Floor sanding

Sanding equipment

Before and after sanding
E&A Flooring – before and after

We use professional floor-sanding machines made in Germany by Laegler. This machinery includes heavy-duty belt sanders for strip or plank flooring, plus edging sanders and orbital sanders for sides and areas with limited room to manoeuvre. We have a rotating sander designed for herringbone parquet floors and other floors where a belt sander would leave marks in the wood. Our buffing machine is used for buffing and intermediate sanding of larger areas.

The right equipment: professional sanding machine on recently sanded floor
The right equipment

These professional sanders are designed for everyday use with a dust extraction system that leaves the air virtually dust free. Our sanders are belt-sanders, they don't leave marks on the floor, unlike sanders which require sheets to be fitted around a drum. Only belt sanders will cope with bumpy old floorboards which need to be levelled.

Professional equipment means: more weight – more impact – more level – less dust – a better finish.

What can be sanded

Basically any solid wooden floor thicker than 8–10 mm can be sanded and revived. We also sand veneered floors where the overlay is 3–4 mm thick, and parquet floors. Most commonly we find ourselves stripping and coating pine floor-boards dating from Georgian, Victorian, or Edwardian times.

The older the floor the darker its natural finish will be. We offer a wide range of stains and will bring sample boards for you to compare. We are flexible and try our best to meet with your colour specifications.

Preparation and repairs

Repairs to an old hearth

The rooms must be empty, and carpets and other floor coverings removed. This is something you may wish to do yourself, as we will need to charge for this extra service. We are happy to help with the odd bulky item, and will usually do so free of charge.

Before we can begin sanding there is usually preparatory work which needs to be done. This will have been specified in our quotation, and may involve, for example, fixing loose floorboards or replacing parts or whole lengths of the boards using reclaimed floorboards to achieve a good colour match. Once that is done we will check the floors for nails and staples before proceeding with the actual floor sanding.


Whatever the type of wood we sand we always start with a coarse grit and work down to a finer one. These grits can vary depending on the amount of levelling required. On old pine floors we would typically start with a 24 or 36 grit; for hardwoods we would usually begin with a 40 or 50 grit.

Before doing the fine sanding of a floor we apply a filler where necessary. Usually any draughty gaps between the planks are filled using a paste made from a clear resin mixed with sander dust. This paste is worked into the gaps with a putty knife, tidying up cracks, cuts and nail holes, or unsightly hatches in the floor.

Professional sanding
Professional sanding

As far as dust is concerned, as a rule of thumb: the bigger the area being sanded, the less dust there will be, as our main floor-sanding machines do most of the work and extract almost 100% of the dust. If we have to use smaller machines and edging sanders a lot there will be more dust, as these machines work differently and tend to throw out more dust. For this reason, sanding areas such as hallways and stairs tends to produce more dust, but we try our best to reduce its distribution by sealing off other rooms with polythene sheets.

It would be fair to say that some aspects of the job are 'dust free', others not. Therefore to advertise 'dust-free floor sanding' would be dishonest and misleading.


We use water-based varnishes and stains, oils, and Hard-wax oils. All products are applied according to your requirements, and will have been specified in our quotation. In areas with heavy traffic such as kitchens, we will recommend a harder wearing varnish.

Finishing touches: final coating
Finishing touches

When we use water-based varnishes, the floors have to be rubbed down before we can apply the final coats.

Drying times depend on room climate. The warmer the better – in unheated/moist rooms the drying can take longer.

The varnishes we use are heavy-duty floor varnishes (polyurethane) and are available in a matt, satin or gloss finish – just choose the finish you prefer. The oils we work with are hardwax oils Osmo and Marldon products. Oils have a longer drying and curing time than varnish.


There are usually two options if someone would like to have their stairs sanded:

Finished stairs
Finished stairs

Option 1 the outsides of the treads and risers are sanded and coated, the middle section to be covered eventually by a stair carpet;

Option 2 the entire tread and risers are sanded and coated to be left exposed. Bear in mind that this could result in a rather echoey stairwell.

We usually only treat these parts of the stairs and don't tackle banisters.

As mentioned above and by way of warning, sanding stairs is a dusty business, but does give a great result in the end, as we think you'll agree.


Floors treated with oils or varnish will need maintenance, as whatever coating we put on, it will wear off – it is only a matter of time. Some areas will be more prone to wear than others, and those areas subjected to a lot of wear should get a top-up coat (or two) after a year. This only requires us to clean the flooring in question, without the need for major sanding, before recoating.

If you wish we can put you on our 'Maintenance List' and then contact you after 12 months to discuss further floor treatments and ensure that your floors are always professionally maintained.


Floors should be the last of all building works as it is almost certain that the finish will otherwise be damaged by tradesmen coming in after us.

If you are concerned about dust, get the decorators in after us and not before.

In the unlikely event that damage occurs to plastered ceilings caused by the vibration of the sanders we cannot accept responsibilty.

We do have public liability insurance.

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E&A Flooring, Tomorain, Shawfield Lane, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, PH10 6GU, Scotland
Telephone  01250 870511    Email