Recommendations for Your Floor
Most UK housing stock was fitted with pine floorboards of some description, these may be Pitch Pine (if you are lucky), Douglas Fir, Red Deal, White Deal or anyone one of several other softwoods. These floors will never have the durability or desirability of a hardwood floor but providing they have not been butchered by electricians or plumbers during re wiring or central heating installation, they can be made to look stunning and a well restored original floor adds value to your house.
Very often there are large gaps between these boards and our customers want to fill these, whilst we do sell excellent gap fillers we do not recommend using them on pine for several reasons.
BUT YOU REALLY WANT THE GAPS FILLED!
Okay so you cannot live with those gaps, so there are two options.
Best Machines for Pine Flooring
We recommend the Pallmann Viper and Gecko Edger as a basic set up for you pine floor. If you have a really good quality floor you may want to consider the Festool Extractor and Rotex and also the Cleanfix Mini Buff to give you the Ultimate smooth finish.
Solid Hardwood Floors
These are obviously very desirable floors and come in three basic types, plank, individual staves and parquet or woodblock. The first two are laid in a linear fashion and are suitable for sanding with either the Pallmann Viper or the Pallmann Spider. In the case of parquet or woodblock floors these are normally laid in a non-linear fashion which means that sanding them to a good standard with belt or drum machines requires a good deal of skill, this is where the Pallmann Spider is ideal as any competent DIY-er can achieve an excellent result with this machine on these beautiful floors.
Plank flooring consists of long boards usually at least 2 metres in length, the most common timber for this type of flooring is oak but it could be elm, ash, chestnut or any one of many other timbers. If you have gaps in this type of floor it is possible to fill them however there are a few considerations.
Hardwood can floors made up of random length individual staves of some of which may only be about 200mm long. The most common of these floors are made of maple, beech and oak, but again there are many others such as cherry, ash and birch. As these boards are normally only 30mm to 80mm in width they are generally suitable for a resin type filler such as Pallmann Allkitt or Pall-X Kitt providing there is no flex in the floor or excessive gaps.
Parquet or Woodblock
These come in many types, they can be a variety of timbers (even softwoods) and laid in many different patterns and you are truly blessed if you have one! The most common type is probably 5 finger parquet which consist of 5 small staves or ‘fingers’ laid in one direction with its neighbours on it four edges all laid in the opposite direction. The most desirable floors are woodblock floors, these are made up of equal length staves normally around 200mm long by 30mm wide. The most common pattern these are laid in is the herringbone pattern, but there are also other patterns such as basket weave and brick bond.
I REALLY WANT YOU TO FILL THESE FLOORS!
Why? Well unlike plank pine these floors will always be laid on a solid foundation (if they aren’t you have serious problems), the staves are small so seasonal movement isn’t a big factor, they are generally hardwood (not always) but mainly because THEY LOOK A MILLION DOLLARS WHEN FILLED!! So unless the gaps are consistently above 4mm you should always use either Alkitt or Pall-X kitt on these floors.
Best Machines for Parquets and Woodblock Floors
The Pallmann Spider is simply the best machine on the market for sanding this type of floor the planetary system means that you will not see the ‘drum marks’ that most DIY-ers (and unfortunately many ‘professionals’) leave in their floor. This machine will give you the opportunity, with just a little patience, to sand your floor to perfection! You will also need the Gecko and for total perfection the Festool Rotex.
Engineered or Semi-Solid Floors
Many people think that engineered floors cannot be sanded but providing you follow a few basic rules before you start this simply isn’t true in the vast majority of cases. Here are those rules.
This type of floor should not, by its nature, need filling. It is not suitable for resin type fillers due to only being 14mm thick in most instances and therefore flexes considerably.
Best Machines for Engineered or Semi-Solid Floors
It would take a very brave DIY-er to use any type of drum or belt machine on this type of floor, it is way too easy to sand through the wear layer particularly if the sub floor is not 100% flat (whose is?). The Pallmann Spider is absolutely ideal for engineered and semi solid floors as it has the power and aggression to remove old finish and damage but will not (used sensibly) cut through the wear layer to the plywood base.