The fashion for wooden floors shows no sign of letting up with estate agents continuing to report just how desirable house buyers find them. Particularly desirable are original floorboards in period homes, especially when they have been restored to their former glory, or at least what is thought of as their former glory.
Traditionally high-end houses would have quality hardwood floors to the lower areas that were on view to the family and visitors and softwood floors to the upper areas such as servant's quarters and bedrooms. The one thing these floors had in common was that there were rugs to the centre of the room whilst the perimeter would have a black finish which was usually of a bitumen type material.
The challenge for anyone restoring these floors is removing the black, tar like substance from around the edges. If you try and sand it off, it just melts and clogs up the abrasive very quickly which is frustrating, expensive and can lead to machine damage due to overheating.
In America, the Diamabrush Hardwood Tool has long been the solution to removing sticky substances such as mastics, adhesives and acrylic seals. The system works by using diamonds bonded on to metal blades, as the mastic or bitumen builds up on the blades the efficiency reduces, however, eventually the heat causes the buildup to “carmelise” and break away from the blades leaving them clean to work again.
In UK however, we have the problem that a sizable proportion of our homes have pine floorboards. Pine floorboards are much softer than hardwood floors such as oak, beech, elm etc., for that reason the Diamabrush Hardwood Tool is too aggressive and can cause damage to the edges of the boards.
As a former contractor I have experienced the problem firsthand and as the main UK Diamabrush distributor I was in a unique position to find a solution. Using some pine flooring specially fitted in our supply warehouse and a stock of Diamabrush blades I tested many combinations of grits and blades until I found a system that removed coatings without causing damage to the edges of the pine boards. I then asked Diamabrush to make a few of the tools so that we could send them out to contractors to be tested in real world environments (which are often quite different from testing environments). After a year of testing, the feedback from the onsite use was overwhelmingly positive and as a result we have had the Diamabrush Softwood Tool manufactured and it is now available to buy.
To summarise, the benefits of both the hardwood and softwood tools are as follows.
Removes any sticky or high build products from hard or softwood floors.
Can also be used for removal of thinset.
Saves time over traditional abrasives.
Works out cheaper than abrasives for contractors.
Works on any low-speed rotary machine.
Avoids damage to sanding machines caused by heat and dust from compounds
Can be used by anyone who can handle a rotary machine.
Blades are replaceable.
If you would like to know more about the Diamabrush Wood Tools or any of the other floor solutions that Diamabrush have, please do not hesitate to contact us.
You can buy the Diamabrush bitumen removal softwood tool here