens and buffing pad on the buffer. The least demanding approach to achieve this is to put the buffing pad on the buffer, and after that mount the screen on the base of the buffing pad.
This is very important step – you are aiming to create a gentle abrasion on the floor surface to evenly smooth it out. Try and not go over the same area twice and keep a very gentle stable motion that is consistent in pressure and angle.
Change the pad when it’s used up.
You should really wear a dust mask through out as the volume of dust that will be kicked up isn’t ideal for you to inhale.
STEP 3: USE YOUR HANDS WHEN NECESSARY
The angles close to the walls should be roughened using your hands, because normally floor buffers are quite massive, making it impossible to reach such angles without causing any harm.
A drywall sanding pad together with a 150 grit screen functions admirably for such places. Use a 2-inch masking tape to tape-off the baseboards before you begin so as not to scratch them.
Alternatively use a smaller floor sander (power hand sander).
STEP 4: GET RID OF ALL THE DUST
When the whole floor finish has been scraped off, vacuum the room once more to get rid of every speck of dust. Also vacuum the window ledges, walls and baseboards, then utilize a clean, moist fabric to wipe off the rest of the dust and leave the floor to dry completely.
STEP 5: APPLY YOUR CHOSEN FLOOR FINISH
Prepare the finish, empty it into the paint tray, and immediately all the air bubbles have settled, dunk the applicator into the finish and coat the floor, following the boards’ grain.
Apply in long strokes and keep at it until the whole floor is covered. Abstain from applying too much or too little finish. Two light layers are better than applying just one thick layer.
STEP 6: LEAVE THE HARDWOOD FLOOR TO DRY
In case it’s conceivable, ventilate the space to accelerate the drying process and get rid of strong odors. Allow the floor to be completely dry before stepping on it or placing your furniture once more in the room.
FINISHED – ENJOY YOUR BUFFED HARDWOOD FLOOR!
Hardwood floors with minor damages can usually be refurbished easily rather than restored. The technique of buffing and recoating a hardwood floor can enormously enhance the facade of a worn out hardwood floor without the cost and exertion that restoring requires.
By buffing a hardwood floor, you can increase the floor’s life if done consistently every couple of years. Property owners who choose to buff and recoat their faded, scratched hardwood floors won’t just spare cash, but will also enhance the value and beauty of their homes.