Restoring / Maintaining Parquet Flooring

27 Mar 2012
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United Kingdom

After moving into a new house I discovered some original parquet flooring under a lounge carpet that I decided to restore by sanding and varnishing.

Its the type that is made of of several small rectangular blocks (approx 25mm by 100mm) which are arranged in groups of 4 to make up squares.

It came up well and has lasted well over the following 6 years.

I'm now coming to redecorate the room and am thinking of repeating the process, however wonder if this is excessive based on the floor still being in reasonable condition (certainly much, much better than when I originally took it on). There are a few marks on the varnished surface where furniture has been dragged and slight uneveness where some blocks have come loose and sit slightly higher where I have glued them back down.

I wondered if anyone had any advice that might save me some time, money and quite a bit of mess.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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A photo would help.

I'm just about to start this process myself. Though I plan to seal the floor with a resin/dust "putty" between first and second sand.

Its unlikely to cause an issue - perhaps for the £30 a day, run a fine grit over it
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Thanks for the quick reply.

The following 4 photos in order show:

1. The general style and condition.
2. The biggest gap I have between pieces.
3. An example of a raised bit having come loose and been glued back down. The photo makes it look worse than it is. Its about 1mm above the level (so enough that I wouldn't expect a sander to level it out completely.).
4. An example of a scuff caused by moving furniture.

I didn't do the sealing step last time. I had panned to, but when the guy from the hire shop dropped the sander off he had a look at the floor and said the gaps were small enough that he wouldn't bother, suggesting that the varnish would fully seal them. It didn't fully do that, but it never looked bad enough to really bother me. Maybe if I had done it would stop some of the ones that come loose (although I think that's more down to the wife and kids walking on it with bare (sweaty) feet.

In case it helps you, when I did it previously I was going to hire a belt sander, but was advised by the guys at the hire shop to go with a SandGlider which they said was more forgiving. I had been a bit worried that from what I'd heard it was quite easy to over-sand with a belt sander and that you could easily ruin your floor. The machine I borrowed was certainly easy to use and couldn't have caused damage. I'd definitely use one of those again if I could (although the first few places I have contacted don't seem to rent them anymore). What would you use? The £30 a day you suggest is certainly less than the prices I have seen (approx £85 + VAT) so I assume you'd be looking at something different?
Well, Bison Products, the Sand Glider company, are still alive, well and living in Leyland, Lancashire. Why not give them a ring and find out which hire fleets buy them? Maybe also worth ringing around some local flooring distributors - they sometimes hire machines as well as supply consumables and finishes. I have to agree that it is easier to get good results with multiple head sanders like the Sand Glider

BTW sealing the gaps prevents moisture getting down the sides of the blocks and causing swelling/movement. It is therefore desireable
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Thanks again both for your help. Phoning Bison proved to be a great move, so thanks for that suggestion.

Between you, you have convinced me that filling the gaps between the first and second coarse sand is a worthwhile task. Please could you recommend a good product (suitable for a first time user) to mix with the dust? Ideally one that I can get from a mainstream supplier as I have no real grasp of how much I would need.

I have heard that Bona Mix and Fill is good, but I can only find that online. I don't want to risk running short and not being able to get more before I have to return the sander, but equally, given its not cheap, don't really want to buy too much and not be able to return it and I have no real idea of how much I will need.

I know its an almost impossible question to answer without being able to see my floor, but based on the pictures above and the fact I have about 25 square metres to cover have you any idea how much I might need? I literally have no idea if 1L would be enough or if 5L wouldn't be, so any guidance would be good.

Thanks again.
The one I have some experience of is Lecol 7500, which has the advantage (to me, at least) of being available, ex-stock, from local supplier. Have you found a local supplier, or can the hire shop help? It's all but impossible to tell, sight unseen, to even guess how much you'll need. Maybe ask your supplier for advice?
Thanks again for the reply.

I still haven't found a local supplier. I called the hire company and the guy there recommended I use varnish to mix with the dust following the first sand. First time I've heard such a suggestion. Do you think that would work? Maybe I can get a litre of Bona Mix and Fill online and then use that as a backup plan if I run short?
We did our floor about 10 years ago - we wanted a natural wood colour - not a varnished orange thing. We shopped around for products and literally everyone - said it was impossible and anything you apply to the floor will cause it to lift.
We went ahaead - sanded it down - kept the dust and used it to fill in the gaps in the floor - we used some sort of putty to mix with the dust - which matched the floor colour well.
We had our colour - as it was sanded down - and wanted to keep it - so we used a special wood bleach - and then sealed with a special sealer - the names of which have totally escaped me - but I have kept the containers - in case I needed it again - but 10 years later the floor still looks good - hasn't lifted and has kept its (natural) colour.

I can get the name of the stuff I used if needed.


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Linseed oil putty is a good sealant for very light floors, but it won't work on dark timbers and it can't be stained

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