Most people who are looking to lay laminate floors are mostly concerned with the color of the floor itself. Easy is not a word we would use to describe the preparation of the pallet wood or the laying of this floor. It simply wasn’t something we kept count of. So much of the pallet wood was unusable, warped, damaged, stained or too thin. We do estimate 100+ pallets were used to complete our floor, but the number torn apart to collect the amount of pallet wood needed is unknown. We did not find the different thicknesses of the planks to be any kind of issue.
The planks are very dry (and should be so there is no shrinkage after the floor is laid) therefore they soak up A LOT of mineral spirits and sealer. It just wasn’t a number we kept count of. A lot of the pallets collected weren’t able to be used because the planks were to thin, the wrong type of wood or damaged. We could have put a professional hardwood floor in for the cost spent preparing these planks. The wood putty is a bad idea in soft woods because it will pop out in a matter of a couple of years.
Yes, the pallets were free, but the cost in tools, blades, supplies and Gym Floor Finish were expensive enough, not to mention the amount of labor required to prepare the planks and lay the floor. If you pull up a heating grate so that you can see the wood planks from the side you should be able to tell whether your floor is solid wood or veneer, and you should be able to whether or not it is too thin to sand. Each time it is refinished a layer of wood is removed until there is nothing left to remove.
Before you decide to fill gouges and cracks read several articles on it. Especially if you have a historic floor you may decide to leave the smaller defects as is. If you have a soft wood floor with deep gouges new planks will have to be laced in. Unless you have lots of experience this is best done by a professional. But i have had laminate wood floors in a previous house which got water damage.
Beginning an area that will be least noticeable so that you can get the hang of the machineStart the sander with the drum off the floor and slowly lower it onto the wood. The second sanding removes the scratches left by the previous sanding, and any remaining finish or blemishes left on the wood. When the floor is completely sanded, use the edge sander with the 80 grit paper to sand near the walls that you couldn’t reach with the large machine. You’ll also need a few 3 inch wood screws and a few 4 inch carriage bolts or nuts.