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Interior Preparation | Timber Floors | Exterior
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Finishing - Timber Floors

Most timber floors of new homes are normally rough sanded to clean and level the floors on completion. Any timber floor to be coated with a clear finish must first be fine sanded and this should be included in the building specifications for new homes.

It will only cost a little extra if those areas to be coated with a clear finish are fine sanded while the equipment is at hand. If a rough sanded floor is coated with a clear finish, the coarse sanding scratches will be readily seen giving an unsatisfactory result.

Some timbers exude oil or waxy residues which may result in faulty adhesion of the clear finish.

Some of the timbers which may cause trouble are:

  • Tallow Wood
  • Brush Box
  • Mahogany
  • Kauri
  • Black Bean
  • Jarrah
  • Eucalypts

    <,/ul> It is essential with these difficult timbers and a wise precaution with all timbers to wash the floor thoroughly with Estapol 7008 Reducer, and wipe dry with a clean cloth, immediately after fine sanding has been completed.

    From the point of view of timber floor maintenance, it is desirable not to choose dark coloured timbers or to consider heavily staining light coloured timbers. Darker colours will make any foot marks and scratches much more obvious.

    Nevertheless, some of the darker Australian timbers have beautiful grain and colour. If these timbers are selected for flooring, we recommend placing mats, runners or rugs at places of maximum wear.

    Staining Timber Floors

    As a general guideline non trades-person should NOT consider the application of stains direct to timber floors for the following reasons:

    • It is very difficult to achieve a uniform colour over a large surface area such as a floor

    • Stains, especially darker colours, will highlight wear marks and scratches.

    In professional or extremely experienced hands, an acceptable stained result may be achieved using one of our systems.

    Note: Preparation, including thorough fine sanding and absolute cleanliness is critical to achieve a suitable result.

    Recoating your timber floor

    Over a period of time your timber floor finish will start to show signs of wear and damage. It is recommended that you should recoat the floor as soon as these signs appear, to ensure your floor maintains maximum protection.

    If the floor has been treated regularly with a wax or polish it may be impossible to effectively remove this wax or polish by hand sanding. Therefore, it is recommended that you have the floor machine-sanded back to bare timber to remove all traces of this wax or polish from the timber surface. This will ensure that the new coat will adhere well and an excellent result can be achieved.

    WARNING: On very old floors where wax has impregnated the floor boards to such a degree that it cannot be removed by sanding, a thin initial coat of Speed Clear Satin to seal the surface is recommended.

    Clear Finishing

    Stir the product gently but thoroughly using a flat paint stirrer before and during use. Ensure that the product does not aerate, as this will produce bubbles in the finish. Do not shake.

    When applying clear finishes to floors, it is advisable to use a Lambswool Applicator or brush. The benefits achieved using the Lambswool Applicator are that you can apply the product from a standing position, and a much more even film build can be achieved.

    Hint: Wash and dry your applicator in the recommended reducer prior to use, to ensure any loose lint is removed that may stick to the film.

    The preferred method of application is known as the 'moving puddle' technique. In this method, a small puddle of the clear finish is poured onto the floor, and using the Lambswool Applicator, moved around the floorboards in a mopping motion. Brush in the direction of the grain only, working 5 - 6 boards at a time, keeping a wet edge to prevent lapping or join marks. Always finish with stokes along the grain, and do not apply excessively heavy coats.

    Follow this procedure until the entire area is covered (being careful not to paint yourself into a corner !). Be sure to allow plenty of ventilation during application and drying time. Do not attempt to speed up the drying process using an external heat source such as a heater or fan, as this can produce bubbles in the finish and stir up dust from skirting boards, etc.

    Once dry, you will find that the grain of the floor has raised slightly. This will require sanding with a drum sander, using 280 - 340 grit sandpaper. This process will not only ensure a very smooth finish, but will also help increase adhesion and film build of the following coats.

    Repeat this process for the required number of coats of the finish. Do not sand the final coat.

    Hint: It is best to apply more light coats, than to attempt to gain film build with fewer heavy coats. Heavy coats can trap air bubbles in the film and are more likely to cause lap marks, and problems when recoating.

    The application procedure differs according to the product chosen.

    Maintaining your timber floor

    Polyurethane finishes provide a range of tough floor finishes which are resistant to heat, household chemicals, and wear. They are however not immune to damage, and a small amount of regular maintenance will help you to achieve their long life potential.

    There is no need to wax or polish polyurethane finishes, all that is required is to wash and sweep the surface regularly. The exception is Tung Oil, which does require polishing.

    For all finishes, regular sweeping is extremely important as this removes any dirt or grit which may be present on the timber floor, and can cause marks and scratches.

    To Help Preserve Your Timber Floor Finish:

    • To preserve the life of your timber floors place mats or rugs on areas which will receive maximum wear.

    • Place a coir mat at each exterior door to enable people to clean their shoes before entering the house. This will help to reduce the amount of dirt and grit that will be brought into the house

    • Glue felt pads to the feet of moveable furniture to eliminate scratching of the surface when the furniture is repositioned within your house.

    • On areas that receive heavy wear, a floor wax or polish can be used if desired (but if the surface has to be recoated it will be necessary to completely re-sand the surface to remove the polish). Wax or polish will absorb most of the wear and help to extend the life of the finish.

    • If desired, an unwaxed surface can be polished without causing recoating problems by using an electric polisher with clean lambswool pads containing no oils or waxes. Occasionally wash the surface down with lukewarm water containing a mild household detergent or methylated spirits.

    • To maintain your gloss finish, sweep regularly then damp mop with hot water and 10% methylated spirits.

Interior Preparation | Timber Floors | Exterior
page 1 of 1