Wood Floor Sanding Q&A

Posted on: 5 May 2015

If you're involved in a DIY project, or you're hiring a professional to refinish a wood floor, the floor must first be sanded in preparation to lay down a new finish. But if you don't know much about the sanding process, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions that will provide you all the information you need to forge ahead.

What  Machines Do You Needed?

In order for effective sanding, several machines are needed, including a floor sander, an edging sander and a floor buffer. A floor sander is the main machine that removes the top surface of the wood floor. It has a circular bonnet at the end of a long handle that moves over your floor as it spins, sanding down the floor.

An edging sander is a hand-held device that is used to reach corners and small areas that aren't reachable with a floor sander. Edging sanders often require you to bend down and get on your knees in order to sand those hard to reach spots. The floor buffer completes the sanding process, and is used to polish and remove any remaining blemishes on the floor.

How Many Times Do You Have to Sand?

Floor sanding isn't effective if you only make one pass and think you're finished, because old wood floors tend to accumulate a great deal of dirt, imperfections and rough spots that need several passes before they are sanded down to the level necessary to apply a new finish.

The order in which you sand is very important, so you should always begin the process with the floor sander, passing it over your entire floor two or three times, then using the edging sander several times and completing the process with the buffer.

What Are Grit Levels & Why Are They Important?

Grit levels refers to the abrasive quality of the sandpaper that you will use with a floor sander and an edging sander. Grit levels in Australia follow the FEPA grit size chart. The most important thing to remember about the grit size is that the higher the number, the less abrasive the sandpaper, and the lower the number, the more abrasive the sandpaper. So a P12 grit would be very coarse, and would sand your wood floor very quickly, but it could also take off too much of the wood, making it difficult to apply a finish.

Always consult with a wood expert like Floor Craft to determine the grit level needed for the kind of wood floor you own.