How To Sand Your Hardwood Floors: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sanding your hardwood floors might seem like an intimidating house renovation task. However, with the right tools, a little bit of elbow grease, and the following guide, you’ll be able to sand your floors like a pro!

Let’s break down the steps you’ll need to follow to successfully sand your hardwood floors.


How to prepare your hardwood floor before sanding?

The first step is to clear out the area and remove any furniture or rugs. Once the room is empty, you’ll need to sweep and vacuum the floor to get rid of any dirt or debris.

The room doesn’t need to be entirely empty but it will sure make the job a lot easier if it is.

If any nails are sticking up, use a hammer to drive them flush with the flooring.

Next, you will have to clean your hardwood floor. First, vacuum and mop with a pH-neutral cleaner. Then, go over the floor with a tack cloth to remove any residual dust.

Now that the room is prepped and ready, we can move on to the next step: choosing the right tools for the job.

What are the best tools to sand hardwood floors?

There are a few different options when it comes to sanding your hardwood floors. You can either use an electric sander, a hand-held sander, or sandpaper.

If you’re planning on renting a sander, we recommend using an electric sander. They’re much easier to maneuver and will save you a lot of time and effort.

Hand-held sanders are best for small areas or tight spaces. If you have a lot of floor to cover, we don’t recommend using a hand-held sander as it will take forever and your arm will be very sore by the end!

You can check out this guide on the best electric floor sanders in 2022.

Sandpaper is the most tedious option but it will get the job done. If you’re sanding by hand, make sure to use higher grit sandpaper to start with and then move to a lower grit as you progress.


How To Sand Your Hardwood Floors A Step-by-Step Guide


How to sand a hardwood floor?

Now that you have your tools, it’s time to start sanding! If you’re using an electric sander, make sure to read the instructions carefully before you get started.

Start in the farthest corner of the room and work your way backwards towards the door. This will make it easy to get out when you’re finished!

Use even, consistent strokes, and don’t apply too much pressure. You want to sand off the top layer of the finish but you don’t want to damage the wood beneath.

Work in small sections and move the sander slowly to ensure you don’t miss any spots.

DIY vs Hiring a pro

Now that you know how to sand hardwood floors, you might be wondering if it’s worth it to hire a professional.

Hiring a professional might seem costlier than doing it yourself but it will save you a lot of time and effort.

A professional will also be able to do a better job since they have more experience, therefore saving you time on any potential do-overs.

Hiring a professional can also be cheaper in the long run as they will have access to better quality equipment and sandpaper.

Is hiring a professional cheaper than sanding your own hardwood floors?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. If you’re planning on sanding a large area, it will definitely be cheaper to hire a professional.

After all, some common sanding mistakes can be quite costly, such as sanding too deeply and damaging the wood or using the wrong type of sandpaper and ruining the finish.

These mistakes could lead to you having to replace the entire floor, which would be much more expensive than hiring a professional in the first place!

We strongly recommend you hire a professional if you’re planning on sanding a large room or if you’ve never sanded floors before.


How To Sand Your Hardwood Floors A Step-by-Step Guide


Finishing your hardwood floor sanding project

Once you’re finished sanding, it’s time to apply a new finish. This will protect your floors and make them look shiny and new!

There are a few different types of finishes you can choose from, such as oil-based, water-based, or polyurethane.

We recommend using a water-based finish as it’s less smelly and easier to apply.

Once you’ve chosen your finish, follow the instructions on the can and apply it evenly across the floor.

Make sure to do this in a well-ventilated area as the fumes can be quite strong!

After the finish has dried, you should vacuum and mop the floor to remove any dust or debris.

You should also avoid walking on the floor for at least 12 hours to give the finish time to set.

Long term maintenance of your hardwood floors

Now that you’ve sanded and finished your hardwood floors, you’ll want to keep them looking their best!

To do this, you should vacuum and mop the floor regularly. You should also avoid walking on the floor with shoes as this can damage the finish.

Instead, you can use home slippers or put down rugs in high-traffic areas.

If you take these steps, your hardwood floors will stay looking beautiful for years to come!

If you have any spills, make sure to clean them up immediately as this can damage the finish.

For more stubborn stains, you can use a mild cleaner and a soft cloth. Just be sure to avoid harsh chemicals as these can damage the wood.

Wrapping up

Sanding your hardwood floors can be a daunting task but it’s definitely worth it in the end. The key is to take your time, choose the right tools, and use a good quality finish.

If you’re not confident in your abilities, we recommend hiring a professional to do the job for you.

Either way, you’ll be left with beautiful floors that will last for years to come!


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