How To Sand Hardwood Floors

Many people dream of having stunning wooden flooring in their homes, which may mean restoring the hardwood flooring that they currently have.Sanding the flooring is more time consuming and difficult than people think.A rush job can be physically exhausting and can damage your floor.

Step 1: Take into account the chance of lead.

Lead is found in the floor finishes of many older homes.The practice ended in 1978 in the US, the 1990s in Canada and Australia, and the 1920s or earlier for most other Western countries.If your house was built before the ban in your country, it’s a good idea to hire a floor finisher with lead certification.If you decide to sand an old floor yourself, make sure to cover the vents, doorways, and light fixture with plastic sheeting.This is a good idea for any sanding job to make it easier to clean up the dust.Attach the vacuum to the sander.A “dust free” setup isn’t actually dust free, but it helps.Old clothes and a HEPA-filter respirator are required.Don’t wear clothes outside of the work area.Keep pregnant women and children out of the house until the day’s work is done and the area has been vacuumed with a wet/dry vac.

Step 2: Make sure to check for nails and staplers.

Hammer at the nails that are sticking up.Remove the metal and staples from the old flooring.Your machine can be damaged by these.

Step 3: You can rent a drum sander.

You should find a rental store that will teach you how to use it.The drum stands flat or nearly flat on the floor if the drum sander’s rear wheel is tight.Remove any dust from the machine.If your floor is flat with no noticeable warp, you can use a standing orbital sander.It is easier to use without damaging the floor.

Step 4: Coarse grit sandpaper can be put on the sander.

The trailing end of the paper should be secured with coarse sandpaper around the drum.Some sanders have screws and others have a snap bar.It’s a good place to start for most floors.If your floor only has a thin layer of finish, you may be able to skip this step and start with 60-grit sandpaper.You’ll need to put sandpaper in the drum’s loading slot to even it out.The drum machine is less likely to tear on cloth-backed sandpaper.

Step 5: There is a hidden area.

You can pick a closet floor or a spot that is normally covered by furniture.Run the drum sander until it reaches full speed, then lower it.Prepare to start walking because it will move immediately.Lift the sander before you turn it off.Before you move to the rest of the floor, get the hang of this.A mark will be left on the floor if the machine is turned off or on.Make sure the dust bag is attached if you get dust clouds.A dust mask is a good idea.Eye and ear protection is recommended.There is a chance that something is wrong with the machine if you see a tight repeating pattern of marks.The belt is not worn or compressed, the parts are tightly assembled, and the sandpaper is loaded flat.

Step 6: Decide where to start.

The machines are set up so that one side of the drum is slightly lower than the other.Start on the left wall if this is the right side.Start on the right wall if this is the correct side.

Step 7: There is sand at an angle to the grain.

You can move at a 7 to 15 degree angle for the first stage of sanding.This will help level the floor.It reduces the chance of “dish out” or “waves” when a loose floor gets sanded more in some spots than others.

Step 8: As you sand, move constantly.

The area should be sand at the same angle.The sander may eat through deeper than you intended if you stay in one place.The coarse sanding will remove the old seal and level the floor.Walk at a brisk pace.Slow down to a moderate pace if this doesn’t get through the old finish.Orbital sanders are not powerful enough to cause immediate damage when they stop in one spot.

Step 9: Continue until most of the floor is sanded.

When you get to the wall, you can overlap your first pass by moving the sander back to your starting point.The whole area in front of you will be sanded after you walk to the wall.Lift the lever if you need to go over one spot more than once.This will cause the drum to be raised off the ground, avoiding a mark where it reversed.If you are sanding a large room, you will need to replace the sandpaper at least once.The edge of the wall is not accessible by a drum sander.You’ll use an edge sander for those areas later, if you leave the edges unsanded.

Step 10: The shorter side of the room needs to be finished.

You stood at the beginning of each pass in the unsanded area at one end of the room.Sand this area moving along the same angle as before.

Step 11: The dust needs to be vacuumed.

Let the dust settle and then use a professional vacuum to clean it up.When choosing a machine to rent, look for one with soft wheels that won’t leave a mark on the floor.Stay on your respirator until the dust is gone.The sander’s dust bags should be emptied when they are half full.

Step 12: Medium grit sandpaper is what you’re going to use.

Many scratches may still be visible when your floor is free of the old finish.To deal with this problem, load 60-grit sandpaper onto your drum sander.The ALO is loaded with medium tension.Don’t skip from coarse to fine, such as 36 to 80.It can leave deep scratches on the floor.

Step 13: There are pencil marks on the floor.

It can be hard to see how effective the sanding is.Draw light, zig-zag pencil marks on the floor.You know you’ve sanded that area when the pencil marks are gone.You can use this technique on any of the steps below.

Step 14: Start on the other side of the room.

On your first pass, you did a long run followed by a short run to fill in your starting point.Start from the opposite wall so you don’t end up with the same dividing line.If you plan to stain the floor, that line may become visible if you use the same pattern as before.

Step 15: There is sand along the grain.

You may end up with stripes on your floor if you sand on the same diagonal path as the first sanding job.Sand along the boards.Dust should be vacuumed up once this stage is over.If your sander is in contact with the floor, never turn it on or off.

Step 16: There is a buffing agent with 80 grit sandpaper.

You can use a drum sander, but this is easier and more effective.This will remove the scratches.Once you’re done, vacuum the floor again.

Step 17: The floors should be finished with 100 grit paper.

If you plan on staining the floor, this is not necessary.There are more scratches on these surfaces.

Step 18: An edge sander is used.

You can reach against the edge of the wall with these handheld tools.You probably already reached the walls if you use an orbital sander.You can remove the finish at the corners with a handheld sander if you skip this section.

Step 19: Start at 36-grit.

You can skip some of the steps you used on the whole floor for this small area.To remove the old finish, you will need to start with a coarse grit.

Step 20: Sand is in a zigzag pattern.

The edge sander should be moved back and forth along the wall.It’s less likely to leave marks than a side-to-side motion.Most tools are designed to move right along the wall.

Step 21: You can repeat it with fine sandpaper.

It is now possible to skip straight to 80-grit sandpaper.Wait until the edge matches the rest of the floor.Special techniques will need to be used to avoid burning the floor and paper.You will need a sander with a slow speed setting and an “open coat” sandpaper.

Step 22: The dust needs to be vacuumed up.

The floor is ready to be stained or wax.Keep dirt, abrasives, and heavy objects off the floor until it’s done.