Three Hardwood Floor Sanding Tips You Won’t Want to Miss

One of the many advantages of hardwood flooring is it can last in your home for decades. Over time, however, hardwood floors can face their fair share of trauma. Busy households contribute scratches, dents, and nicks from years of human and pet interactions. Wood floors may also fade and grow lackluster. So what is a homeowner to do? Hardwood floor sanding can help revive floors and get them looking practically brand new.

Learn how, with help from the pros at Floor Coverings International, your hardwood floors can experience a refreshing transformation.


One question we commonly receive regarding refinishing hardwood floors is “How do I know if my floor needs sanding?” There are certain types of hardwood that may only require infrequent sanding while others should not be sanded at all. For this reason, it is important to check in with a professional about what your floors need.

Take a look at how you can find out whether your hardwood floor requires sanding:

  1. A Warning Regarding Engineered Hardwood
    While engineered hardwood contains real species of wood, it also consists of factory-glued layers of plywood. The solid hardwood that tops these planks can be sanded, but only once or twice in a lifetime. A solid hardwood floor can typically be sanded up to 10 times.
  2. Seek Confirmation of Solid Hardwood
    Many homeowners know the type of flooring they have. However, if there is any doubt, get it checked out. The last thing you want to do is sand a floor that isn’t comprised of true hardwood. There are many online resources out there to help you determine what kind of flooring you have. Even better, consult with an expert. A reputable flooring company will always be able to identify the type of flooring in front of them!
  3. Proceed With Caution When It Comes to Warping
    Some warping in hardwood is manageable. But if hardwood planks are excessively warped, damaged, or loose, hardwood floor sanding (or any type of refinishing) is not ideal. These issues are often an indication that it’s time to replace your floors.

Again, if you have any notion that your flooring may not withstand sanding, hold off. It’s always best to get the nod from an expert prior to beginning any refinishing project.

The Right Tools for the Job

As a general rule, a hardwood floor can be sanded anywhere from six to 10 sessions during its lifespan. To get the most out of your hardwood floor sanding experience, it’s important to have the right tools. Here are three prize hardwood sanding project tools for success:

  1. Drum Sander
    This tool serves as a primer for hardwood sanding. This hand-pushed machine is designed to roll 60-, 80-, and 120-grit sandpaper to buff out scratches and prepare for the next step of sanding. It’s recommended to sand hardwood floors diagonally with the drum sander to create an even surface. Then, straighten with the direction of the wood grain. Note: the drum sander is heavy and can be difficult to maneuver.
  2. Random-Orbital Sander
    This sanding tool is designed to hit up smaller areas and types of flooring that require a more delicate sanding process. Unlike the drum sander, the random-orbital sander utilizes a fine sandpaper grain that fits a pad rather than a rolling mechanism.
  3. Edge Sander
    An edge sander is basically exactly what you’d imagine. It’s a sanding device specifically created to address tight spots near walls, corners, and base moldings.

DIY or Don’t?

According to most experts, a 500-square foot section of hardwood floor is all that a DIY enthusiast should attempt to sand, especially on a first try. Hardwood floor sanding is messy, dusty, dirty, and loud! And, the money spent on sanding tool rentals, protective gear, and cleaning supplies will overshadow what it will cost for a professional to complete the job.

Still, whether you do it yourself or don’t, the experts at FCI are here to guide you through the best processes and practices to keep your hardwood flooring beautiful for years to come.

Reach out now to schedule a consultation. Or, call us today!

New Jersey: 856-324-4849
Pennsylvania: 215-607-6236
Vermont: 802-891-4086

We look forward to hearing from you!