How To Sand Your Wood Floor

Model: One of the great things about wood floors is that they can be sanded down and refinished like new again. | Date:2010-08-10

One of the great things about wood floors is that they can be sanded down and refinished like new again. You could hire a professional to do this for you if you wish, but the truth is that there is nothing here that you couldn't do yourself. Sanding a wood floor just takes a little patience and following a certain procedure to get the results that you want. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can sand your wood floor and have it looking like new in no time.

You actually could sand it all down by hand if you wanted to, but why would you? The absolute best way to go is to use a sanding machine that can be found very easily at tool rental places or hardware stores. Our recommendation is to use the drum type of sander, as this would usually produce the best results. Some people actually use a disk sander instead, but the circular motion can often leave circular marks in the floor that you won't appreciate later on unless you are very careful.

The drum sander on the other hand is designed to sand in a straight line so you can work with the grain of the wood planks that make up your floor. The only thing that the drum sander cannot accomplish is to get close to the wall's edge or around obstacles like a radiator. It can only get within a couple of inches or so because of it's design. So you will either have to hand sand these areas, or you can use one of the small power sanders that are available at most hardware stores to get in tight in these small areas.

Now that you have your sander all set and ready to go, make sure that you start out using a course or medium grain sandpaper to get the ball rolling. The purpose of this first pass is to get as much of the old finish off the floor as possible at one time. The way that sanding works is you start with the heavier grains first and then with each pass use a finer grain sandpaper to leave a smooth finish at the end that is ready to be covered.

Before you begin sanding, go around the room and look for any nailheads that have popped up or anything in the floor that needs to be removed before the sanding begins. You don't want to tear up your sandpaper on these kind of obstacles. So make sure that all nails are flush with the surface of the floor before you get started.

With each pass of the room, also use your small sander to catch up the edges and corners of the room and around obstacles where the drum sander cannot get close enough. How many passes are needed to bring your floor down to the point where it can be refinished is hard to say. Most often, two to three passes are all that is needed. However, on badly damaged floors, it may take an extra pass or two to get the job done.

Another consideration is that you can also use varnish remover to take off a good portion of the old finish before you even begin sanding if you Iike. Varnish remover can be a pain to work with at times though, and so many people just prefer to use the drum sander for the entire job.

As you finish sanding with a fine grain sandpaper, you should be able to see nothing but the beautiful grain of your wood floor. At that point you have accomplish your goal, and are now ready to refinish the floor and receive compliments on what a great job you have done.