Floor Polishing Service
Floors Restored
Residential Sanding Service
27 Years Experience
Floor Renovation Service
Wood Flooring Association Certified

Helpful Tips For Wood Floor Sanding to get Impeccable Results

Posted on April 30, 2023


Top 10 Expert Tips for Sanding a Wood Floor: A Step-by-Step Guide to Flawless Results

Sanding a wood floor is a crucial step in restoring and maintaining the beauty of hardwood floors. The process can be labour-intensive and somewhat intimidating for those attempting it for the first time. However, with the right tools, techniques, and patience, you can successfully sand your wood floor and achieve professional results. In this 3000-word blog post, we will discuss helpful tips for sanding a wood floor, including preparation, choosing the right equipment, and finishing touches. Wood Floor Sanding Tips
  1. Assess the condition of your wood floor.

Before you begin sanding, it is essential to evaluate the condition of your wood floor. Check for any loose boards, protruding nails, or damaged areas that may need repair or replacement. Addressing these issues before sanding will ensure a smoother and more even result. Additionally, determine the thickness of your floorboards, as this will affect the sanding process and the type of sandpaper grit you will need to use. Assess the condition of your wooden floor
  1. Gather the necessary tools and materials.

To sand a wood floor effectively, you will need the following tools and materials:
  • A drum sander or an orbital sander
  • A handheld edge sander or a random orbit sander
  • Sandpaper in various grits (typically 36, 60, 80, 100, or 120)
  • A vacuum cleaner or shop vac for dust removal
  • A scraper or putty knife for removing old finish or adhesive
  • Safety equipment, such as goggles, ear protection, and a dust mask
  • Plastic sheeting or drop cloths for protecting surrounding areas
  • Painter’s tape for securing the plastic sheeting
  • A broom or brush for cleaning the floor between sanding stages
Gather the necessary tools and materials
  1. Prepare the room.

Proper preparation is key to a successful sanding project. Start by removing all furniture and other items from the room. Next, cover any vents, windows, and doorways with plastic sheeting or drop cloths to minimise dust spreading throughout your home. Use painter’s tape to secure the sheeting in place. Finally, sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove any debris or dirt that could interfere with the sanding process. Prepare the room
  1. Choose the right sander.

The type of sander you choose can significantly impact the efficiency and outcome of your wood floor sanding project. A drum sander is the most common choice for DIYers and professionals alike, as it can remove material quickly and efficiently. However, it can also be more aggressive and harder to control, potentially causing damage to your floor if not used properly. An orbital sander, on the other hand, is less aggressive and easier to manoeuvre, making it a more forgiving option for beginners. However, it may take longer to complete the job due to its slower removal rate. Whichever sander you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for safe and effective use. Choose the right sander
  1. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper.

Begin the sanding process using coarse-grit sandpaper, typically 36-grit. This will help remove the existing finish, scratches, and other imperfections from your wood floor. Sand in the direction of the wood grain to minimise the risk of causing cross-grain scratches. When using a drum sander, start at one end of the room and make a straight pass down the length of the floor, overlapping each pass slightly to ensure even coverage. Be mindful of your speed, as moving too quickly can cause uneven sanding, while moving too slowly can create gouges in the wood. For an orbital sander, use a slow and steady back-and-forth motion, overlapping your passes as you move across the floor.
  1. Address the edges and corners.

Once you have completed sanding the main area of the floor with the coarse-grit sandpaper, it’s time to address the edges and corners. These areas are often difficult to reach with a drum or orbital sander, so you will need to use a handheld edge sander or a random orbit sander to ensure thorough and even sanding.
Start by using the same grit sandpaper that you used for the main area, and then work your way through the progressively finer grits, just as you will for the rest of the floor. Pay close attention to the transition between the main area and the edges to ensure a seamless result. Address the edges and corners
  1. Progress through finer grits of sandpaper

After completing the initial pass with the coarse-grit sandpaper, it’s time to move on to the finer grits. This process will help smooth the wood further and remove any remaining imperfections. Typically, you will progress through 60-grit, 80-grit, and finally, 100- or 120-grit sandpaper. For each grit, repeat the sanding process as described in steps 5 and 6, making sure to sand in the direction of the wood grain and overlap your passes for even coverage. Remember to clean the floor thoroughly between each grit change, using a vacuum cleaner or shop vac to remove dust and debris.
  1. Final clean-up

Once you have completed the sanding process with the finest-grit sandpaper, it’s time for a thorough final clean-up. Use a vacuum cleaner or shop vac to remove any remaining dust and debris from the floor, as well as from the surrounding walls, baseboards, and any other surfaces that may have been affected. You may also want to use a microfiber mop or a damp cloth to pick up any fine dust particles that the vacuum may have missed. Ensure the floor is completely clean and dry before moving on to the next step of refinishing or staining your wood floor. Final clean-up
  1. Inspect the floor for any missed spots.

Before applying any finish or stain, take the time to inspect your floor closely for any missed spots or imperfections that may need further sanding. It’s essential to address these issues now, as they will be much more challenging to fix once the finish has been applied. If you do find any areas that require additional sanding, use the finest-grit sandpaper you previously used and sand the problem areas carefully. Remember to clean the floor thoroughly again after addressing any missed spots. Inspect the floor for any missed spot
  1. Apply a finish or stain (optional).

Once you are satisfied with the results of your sanding project, you can move on to applying a finish or stain to your wood floor. This step is optional but can greatly enhance the appearance and durability of your hardwood floor. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific product you choose and allow adequate drying time before walking on or placing furniture on your newly refinished floor. Apply a finish or stain

Some Useful Links:

Conclusion Sanding a wood floor can be a labour-intensive and challenging project, but with proper preparation, the right tools, and a bit of patience, you can achieve professional-looking results. By following these helpful tips, you’ll be well on your way to restoring the beauty of your hardwood floors and ensuring they last for years to come.

More from our Blog:

The Ultimate Guide to Sanding and Restoring Parquet Floors Top 12 Rules to Find the Perfect Wood Floor Sanding Company Top Wooden Floor Restoration Techniques | Revitalize Your Floors Hardwood Floor Revival: Sanding & Finishing Guide  
Four cheerful customers holding up signs with the Mr. Sander logo and the text 'We give Mr. Sander 5 stars', showing their satisfaction with the service provided.
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.

Request a fixed price quote for your wood floor restoration now

Simply enter your postcode below to get started.