Renovating an Older House? 4 Points to Remember When Sanding and Polishing Timber Floors


Hidden treasure is often lurking out of sight in old Australian properties, wide Blackbutt floorboards concealed under a mouldy old carpet, or golden Tasmanian Oak under peeling lino. It is very satisfying to release the floor's true glory by sanding and polishing it, but consider the following if this is your intention.

Floorboard quality

If you are thinking of buying an older property to renovate, bear in mind that looking under the carpet in the corner of just one room might not tell you the whole story. A building inspection will not have any more access to the floorboards than you did, so be prepared for some surprises when the floor coverings are pulled up.

In many older terraces, it is common for walls to have been knocked down to create larger rooms, but the floorboards are often not consistent across the larger space. Bouncing floors will need additional underpinning and it may be more efficient in the long run to replace the lot.

Sub-floor access

Before you start sanding and polishing, make sure you have sufficient hatches for sub-floor access, for pest treatment and ventilation maintenance, the latter being particularly important in damp-prone older terraces. These will be visible in a timber floor, so position them discreetly where possible, perhaps under a bed or sofa.

If hiring a floor sanding and polishing contractor like MI Floor Sanding, ensure they know to keep the hatch free from varnish so it does not become sealed up.


You may be told that the dust from the sanding the floors will be kept to a minimum, and throwing a sheet over furniture will suffice. This is not true—the dust will be everywhere.

Instead, completely empty the rooms to be sanded and seal the doorways into the rest of the house with plastic sheeting, then tape the sheeting down. Remember to wash down the walls and any picture rails or plaster moulding before moving your furniture back in.

Chemical use

Once the floor is sanded, there are several types of finishes available. Some natural options include oils and waxes, but these are less durable and have a matte finish. For the more popular shiny timber floor look, polyurethane is used. Be aware that this comes in two forms, water-based or solvent-based. If the solvent-based product is used, low level toxic fumes will be given off for 3-4 days and the premises should be vacated during this time.


17 December 2014

Improve your Bathroom

Hello. My name is Tina and this is my home improvement blog. The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. My mother used to always say that you could discover a lot about a person by how clean their bathroom was. Because of this advice, I have always been very worried about the state of my bathroom. Last year, I was convinced that the bathroom was too old and grubby so I contacted a team of contractors who came out to work on it. They re-tiled the place and installed a new sink and splashback. I really love me new bathroom and I hope you like my new blog.