Floor sanding

JavachikApril 8, 2013

I am installing unfinished red oak tongue-and-groove flooring on my 40x40-inch stair landing.

Which/how many grits of sandpaper will I need?

What are the cons of sanding the wood prior to installation? Trying to avoid the sanding mess inside for such a small job.

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HandyMac

No way to get the pieces even and level if sanded before installation.

Start with 50 grit on a random orbit sander. Then 80, 100, 120, 150, and 180/200 for the last sanding.

For that small area, rig a shop vac hose connection and use a sander that has a dust bag. Just hook the vac hose instead of the bag. You will need to use sandpaper that has holes in it to match the holes in the sander pad.

This post was edited by handymac on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 12:04

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:02PM
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brickeyee

A vibrating sander (no orbiting action) for the last few passes with the grain of the wood will leave a better finish.

That is actually a small enough area to consider a final pass by hand with a sanding block.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Javachik

Drat! I was hoping against hope to do it outside. Thirteen measly boards..no butt seams to worry about. I'll get over it.

Thanks so much for the detailed info!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:27PM
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weedyacres

Well, you could biscuit joint the whole thing together into a single landing piece, then finish it outside and give it a few face nails to hold in place.

But methinks all the biscuit joining would take you longer than cleaning up the dust.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:46PM
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Javachik

weedy - Since I have no router, me-also-thinks that won't happen. Double drat. Preparing to bite the bullet.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 4:54AM
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brickeyee

"Well, you could biscuit joint the whole thing together"

The 'panel' would now move as a very large board and require large expansion gaps on the two sides parallel to the strips.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 11:09AM
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Javachik

Yep! Have accepted sanding after laying the flooring, which I hope will be done this weekend!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:25AM
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brickeyee

It is not all that bad if you use some plastic sheeting sealed with painter's tape to isolate the area.

Make SURE you cover any HVAC vents completely in the sanding zone, and turning things off in the adjacent rooms is extra insurance against ay dust leaks.

Be sure to wear a decent dust mask with an exhale valve.

Dust collection on a dander is rarely anything like 100% and you are going to be in a closed area making the dust.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 12:21PM
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tashasilvester

The main reason to sand a floor is to give beauty to a renewable resource that can usually be repaired instead of replaced. Always inspect, repair and clean each floor prior to sanding.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Javachik

brickeyee - Thx for the warning about the hvac vents! Plastic sheeting is more difficult because the upper stairwell is all open 2 floors. I can and will put plastic at the bottom so the first floor is spared a bit. I have a great dust mask, too. Thx!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:48PM
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brickeyee

Open stairwells can be hard to seal off, but floor to ceiling sheets or even a sheet from the floor of one level to the stairwell wall opposite goes a long way.

ZipWall makes some nice spring loaded poles to hold up plastic, and even re-usable plastic doors with zippers.

you may have to seal the stairs at top and bottom and them clean the whole area when done, but it still beats having to clean the whole house.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 11:21AM
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