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Wood Floor Sanding and Polishing | Common Questions Answered

Posted on May 8, 2023


Common Wood Floor Sanding and Polishing Questions: A Comprehensive Guide

With their timeless appeal, wood floors can add warmth and character to any space, creating a welcoming ambiance that other flooring types struggle to match. However, to maintain their charm and aesthetic appeal, wood floors require regular maintenance, including sanding and polishing. This blog post aims to answer some of the most common questions regarding wood floor sanding and polishing, providing you with insights to help maintain the splendour of your wood floors.

1. What Is Wood Floor Sanding, and Why Is It Important?

Wood floor sanding is the process of removing the top surfaces of a wooden floor using abrasive materials. It serves multiple purposes: evening out the surface, eliminating scratches or dents, and preparing the floor for refinishing. Sanding brings out the grain, enhances the natural beauty of the wood, and provides a smooth surface for applying sealant or stain. It’s an essential step in restoring older floors and can also help prolong the lifespan of your floors. Wood Floor Sanding and Polishing

2. When Should I Sand My Wooden Floors?

Identifying when to sand your wooden floors depends on various factors, such as the type of wood, the amount of foot traffic, and the floor’s current condition. Generally, if your floor shows significant signs of wear and tear, such as deep scratches, gouges, or discoloration, it might be time to consider sanding. Likewise, if previous finishes are peeling off or the floor is uneven, sanding may be necessary. However, remember that wooden floors can only be sanded down so many times, so consider consulting with a professional before proceeding.

3. Can I sand and polish my floors myself, or should I hire a professional?

Sanding and polishing wooden floors can be a DIY project if you’re up for it. However, it requires patience, care, and the right equipment. Furthermore, if not done correctly, you could inadvertently cause damage to your floors. For example, sanding too much can thin the planks, while not sanding enough could leave imperfections. Thus, if you’re unsure about the process, hiring a professional could save you from potentially costly mistakes.

4. What Is the Process of Sanding and Polishing a Wooden Floor?

The process of sanding and polishing a wooden floor is typically a four-step process:
  • Preparation: Clear the room of furniture and rugs. Clean the floor to remove any dust or debris.
  • Sanding: Using a floor sander, start with a coarse-grit paper to remove the old finish and scratches. Progress to medium and then fine-grit paper to smooth the floor. Always sand along the grain of the wood, not against it.
  • Cleaning: Vacuum or sweep up the dust created during the sanding process. Then wipe the floor with a damp cloth to pick up any remaining dust particles.
  • Polishing: Apply a wood floor polish or finish. Use a roller or brush, following the grain of the wood. Allow sufficient drying time between coats as per the product instructions.
Wood Floor Sanding, Staining and Restoration

5. How long does the sanding and polishing process take?

The duration of the sanding and polishing process largely depends on the size of the area, the condition of the floor, and whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional. Generally, sanding and polishing a room can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week.

6. How do I maintain my sanded and polished wood floor?

Proper maintenance will extend the life of your sanded and polished wood floor. Here are some tips:
  • Regularly sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dust and debris that could scratch the wood.
  • Immediately clean up any spills to prevent water or other liquids from seeping into the wood and causing damage.
  • Use furniture pads under the legs of furniture to prevent scratches.
  • Refrain from wearing high heels or other sharp objects on the floor.
  • Use rugs or mats in high-traffic areas to reduce wear and tear.

7. What Type of Finish Should I Use After Sanding?

There are several types of finishes available, each offering a different level of protection and aesthetic appeal. Polyurethane finishes are highly durable and great for high-traffic areas. They come in various sheens, from matte to high-gloss. Oil-based finishes penetrate the wood deeper, enhancing its natural colour and grain, but they offer less protection. Natural oil finishes, such as linseed or tung oil, are eco-friendly options that also enhance the wood’s appearance but require more frequent maintenance.

8. How Often Should I Sand and Polish My Wood Floors?

The frequency of sanding and polishing your wood floors depends on the type of finish, the amount of foot traffic, and your maintenance routine. On average, wood floors need to be refinished every 7–10 years. However, high-traffic areas may require more frequent refinishing.

9. Can all types of wood floors be sanded and polished?

Most types of wood floors can be sanded and polished, but there are exceptions. For instance, laminate or thin engineered floors might not be suitable for sanding due to the thinness of their wood layer. Additionally, some old or historic wood floors may require special care or techniques. Always consult with a flooring professional if you’re unsure.

10. How can I minimise dust during the sanding process?

Sanding can indeed produce a lot of dust. Using a dustless sanding system or a sander with a built-in dust collection bag can help minimise dust. Sealing off the area you’re working in with plastic sheets can also help contain the dust. Remember to wear a dust mask and safety glasses for personal protection. In conclusion, wood floor sanding and polishing is a process that can bring new life to your floors, enhancing the beauty of your home. Whether you decide to tackle it as a DIY project or hire a professional, understanding the process and knowing what to expect can help ensure that your wood floors remain a source of pride and enjoyment for years to come.

Some Useful Links:

Floor Sanding Service


We provide virtually dust-free sanding with our continuous belt machinery with mobile extraction units, giving you a safer environment for your family.

Floor Oiling Service


This organic finish not only adds beauty to your home but also has exceptional water-repellent characteristics, making it easier to clean and maintain.

Floor Waxing Service


This natural floor finish offers the softest and most mellow appearance – and leaves your floor able to breath.

Floor Buffing Service


Using soft buffing machines (and hand-polishing where required) will bring a wonderful sheen to your newly-finished floor.

Wood Floor Repairs


We offer a full assessment of your wooden floors to determine what repairs are needed to provide the perfect working surface for the later stages of sanding, staining and sealing. 

Floor Restoration Service


We offer a comprehensive restoration process designed to address floors that are improperly fitted or damaged over time through wear and tear.

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