Sanding The Floor Prior to Screeding

Sanding Machines

A large area can be smoothed down with a hired sanding machine. The machine has a bag to collect the dust and various grades of sanding sheets are supplied with it.

Preparation of the area before sanding is important; check that all the floorboards are secure, and punch down any nail heads and remove tacks or remnants of floor covering.

A floor sander will remove varnish, old paint, stains, grease and dirt from any type of wood.

If, however, the floor has a very thick paint covering, remove this with a proprietary stripper and scraper. Thick paint will clog the sanding discs and be rubbed back into the wood.

Using a coarse abrasive sheet on the sanding drum, first work diagonally one way across the room, and in both directions, if necessary. Change to a medium or fine abrasive sheet and smooth the floor in the direction of the floorboards. Between each sanding operation, sweep the floor clean.

Use an orbital sander, a drill attachment with a sanding disc or a hired edge sander for awkward corners and near skirtings. Rub down small difficult areas with medium glass-paper wrapped over a block of wood. Once the surface is completely stripped and dust free, apply clear polyurethane varnish, stain or a sealant to choice.

Sometimes it may be necessary to lay a screed where a suspended floor has been removed or where an old screed has been hacked out. When laying a screed in place of a suspended floor, ensure that there is adequate underfloor ventilation for remaining rooms with suspended floors.

Damp-proof membranes

Before rescreeding, lay either a bituminous liquid or 500-gauge polythene damp-proof membrane. In plastered rooms chip away the bottom few millimetres to expose the damp-course. The membrane must join or be cut into this.

A bituminous membrane is usually applied in two coats with a stiff broom. The first coat is diluted by some 25 per cent water, to make it easier to spread and ensure that the liquid flows in to all corners and crevices. Sweep the coating up the wall so that it finishes above the level of the DPC. Splashes can be wiped off plaster.

Allow the first coat to dry and apply a neat coat about 24 hours later and leave the floor for several days. Any traffic at this stage should be over temporary boards as the bitumen coat will lift if walked on.

10. November 2011 by admin
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