When do you replace wooden floors

Sand down the wooden floor and reseal

Sand down wooden floors and reseal them: this is how old planks and parquet can be beautiful again in just a few steps

Old plank and parquet floors are often in a sad state: worn, dirty, gray, crooked, splintered and generally unsightly. Often there are residues of various coatings on the wood surface, such as wax, floor paint or varnish. Has the wooden floor been pasted over in the meantime, e.g. If you use linoleum or carpeting, for example, you must also remove adhesive residue. The more worn the floor was, the more stubborn - because adhesive naturally adheres particularly well to a raw, rough and cracked wooden surface.

Fortunately that is Renovating an old wooden floor much easier and much faster than many think. With the right machines, tools and materials, it's not a problem. Here we tell you how to get the old wood beautiful again in just a few steps. If you do it well, you will enjoy your work and the result will make you happy.

Note: If walls and / or ceilings are also to be renovated in the room, do that first. Then you do not need to worry (or only minimally) about protecting the floor.

Refurbishing floorboards or parquet: You need these machines, tools and materials

Even with small rooms, it is definitely worthwhile to have a professional grinding machine to use. You can either borrow them from a hardware store or from a craft business near you. Feel free to make a few phone calls in advance to find the best offer: Many companies are happy to give you the large parquet sanding machine and a smaller device for the edges at a very affordable price over the weekend. And with a little luck and negotiating skills, you will get a few other useful things, such as a bunch of used sanding belts or sanding discs for the basic sanding.

The work works best with the large, heavy belt grinders (Parquet machines). You can easily walk across the floor without having to bend down to work. In hardware stores, machines with sanding discs (for large sanding discs or sanding grids) are often offered, which also work well, but are less safe and easy to use.

In any case, have the machine explained or demonstrated to you before you take it with you to the construction site: How is it assembled, how are the belts / disks inserted and changed, how is the sack for the sawdust removed, where are the adjustments - and control elements, what is the correct working posture? Master craftsmen who care about their machine often go into more detail and explain more joyfully and vividly than the staff in the hardware store or rental machine park.

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Sanding material and sanding sequence for floorboards and parquet

How many sanding belts or discs you need and the grit size depends on how bad your floor looks. The abrasive material quickly clogs with wax or paint residues and has to be changed more often. Dry and / or splintered paint residue is much easier to come off, and with raw wood, a large tape can be sufficient for the entire floor. However, you should always three grits for basic, medium and fine sanding use, even more on extremely stressed, uneven or thickly coated floors.

With rough sanding, the wood is cleaned thoroughly and the surface is leveled. You do not need to worry about the grain of the wood - that only comes with intermediate sanding and fine sanding. Parquet floors are usually made of hard, short-grained wood (e.g. oak or beech), while floorboards are often made of softwood (e.g. fir, pine). With floorboards, you can do everything with the belt sander; You may only need a smaller device (belt or disc sander) for corners, niches or edge areas. For parquet floors with several grain directions (e.g. herringbone or mosaic parquet), some professionals prefer the disc sander, but you can also get such floors very well with the belt sander if you do not skip any grain and work carefully from coarse to fine.

Sanding sequence for wooden floors

cutGritGrinding direction
Coarse sanding for leveling and cleaning heavily soiled, worn or thrown (wavy) wood

16 or 24

Across or diagonally to the wood grain / plank direction
Coarse sanding to remove dirt and coatings on less thrown floors

24, 36 or 40

If possible in the direction of the wood grain
Medium / intermediate sanding

50, 60 or 80

In the grain direction
Fine tuning

120, 150 or (very fine) 240

In the grain direction

Sanding sequence for parquet floors

cutGritGrinding direction
Coarse sanding for leveling and cleaning heavily soiled, worn or thrown wood


Diagonally or straight across the long track
Medium cut


Diagonally crosswise or (with straight parquet / parallel bond) in the direction of the grain
Fine tuning


Diagonally across or in the direction of the grain
Note: The more uneven and deeper soiled / damaged the floor, the more sanding passes are required. When you borrow the grinding machine, you can also get advice on the grinding direction and grinding sequence. Ask the craftsman or specialist what procedure he will use for your floor, e.g. B. the parquet pattern and the type of wood, recommends and why.

