The Benefits of Norton Sand Dollars

Norton Sand Dollar

When it comes to working with hardwood floors, your sanding technique is everything. If you use the wrong grit or the wrong type of abrasive for the job, you could expose yourself to adhesion problems, swirl marks, or scratch patterns that will show through your final coat.

Today, we’re going to talk about the answer to the weaknesses of PSA sanding sheets and screens: Norton Sand Dollars.

First, let’s talk about some problems you may encounter when using screens and PSA sanding sheets:

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  • If improperly used, they could leave scratches or swirl marks, especially when they are worn down.
  • They tear or curl up, which can leave adhesive or unwanted deep scratch marks in the finish. If PSA sanding sheetshook and loop strips are used, the risk for scratching is even greater.
  • Sometimes the abrasive material isn’t aggressive enough to abrade finish in a screen and recoat application. Instead, it could just burnish the finish, which leads to adhesion problems when you apply the next coat. Maroon pads can be used in between coats as well, but typically wear rather quickly.
  • Using worn screens and other abrasives to abrade finishes can leave to several problems. Once the label has worn off, you can’t be sure what grit you are using. And using the wrong grit can lead to abrasion and finish adhesion problems as well.

So if you’re looking for abrasives that are more versatile than traditional PSA strips and screens, it might benefit you to look into the Norton Sand Dollar system.

Here are just a few benefits of Norton Sand Dollars and how they stack up as a between-coat abrasive:

  • The coverage of sand dollars is greater than PSA strips and screens. Each pad will last approximately 1500 sq ft. So you can be more productive when you’re working on a huge sports floor. Less time changing your PSAs and screens means more productivity on the job.
  • They are very durable and resistant to tears.
  • Sand Dollars have cut-outs which optimize dust extraction, giving you a cleaner cut.
  • They leave a finer scratch pattern than traditional screens, while ensuring a good enough “etch” in preparation for next coat.
  • The blue Norton Sand Dollar, which can be used to abrade bare wood, can virtually elimNorton Sand Dollarinate the risk of swirl marks in difficult applications such as staining maple, so it’s great to keep in your arsenal especially for working with a sports floor that you plan to stain or dye.
  • Sand Dollars abrade the surface just enough to get the job done and ensure excellent finish adhesion. This is because of the Sand Dollar’s foam backing, which provides more finesse, while allowing it to glide over high spots in the finish and control the depth of the scratch.
  • The color-coded system ensures that you always know what grit you are using, as opposed to when you use sanding sheets that are worn down past the label.
  • Yellow sand dollars are ideal for in between coats on water based finished, as well as buffing paint in a gym floor setting. Red sand dollars are great for in-between coats for oil finishes. Blue is perfect for abrading bare wood.
  • The 20” Sand Dollars are specifically designed for use with sports floors.
  • There are four color-coded pads. Combined, Sand Dollars can be used for almost any job. Each color is designed for use in very specific situations. See the chart below:
Norton Sand Dollar chart

At City Floor Supply, we appreciate PSA sheets and screens, and we stock them. They’re excellent for certain applications. But it’s good to know the other options out there so you can make the most informed decision about your abrasive choice for every job. Shop our full series of sanding belt abrasives for your hardwood sanding job.

Norton Red Heat is another revolutionary system offered by Norton, which offers an extremely clean yet aggressive cut. Check out our blog post on Red Heat for more details.

If Norton Sand Dollars sound like something you need in your arsenal, check out our selection. 

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Norton Sand Dollar

Norton Sand Dollar

2 thoughts on “The Benefits of Norton Sand Dollars

  1. Paul

    It’s been my experience that past recoters have attempted to use only blue sand dollars with a deep clean and then apply water based finish. So, my question is, does a deep clean using blue sand dollars create enough abrasion to apply a coat of water based finish? It has been my experience that it does not.
    Thank you in advance for your response.

    1. City Floor Supply

      The blue sand dollar equates to a 100-120grd screen. This should be a sufficient scratch to recoat with waterbase finish. The deep cleaning part of your question I do not understand. Are you wet scrubbing with a cleaner and using the blue sand dollar? You could try cleaning the floor first then sanding with the blue sand dollar.


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