Over time, parquet flooring can become scratched, worn down, and frankly a bit of an eye sore. But before you decide to rip it up and replace it, it might be worth sanding it down and refinishing it.
Not only is this a cheaper alternative to laying new flooring, but you’ll also be surprised by just how charming a brand new-looking parquet floor can be.
With that being said, sanding parquet flooring in preparation for modernisation isn’t the easiest task for a professional, let alone a DIYer. Fortunately, I’ve prepared parquet flooring on numerous occasions and that’s why I’ve put together my step-by-step process for sanding parquet flooring like a professional so hopefully, you can achieve the same results as I do.
After following this guide, your floor should be smooth, protected, and more importantly, look incredible!
Can You Sand Parquet Flooring?
You can sand parquet flooring but it’s typically a long and arduous process that takes multiple sandings with different P-Grits and plenty of patience! However, after sanding parquet flooring you have the opportunity to totally rejuvenate your flooring.
How Long Does it Take to Sand Parquet Flooring?
Whilst the duration of time it takes to sand parquet flooring varies depending on how large of an area you’re working on, in general, this type of task will take 1 or 2 days due to the fact that you will need to sand the floor with 4 different sandpaper grits.
With that in mind, if you’re working on a small area you can be finished within a day but if you’re working on a much larger area, it might take you 2 days, depending on how patient you are!
Sanding Parquet Flooring Before and After
Wondering what sort of results you can achieve? Check out these videos of the last parquet flooring restoration job we completed.
How to Sand A Parquet Floor
Do you want to achieve the finish as shown above? Follow our step-by-step guide below which includes safety considerations, tools you’ll need for the job, and the techniques you should use to achieve a smooth surface that’s ready for finishing.
Preparations for Sanding Parquet Flooring
When preparing parquet flooring, it’s essential to use proper protective equipment. You should wear:
- A high-quality dust mask
- Hardwearing boots
- Protective overalls
Tools for the job
For this task you will need:
- Heavy-duty belt sander with 36-grit, 60-grit, 80-grit, and 100-grit sandpaper (this will need to be hired if you don’t already have one!)
- A smaller belt sander with 36-grit, 60-grit, and 80-grit sandpaper for the edges of the flooring
- Vacuum cleaner
Clearing the room
It goes without saying but you should clear the room entirely before sanding the floor. The room will get fairly dusty during the sanding process so it’s worth removing things like curtains too.
Sanding the Floor
The goal of sanding parquet flooring is to achieve as flat a finish as possible. Therefore, the best method to use is to sand horizontally and then vertically as shown in the diagram below. The individual tiles can vary in size so using this method ensures the entire surface gets sanded relatively evenly.
Now you know the sanding method to use, follow the step-by-step method below.
- Sand the floor with 36-grit sandpaper
First of all, you will need to sand horizontally and vertically across the floor with the 36-grit sandpaper attached to the heavy-duty belt sander. This sandpaper is extra-coarse and is used to strip away anything remaining of the previous finish. This will essentially give you a blank canvas to work on.
- Sand the edges with 36-grit sandpaper
A heavy-duty belt sander will struggle to sand away the floor at the edges of the room so I recommend using a smaller belt sander with 36-grit sandpaper attached so that you sand every inch of flooring as uniformly as possible.
- Sand the floor with 60-grit sandpaper
Follow the same method as described above but this time, attach the 60-grit sandpaper. The 36-grit sandpaper, having completed its job of stripping away the old finish, will leave a rough surface. Being a medium sandpaper grit, 60-grit will start the process of smoothing the floor.
- Sand the edges with 60-grit sandpaper
After sanding the floor horizontally and vertically, sand the edges of the flooring with 60-grit sandpaper.
- Sand the floor with 80-grit sandpaper
As you can probably tell, we're slowly using finer and finer sandpaper and now it's time to use 80-grit sandpaper on your belt sander. This sandpaper grade will sand and smooth out any shallow scratches that remain on the flooring.
- Sand the edges with 80-grit sandpaper
Sand the edges of the floor with the smaller belt sander - this time with 80-grit sandpaper.
- Sand the floor with 100-grit sandpaper
Now we move on to using 100-grit sandpaper on our heavy-duty belt sander. 100-grit is a medium-fine grade of sandpaper and eliminates the traces of heavier sanding that was caried out earlier in the process. A wooden floor surface that has been abraded by 100-grit sandpaper will have the perfect amount of scuffing so that your finishing coats will adhere properly to it.
- Sand the edges with 100-grit sandpaper
Finally, sand the edges of the flooring with 100-grit sandpaper to ensure the whole surface is uniform.
Important: once you’ve completed the sanding process it’s very important to ensure you vacuum attentively and thoroughly. Having dust left behind and finishing on top of it is a recipe for disaster as the dust will affect how the finishing product adheres to the surface.
Finishing Parquet Flooring
Whilst I’m not going to go into the details of how to finish parquet flooring (that’s for a future blog post!), I will give you some options and ideas on what you can do to restore your parquet flooring.
These options include:
- A clear lacquer that comes in a variety of different sheen levels including matt and gloss. I would say to go for a matt finish on the basis that gloss finishes, whilst admittedly looking stunning, tend to show scratch marks and imperfections.
- Staining the floor to a satin or gloss finish. My preference is satin when staining parquet floors as it gives you a good mix of being hard-wearing and pleasant to look at.