In this case study, our team carry out a full restoration sand & refinish on Victorian-era uneven floorboards with a dated “orange” varnish.

Let’s take a look at what the team achieved…

The Green Man wood floor sanding kit

Professional dustless wood floor sanding will always commence with a detailed site survey. As a rule of thumb, the older the property, the more chance there is that wooden flooring will have warped and expanded. There is also a much greater chance that we will find areas of damage from historic overlaying of carpets, impacts from accidents and discolouration from water ingress.

Irregularities across floorboards will mean a job is likely to take longer and include a broader variety of wood floor repairs, such as wood filing and floorboard replacement. On this job, the main issue was that various floorboards had been replaced over the years. We discussed the likely consequences with the owner, who was happy to proceed.

Choosing the right type of finish for a sanded wood floor –

Applying sample oil finishes to pine floorboards
Choosing oil finishes for a pine wood floor

When one of our team makes a site visit to carry out a (free) survey of your wooden floor, this is often the time to discuss how your would like your floor to look after the wood has been sanded. By applying either lacquer (varnish) or wood oils, you floor will be protected and can have either a natural looking finish, or a completely different colour and a glossy sheen. There is a huge range of options and it is well worth doing your own research into this in advance, so that you begin the process armed with some ideas.

In this case, our customer had decided that a coloured hard wax oil should be applied. We recommended Fiddes Hard Wax Oil, and narrowed down the likely colours to: Whiskey, Walnut, Dark Oak & English. In the image above, you can see our technician Tom has sanded back a small section of floorboard and applied the four samples. This is carried out at the beginning of a job or before the job, so that there is sufficient time to decide on (and order!) the desired finish.

Dustless belt-sanding

Using the Pallman belt sander

We use a Pallman Cobra Classic belt sanding machine to ensure a high quality finish whilst maintaining a clean, virtually dustless working environment. This is the tool we use to remove all signs of previous finishes and to ensure floorboards are level.

Edging

The belt sander will get the majority of a wooden floor sanded back, but won’t reach into the edges of a room. This is where an edge sander is used. We use a Pallman Edge Sander paired with a high power, filtering vacuum to ensure minimal dust…

The video demonstrates the power of the edging sander, as well as its ability to reach right up to skirting boards. This particular model has in-built lights which are important in helping our team deliver a high quality finish.

Finishing touches

On most wood jobs, we use our Bona Flexisand as a final sanding machine. It works with 4 independently rotating sanding discs to create a flawless final finish.

Achieving a fine finish on pine floorboards using Bona Flexisand
Achieving a fine finish on pine floorboards using Bona Flexisand

Although some sanding companies use these machines, not all do. They have a particular benefit when it comes to parquet wood floor types, but benefit all wood floor sanding in achieving a high quality finish.

While the belt & edge sanders will achieve a level floor and take the wood back to its raw state, neither machine could be described as subtle. For oiled finishes, the professional sander needs a machine with a circular or orbital motion to ensure that any marks from the initial heavy sanding can be removed. Oils will sharply define both the grain of the wood, as well as imperfections and scratches caused by the sanding process.

Applying Hard Wax Oil to the pine floorboards

Once all the sanding was completed and the floor completely dust-free, it was time to apply the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil. Our client had selected Walnut as the preferred finish.

This was carefully applied by hand using lint-free cloths.

Sometimes, this is a process that can be done using our machinery. However, in this instance, manual application was specified owing to the gaps in the floorboards.

In the image opposite, you can see how striking the effect of a tinted oil can be. Modern wax-based oils can be either clear or stained and with a range of finishes from matt to gloss.

From the manufacturer’s website:

Fiddes Hard Wax Oil is a blend of natural oils & waxes offering exceptional durability & resistance for internal natural wood flooring, kitchen worktops (wood) and areas subjected to a high degree of wear.

One of the key benefits of oiling a wooden floor is that it can be cleaned and refinished without re-sanding. This is definitely worth considering if you want a modern, natural looking floor that will need to withstand high traffic, or pets, or children!

Walnut Fiddes Hard Wax Oil on Victorian pine floorboards
Walnut Fiddes Hard Wax Oil on Victorian pine floorboards

If you are considering renovating your wood flooring and would like to organise a free survey, please use our contact page and we will get in touch.

At present, our team are offering a dustless wood floor sanding service in Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham & Gloucester.

Thank you for reading!

Leave a comment

BATH

2 Oxford Terrace
Tyning Road
Combe Down
Bath
BA2 5HH
Open 8.30am – 6.00pm

BRISTOL

25 Selworthy Rd
Knowle
Bristol
BS4 2LF
Open 8.30am – 6.00pm

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

23 Carters Orchard
Quedgeley
Gloucestershire
GL2 4WB
Open 8.30am – 6.00pm

WILTSHIRE

10 Shepherds Breach
Tyning Road
Swindon
SN4 8BE
Open 8.30am – 6.00pm