Buffing vs Sanding - Which is Best for Your Floors?

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Buffing vs Sanding - Which is Best for Your Floors?

Are your hardwood floors in a rough shape and require revitalization, you might wonder about the perfect method to have them look as new again. With the many methods to spruce up those floors, it can be confusing to choose which one is best.

Two of the common and effective ways to rejuvenate your floors are through buffing and sanding them. You might think that these are interchangeable terms and methods, but they are definitely not. They both have different processes and benefits, which is why itís important to know which one to do.

Which one is the better method, though? Read on to learn more about buffing and sanding!

About Sanding
When sanding hardwood floors, you will use coarse sanding equipment, which will remove all the finish and stains from the floors. This will also smooth out the wood materials under the stain and sealers.

Basically, sanding is an intensive process which would strip everything from the floors by grinding it down until it reaches the natural wood under the shine.

After the equipment has removed the protective layers of sealers, youíll continue sanding the hardwood, removing nicks, scratches, among other imperfections. One would usually do this using a drum floor sander, which is a large equipment that can be rented from home improvement stores.

Youíll need to sand the floor entirely a few times over, using progressively fine sandpaper. This will ensure that the floor is as smooth as possible before you refinish it. After you have done the sanding process, the floor can be stained again, and once it has dried, youíll finish it off using lacquer, polyurethane wood finish, or an alternative oil or sealer.

About Buffing
Buffing is different compared to sanding, as sanding would require working on the whole floor. Whereas with buffing, youíll be working on smaller parts of the floor as needed.

For instance, if you see a small scratch or shallow nick on one part of the floor, you can buff it out by hand rather than having to refinish the whole floor. Buffing would address the damage and/or imperfections in your floorís sealant layers, which protect the hardwood floors.

Youíll want to buff floors rather than sand them if you notice that the floor finish looks dull and/or scratched. One can also buff floors made with other materials (not just hardwood), such as tiles, so you can have it look new and shiny again.

One can buff floors using stand-behind machinery or by hand. You can rent the materials and equipment needed in home improvement stores. Whatever method you choose, itís crucial that you clean the floor thoroughly before starting, or dirt and dust can get stuck between or in the floor polish.

When wanting to buff out a small scratch on the floor polish through a hand, simply rub brass wool on the area until the ding or scratch is leveled out and you canít see anything anymore.

Afterward, repolish the area with hardwood floor wax using a terrycloth towel, rubbing it on the affected area. Finish it off by rubbing the affected area using a buffing pad, making it as shiny as the other parts of the floor.

Itís also possible to buff the entire floor if needed. Youíll need a buffing machine for this. If you have polished your floor before, remove the wax polish and clean your floors thoroughly, letting it dry entirely before you use the machine to buff a new coat of wax polish on your floors.

Which is Better?
There really isnít one better method, as it all depends on what you need to be done.

If you need to remove small scratches or work on one area with the polish affected, buffing is the way to go. BUT, if you need the entire floor revitalized and to make the bottom layers new again, then youíll want to go for sanding. Sanding is best for deeper scratches that penetrate the wood and floor materials itself.

So, both remove scratches easily, the method to use is based on the intensity of the scratch/es and how much area needs to be worked on. The question isnít about which is better, but whatís more effective on your floors, based on individual factors.

Furthermore, I mentioned that you can buff or sand floors on your own. While this is great for those who can perform DIY projects successfully, some people may benefit from hiring floor sanders and buffers, as it saves time. Furthermore, this can also help prevent any accidents or mistakes that can damage the floors if you arenít familiar with performing these methods.

Wrapping It Up
Hardwood floors are amazing, and there are many ways you can make their features shine further. But in terms of maintenance and/or restoration, buffing and sanding are two techniques that definitely stand out. The better method ultimately depends on your end goals and the type of floors you have specified, which is why itís better to measure individual factors before deciding what method to get.

I hope that this article on buffing vs sanding helped you decide on which method is best for your floors. Now that you know the answer, itís time that you start thinking about floor sanders and other services to get your floors to look new again.

Do you have questions or want to share your insights on floor improvement, share them in the comments section below. I appreciate all of your thoughts and stories!

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Buffing vs Sanding - Which is Best for Your Floors?

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