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Abrasives for wood floor sanding machine... What materials should I choose?

Abrasives for wood floor sanding machine... What materials should I choose?

For the wood floor sanding contractor, there is a variety of abrasives to achieve different finishes and effects on wood floor surfaces. Here at Ultimate Floor Care, we stock a wide range of different materials, Sizes, and grit to supply and support our contractors. Depending on what machine you are using, what type of finish you are removing from the floor, and what working life you expect from your abrasive will depend on your choice. Our job is to give the best support and advice based on the challenge you have. Over the coming month, keep an eye out for knowledge articles based on challenges you face on job sites and what abrasive is best to save you time and get you out of trouble. Let's talk a little about the different materials that we offer from our Abrasives Range. 


Aluminium Oxide. 

Aluminium oxide is widely used in floor sanding due to its effectiveness and durability in removing material and finishing quickly from the floor. You can usually identify it by its reddish / maroon colour of the grit; it is suitable for both hardwood and softwood and is available in disc and belt form based on your requirements. Thanks to its Hardness, Durability, Versatility and Heat resistance. This is a go-to material for the wood floor sanding contractor, as well as intermediate and fine sanding. This cost-effective option gives you value for money along with great advantages. Some disadvantages with Aluminum Oxide are that it is prone to clogging and its working life is lower than other materials on the market, but sometimes you just need to remove coatings and move on to the next grit no matter how many you go through. 



Zirconia is growing in popularity in the wood floor sanding industry as the go-to abrasive material of choice. It can be identified, but it is blue in colour in belt and disc form. Due to its high performance and long lifespan, the best use of this material is for removing tough coating and finishes and then moving into intermediate sanding. Because of the sharp, aggressive cutting action of the zirconia mineral, it is always recommended to use zirconia for your course and then move into intermediate sanding. One downside of using Zirconia abrasives is the aggressiveness of the cut, although this can be rectified with careful intermediate sanding to remove the scratch from the previous grit choice. 


Silicon Carbide. 

Silicon Carbide is known for its fine, smooth produce in the floor sanding process. Made up of lots of tiny sharp shards of carbide, they are distinctive in identifying them due to their Black abrasive cover pattern, sometimes found in grey but predominantly in black. The sharpness, hardness, and heat resistance of these abrasives make it great for your finishing sanding and allow you to sand longer. It can be used for your first cut on the edges or the middle of the floor but is most effective for preparing the floor after your intermediate sanding for staining or finishing wooden floors. A uniform and consistent material to choose for this stage of sanding. A disadvantage to using silicon carbide is the brittleness of the abrasive and its tendency to clog more frequently, which is why it is used predominantly for finishing.  


Ceramic Abrasives for the wood flooring industry are designed to deliver superior sanding results across a range of applications. Usually, the colour can't be determined whether it is ceramic or not, as brand specifics determine the colour. Our Starcke Range of Ceramic abrasives that we have coming onto our shelf can be distinctively identified by their purple colour. Its extreme hardness puts it at the top of the chain for outstanding durability and effective cut after cut. Ceramics are known for outlasting other materials in the market and, unlike others, rely on heat and pressure from sanding to perform to their max. If you're looking for an abrasive system that separates you from the competition, ceramic-coated abrasives are for you. The disadvantage of using ceramics is the cost of the abrasive in comparison to other materials in the market. But I see that as a positive. A positive as it gives you a reason why you would be more expensive in the market. Why can you offer a premium service using premium state-of-the-art abrasive systems?  


This type of abrasive is more of a niche for stock removal. Diamond particles bonded to steel blades to give more aggressive cuts. That type of coating or finish is tough. Also, for that type of floor or coating that has sticky residue where abrasives are more likely to clog, our range of Diamabrush diamonds allows for less clogging of abrasives, Faster working and faster stock removal. Diamond abrasives aren't available in all forms, predominantly for large 17-inch rotary or smaller edging machines that allow the 8-inch grinder attachments. Its exceptional cutting properties and durability make this choice a great one for those sticky or touch coatings. The disadvantage of diamond abrasives is the scratch pattern they leave, which will need to be removed with heavy, intermediate sanding before you finish sanding. They tend to be more expensive than any other choice, but in the long run, they will save you on the amount of abrasive in another material you will go through.  


We bring this information to you to help you make the best decision when you are choosing your abrasive system. Not all of the above will help with your projects. And not all floors are the same. Each material has its own unique part of the market and application. In the coming weeks, we will do a knowledge article expanding on each material used, giving you customers an honest experience and more knowledge on the do's and don't's of each material to make your job easier and your choice of abrasive an easy one.  

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