A Step-by-step Guide of Floor Sanding for Beginners

The guide below is a brief overview of the floor sanding process. You can find more information about floor sanding and polishing on our primary floor sanding page. Floor sanding typically isn’t a job you’d want to do yourself though.

Floor Sanding for Beginners

This is a basic, step-by-step guide of floor sanding for beginners.  Preparation is necessary to prevent any possible damage during the sanding process. You need to ensure that there are no protruding nails that can damage the sanding machine by smoothing the belt and heat up the surface quicker. Often time you will find a covering layering above the wooden floor, which are fastened by staples, tacks or adhesive. These need to be removed, as an adhesive can clog the gear of the machine or stick into the sandpaper. Make sure the room or area is empty, as it may get sucked into the machine or obstructing your way.


You now can start using a drum sander to level the floor and remove any remaining from coat previous flooring. Depending on the hardness of the floor, you might need different grit-paper. If your floor is jagged and full of dents and scratch, start with a rough 30-grit to 40-grit paper. If not, you can use a finer option. Afterwards, you need to repeat the process for multiple times, using a medium grit-paper, a 50 or 60-grit, and gradually changing into a finer grit-paper. Make sure that you clean up in between grits to avoid damages to the floor. Then, you still need to rough edging the corner area that was previously unreachable with a 6 or 7-inch disk sander. Make sure that you sand the edge using the same grit-paper. For the final edging, you can use a carbide paint scraper to sand the corners, which can be quite intricate without an experience.
Using the machine could be quite difficult, especially if you aren’t familiar with the process. These are the things you may need to pay attention to when operating the machine:

  • Diagonally sanding across the grain’s direction can produce a smoother surface, as it doesn’t spoil the microstructure of the wood. This way you can tear out the tattered surface quicker.
  • Walking backwards when sanding the floor can reduce the contact between the drum and the floor – meaning less heat and caking on the grit-paper


For a finish, you still need to apply layers of coating. The remains of urethanes or polyurethanes provide a protective coating, giving more durability for your floor. There are different kinds of coating you can choose including oil-modified, moisture-cure, water-based, wax, varnish, lacquer, shellac, and Non Toxic natural oil.
You need to know, however, that this procedure requires a skill and experience to be done properly. Before performing these steps, please consult a professional to prevent any injuries.  That concludes our step by step guide of floor sanding for beginners.  If that sounds like too much hard work, then call us.  We are happy to do it for you.
For any inquiries or services about sanding you can contact us.

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