You also need:

  • Floor seal / floor varnish (here are water soluble products recommended for healthy living)
  • Painting tools (paint tray, floor painting roller, brush)
  • Fine-grain hand sandpaper (grit 120, 150 or 240) for intermediate sanding after the first sealing
  • House tools, e.g. B. for preparations: hammer, pliers, countersink, screwdriver, spatula
  • Protective gloves, goggles, respiratory protection, if necessary hearing protection
  • if necessary, electric scraper or milling machine to remove particularly hard or thick adhesive residues, cement plaster or similar.
  • if necessary, parquet adhesive or assembly adhesive


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Prep Work: You need to do this before sanding

  1. Step 1:

    Clear out the room completely, remove skirting boards and skirting boards and sweep through thoroughly. You don't need to clean the floor: all old dirt is removed with the top layer of wood when you sand it. To protect against dust, it is sufficient to close the doors or cover the door openings.

  2. Step 2: Check and rework fastenings

    Check the floor with centimeter precision for nails and screws. You have to countersink them well, otherwise the sparks will spray out when sanding. Standing nails and screws can damage the abrasive material and the machine and injure people. And when you sand down a head of a nail, the pen no longer holds the wood in place, so it can work its way up over time. You can remove nails and screws that cannot be countersunk, are crooked or broken and replace them with new ones later.

    In the case of glued (parquet) floors, the glue must be intact: Glue loose or removable elements again so that nothing flies around your ears when sanding. With extremely musical or shaky floors, you can use additional nails or screws to ensure more peace and quiet after sanding.

  3. Note: Well turned is half renovated: Individual planks or parquet elements that are particularly badly damaged can often be detached from the composite with little effort and reinstalled with the intact side facing up. For example, you don't have to drag their “neighbors” down to the same height and you can get more wood substance.
  4. Step 3: remove coarse residue

    Paint, wax or varnish residues can be sanded off. Trowel off thick adhesive residues or hard plaque beforehand by hand or with an electric scraper.

    Work as flat and carefully as possible so as not to tear out chips or larger pieces of wood. With water-soluble adhesives, try both methods (wet scrubbing and dry scraping) in one place and then opt for the one that does less work and mess. Then sweep the room again well.

  5. Step 4: sand the floor

    Make the sanding machine ready for use: insert the sanding belt for coarse sanding, set the roller pressure, let the motor run briefly with the sanding roller raised (raised) and check that the belt is running correctly, switch off the motor, close the roller cover.

    Next, with the engine switched off and the grinder down, drive the machine through the room. Keep your hand on the roller release lever or watch its up and down movements following the unevenness of the floor. This will give you an even better feeling for the surface and familiarize yourself with the rolling behavior of the grinding machine.

    Start sanding at the edge and position the machine so that you can get the sanding belt as close to the wall as possible. Make sure that the grinder is raised when you switch it on; Only when you are walking do you lower it slowly. The machine pulls forward; So you don't have to push, just pull or hold. With a firm grip and small, even steps, you ensure a constant speed. The slower you go, the more wood you sand off.

    You must not stop or let go of the machine when the grinder is lowered. At the end of the path you lift the roller again while moving, put the machine next to it again and then pull it back in the same way. This is how you work through the planned sanding sequence - with breaks to breathe and change the sanding material. With each grain, you work first on the main surface and then on the edge areas and corners. After the final touches, you tidy up the construction site and clean the walls and floor with a broom and vacuum cleaner. Then wait one night so that more dust can settle and vacuum thoroughly the next day before painting.

  6. Step 5: seal the wooden floor

    Stir or shake the bottom seal and apply according to the manufacturer's instructions. One roller is sufficient for many floors, but use a brush for tricky areas. After the first layer has been absorbed and dried (It is essential to adhere to the recommended drying times), carry out an intermediate sanding by hand. Use the sandpaper (grain size like the last fine sanding or finer) to remove the tiny wood fibers that have straightened up and made the floor rough again. It's quick and easy - more wiping than sanding. Then remove dust and apply the next layer.

    Repeat this until the desired surface finish (e.g. smoothness, gloss, degree of sealing) is achieved. Intermediate sanding is only necessary as long as more wood fibers straighten up during drying. The last layer is not sanded so that it makes a beautiful, semi-gloss or high-gloss mirror.

    Protect the floor from dust, direct sunlight, splashing water, flying insects etc. while the floor is drying. With water-soluble and natural products that do not give off solvents, hardly smell or even have a pleasant smell, you can safely cover, close or use the windows lower the shutters while the seal dries.

Note: If you want to paint the baseboards as well, do that before you reattach them.

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