No matter how wide the variety of modern flooring is, it is the plank floor that is still considered the most environmentally friendly and comfortable. True, it has one significant drawback – even with careful use, after a few years, its appearance deteriorates. Here a special procedure can come to the rescue – cycling, about the features and subtleties of which, we will tell in this article.
What it is?
For those who first come across the term “scraping” of a wooden floor, sometimes it is not entirely clear what this procedure is. So, scraping is the removal of the topmost layer of wood from the boards. In fact, this procedure replaces varnishing, sanding and polishing the boards..
The main feature of scraping is the ability to perform it only when using a special scraping machine..
Manually, and even more so, using the tools at hand, it is simply impossible to cope with such a task..
Another feature is that the execution of scraping is possible only as long as the thickness of the boards allows it. After all, do not forget that with each such procedure, the top layer of the floor is removed, and sooner or later it will finally become thinner. True, it will come in 50-70 years, not earlier.
Types of looping machines
Until recently, looping was carried out using a hand-held machine, which was called the loop. Today, special grinding scraper devices are used, operating from a connection to the electrical network..
They are of two types: drum and disc:
- Drum cyclers use a lot of electricity, are quite heavy to operate and make a lot of noise. Experts today insist that it is rational to use it only for processing a large floor area..
- Disc scraper machines do not have such disadvantages, they level the floor perfectly evenly, give the boards a shine and pristine appearance. It is disc loops that are now at the peak of popularity..
Using a disc apparatus, you can completely scrape the wooden floor yourself. The main thing is to carefully follow all the steps and recommendations..
Before proceeding directly to cycle the old floor with your own hands, you need to stock up on the necessary materials and tools.
To carry out the work you will need:
- The scraper itself. This is the main tool, without which the work simply cannot be done..
- Coarse sanding attachments.
- Accessories for sanding corners and uneven joints.
- Surface grinding machine.
- A construction vacuum cleaner or an old but powerful ordinary household appliance.
- Coarse and fine sandpaper.
- Special paint brushes.
- Laminate polish or paint.
- Emery knife.
- Special solution for the preparation of putty.
All of these tools and materials should be taken care of in advance and placed in the immediate vicinity. This will allow you not to be distracted in the process of performing work to find the necessary material..
Regardless of where the floor renovation work will be carried out – in the country or in the apartment, first you need to perform preparatory measures and only then cycle the floor covering:
- First of all, it is necessary to completely free the room from any things and furniture, the floor must be completely empty. In addition, the skirting boards should be removed and the door leaf removed from the hinges. The doorway itself should be covered with a piece of thick film, this will protect other rooms from the penetration of wood dust.
- Next, the plank flooring is examined for mold and severe cracks. All these flaws should be removed at this stage. Scraping a painted floor should start by removing old paint from the boards. For this, a special solvent or mineral alcohol can be used..
- During operation, it is necessary to open the window wide open, this will allow dust and odors to be eroded out of the room faster. After that, it is necessary to thoroughly wash the floors with clean warm water and allow to dry for at least 24 hours..
- If severely damaged and rotted boards have been noticed, they should be replaced completely or at least partially with new ones. All protruding nail heads should be driven back into the floor..
- At the end of all preparatory procedures, you must make sure that the floor is completely clean of all dirt and does not have strong and sharp protrusions along its entire surface..
Scraping and sanding
After completing the preparatory phase, the old wood flooring can be looped and sanded:
- First you need to do a rough looping. It is at this stage that a special machine with a suitable attachment is required. With its help, not only the remainder of the varnish or paint is removed, but also a thin layer of the wood itself, on which there are various damages, is removed. This work should be done slowly enough. In this case, the movement of the machine should be directed along the length of the boards themselves.
I would especially like to note that for a pine board it is worth choosing a nozzle with a medium degree of hardness, since such wood is cycled quite quickly and easily.
This stage is considered completed when all the significant shortcomings of the wooden plank floor are eliminated..
- The next step is sanding the boards.. This procedure is performed in three steps using different attachments of different sizes. The first step is performed using size 40 paper, the second step requires 60 size paper and the third sanding step is performed using 100 size paper. This stepwise sanding allows you to achieve perfect smoothness of the boards, moreover, it is this procedure that gives them their original color and shine..
It is fine sanding that takes the most time and effort. However, the correct and unhurried execution of this stage of work guarantees a high-quality and long-term result of the entire cycle as a whole..
Treatment of hard-to-reach areas
This stage of work is carried out almost last. And here you should use not only a looping machine, but also a manual cycle. Sometimes, just using these two tools, it is possible to process floors in corners, niches and under pipes..
As with the entire floor, the boards must first be roughly scraped. And then polish them. To do this, use special angled nozzles of a suitable size..
The final stage
After all the work has been completed, it is necessary to carefully, but carefully putty all the gaps between the boards with the help of a special putty. Allow the material to dry completely. Then, using a sanding attachment with size 100 paper, again walk all over the floor. This final sanding will give the floor a finished look and remove any unevenness..
The finishing touch is the application of varnish. This procedure requires care and uniformity. The varnish is applied in three or four layers. Each next layer is applied after the previous one has completely dried. Average drying time for each layer of varnish is 4 hours.
Scraping a wooden plank floor is not only a very responsible and laborious task, but also quite dangerous..
Therefore, in order to protect yourself as much as possible during its implementation, the following recommendations must be observed:
- When carrying out work, the doors to other rooms must be tightly closed. But the room itself should be well ventilated..
- It is imperative when working with varnishes, and during the cycle itself, to use a protective mask or respirator.
- To carry out the work, you should choose comfortable clothing that does not hinder movement, but at the same time does not have any hanging parts. It is also recommended to tie your hair or put on a headscarf.
- When using the scraper itself, do not apply too much pressure. Otherwise, there will be strong dents on the boards that will be difficult to remove..
- During the execution of work, special attention should be paid to ensure that the wire does not fall under the machine. If this happens, you must immediately disconnect the device from the electrical network and be sure to replace the extension cord with a new one..
Following these simple tips will significantly improve the quality and safety of the work performed..
Well, in order to make the looping process even easier and more convenient, we suggest you use the following useful recommendations:
- When you turn on the device for the first time, you need to tilt it a little and raise it above the floor, holding the device firmly with both hands and only then, in a slightly tilted state, put it on the floor, and only then straighten it. If the machine twitches a little at the same time, then this is not scary.
- For coarse sanding and fine sanding when approaching the wall, the device should be lifted on one side, turned around itself and then continue processing the next boards in the opposite direction..
- Boards with a wavy structure are cycled only diagonally. In this case, coarse scrambling is carried out twice in the opposite direction. Fine sanding should also be done diagonally using the standard attachments for this procedure..
- It is better to process the floor near the walls with a special curb nozzle with an average level of grain..
- When sanding softwood floors, don’t try to make them perfectly smooth by sanding. It is simply impossible to achieve such an effect due to the structure of the boards themselves. This can be done only with the correct varnishing of the floors..
Experts believe that a softwood floor should be scraped once every 7-10 years, hardwood floors should be scraped once every 10-15 years, but laminate panels, if necessary, can be scraped once every 15-20 years.
Scrolling the floor with your own hands, especially for the first time, takes a lot of time and effort, but the stunning updated appearance of the flooring fully justifies the cost. It is believed that a perfectly looped floor is the kind of surface on which it is pleasant to walk barefoot, so if no discomfort arises with such walking, it means that all the work was done correctly.
For more information on how to make a do-it-yourself wooden floor scraper, see the following video.