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Flooring

Which upright SANDING machine is best for this job?

I have a Mexican tile floor that is so far gone I have been told (By a Mexican tile expert) that the only way to save it is to sand it, stain it and seal it.  I need to know the best equipment to use to sand old Mexican/saltillo/terracotta type tile, and then I would like to stain the tile a darker (Walnut/Spanish Oak/Dark Gray/Black or close to Black) color then seal it. If you have any tips (sanding equipment to use, type of stain and sealant, etc.) on the best way to do these three things  that would be greatly appreciated!

A floor polisher and chemical/liquid strippers will not work in this situation. I have been told by a Mexican tile expert that the tile has to be sanded and not polished, scrubbed or stripped... the tiles need to be sanded to remove all the old sealant, coating and glaze from the tiles to expose the porous inside layer of the tiles before applying the stain and then apply a new sealant.  So I am wondering which sanding machine would be best for the soft clay tile and what type of sanding grid to use that will remove the old sealant, coating and glaze from the tile so it can then be stained properly and then sealed.  Also suggestions of what type of stain and sealant would be helpful.

So I strictly need answers to these 6 questions...

1. Which of the machines listed below would be most effective for this?

2. What kind/grit of sandpaper/sanding grid would be best?

3. What type/brand of stain will be best for this job?

4. What type of sealant is best for this and will result in a high gloss shine?

5. Could a clear epoxy coating be a good choice for sealing this after its stained?

6. How often will the floor need to be re-sealed?



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Posted 2015-03-05T22:47:28+0000  by graydations graydations
 
Unfortunately I know nothing about Mexican tile but sanding certainly seems possible.  I would imagine, just like with a wood floor, it's going to take several passes with finer and finer grits.  I'd probably also stay away from drum sander.  They take some experience to use without gouging the floor (even a tile floor).

I'm curious why you didn't get more specific answers from your expert?  If he's still available, I think you'd be better off asking him.  Since Mexican tile is only popular in certain parts of the country and only some percentage people sand and stain the old tile, finding a Home Depot employee with direct experience might be a challenge.

Another thought might be to find a tile store in your area that caters to the trades.  If you're nice and pick an off time (usually late morning or early afternoon) someone would probably be willing to answer your questions assuming you'd buy your supplies from the store.
Posted 2015-03-06T01:30:55+0000  by Adam444
Yes I may try to contact the mexican floor guy that I spoke with... He quoted me a huge price to do the job so I am hoping to save alot of money to do the job myself.  So I was avoiding asking him too many questions because I didnt want him to get the idea that I was leaning towards doing the job myself.

I know what you mean about the drum sander... I have used it on hard wood floors in the past and I know how aggressive it can be... so I am only listing it as a last resort... but I have never used the other  two sanders and I was wondering how they compare to the drum sander.
Posted 2015-03-06T16:39:01+0000  by graydations
Hmmmm... No replies from HD on this... I guess I will just have to go to Lowes.
Posted 2015-03-09T18:17:39+0000  by graydations
As I had said, find a Home Depot (or Lowes) employee with any experience in sanding floor tile might be a challenge.

Just as an aside, understand that using a sander designed for wood floor on tile may damage the sander and you could be held responsible for repairs or replacement.  It may be another reason that Home Depot employees are reluctant to make any suggestions.
Posted 2015-03-11T13:09:40+0000  by Adam444
 
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