Wood Floor Rescue: Spotted Gum Reveal Down Under

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“I don’t mind doing the old floors; it’s more rewarding,” says Glen Gilbertson of Sydney-area Glen Gilbertson Floorsanding. He loves it so much, in fact, that he does no installation work and usually only sands and finishes old floors instead of new installs. The job on this 80-year-old house, then, was right in his wheelhouse. The owner had ripped up the existing vinyl flooring, leaving a blackish-looking tar that was vinyl glue (testing showed that it had no asbestos). “The glue looks a whole lot worse than it was; it actually sanded off quite easily to my surprise, for which I was thankful,” Gilbertson says. The glue was so thick that Gilbertson was unsure what exactly the wood underneath was. “I had no idea what type of timber was under the glue till about three quarters of the way through the job, when I could see it was Australian spotted gum,” he says. The homeowners saw the floor only at the start and the end of the job. “To say they were amazed would be an understatement,” Gilberson says. “They were absolutely thrilled with the result, and so was I. All the hard work paid off.”—K.M.W.


Abrasives: Norton, SIA, Hermes | Buffer: Polivac | Dust containment: Festool vacuum and separator | Edger: Lägler Randmeister | Filler: Redifill | Finish: Handleys | Big machine: Lägler Hummel | Multi-head sander: Bona Power Drive | Orbital sander: Mirka | Vacuum: Nilfisk

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