6 easy steps to sanding wood floors

September 23, 2015

Sanding wood floors can be a large job. For the "do-it-yourselfer," these 6 easy steps will have your floors smooth and ready for stain in no time!

6 easy steps to sanding wood floors

Preparation and materials

Before you start your sanding project, you need to gather the proper tools and materials. You will need:

  • Dust mask
  • Noise protection for your ears
  • Claw hammer
  • Nail punch
  • Floor sander
  • Sanding belts (coarse, medium and fine)
  • Edging sander

Sanding your floors

Sanding your floors doesn't have to be a confusing hassle. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Sanding floors is a noisy business that creates lots of dust, so be sure to wear a dust mask and ear protection. Before you begin, make sure that the room is entirely empty of furnishings, which includes taking down the curtains.
  2. Carefully check over the floor, and use your claw hammer to remove any tacks that may remain from previous floor coverings. Look at all the floorboard nails; if any are protruding, firmly nail them down with the punch and hammer.
  3. Now you can begin to sand. Fit a coarse-grade sanding belt first. Beginning at one edge of the room and work along the length of the boards. You'll feel the sander drag you forward: hold it slightly in check so that it moves at a controlled rate and you don't miss any spots on the floor.
  4. If any of your boards are curled (a common problem in old houses), then do your first pass diagonally to smooth the edges.
  5. When you have finished one strip, move on to the adjacent section of floor. Take care to lift the belt from the floor as you turn the machine around, and never try to pull it backwards. Once you have covered the whole floor, repeat the process with the medium belt, and then the fine-grade belt. Don't sand diagonally with these finer belts.
  6. The edges of the room have to be tackled separately with an edging sander. The corners must be done with a scraper, or with a hand-held sander designed specifically for the task. When you have finished, vacuum the floor thoroughly, then wipe over with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth to remove the last of the dust. Finish with several coats of oil, varnish, stain or paint.

There you go -- 6 simple steps to sanding your wood floors and prepping them for a beautiful varnish or stain. After this, your room will be well-on-its-way to looking amazing.

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