The hardwood floor has an artistic and sleek appearance that immediately grabs the attention of anyone who steps on the floor. It’s evident that you get bored with your floor after a few years, and you want to change your floor colors and overall look. So, if you want to change the color of your hardwood floor or you want to stain it, sand it first. Without sanding, it’s impossible to change the color of your hardwood floor. An orbital sander is the top-notch and favorite option for sanding the hardwood floors.
If you are looking for a proper way of sanding your hardwood floor with an orbital sander, this guide is actually for you.
What Does Sanding of Hardwood Floor Mean?
Sanding on the hardwood floor removes the top surface of the wooden floor with abrasive material. This is done to stain or color the hardwood floor. The hardwood floor sanding is done when the previous covering has been removed, and the suitable wood is hidden underneath. Sanding has three main steps: preparation, sanding, and protective sealant coating.
What is an Orbital Sander?
An orbital sander is a tool used to sand the hardwood floors. It removes the upper part of the wood floor at a rapid speed and leaves the surface sparkling. Orbital sanders are worth investing in as they are powerful enough to remove a lot of material within a short period. Moreover, they are always precise and leave a smooth, shiny surface behind. Orbital sanders are of various types, but random orbital sanders and regular orbital finishing sanders are the most used ones.
Process of Sanding Hardwood Floors with Orbital Sander
A random orbital sander is best if you have to sand a small floor like a room or a small house floor. For large floor sanding, you need to invest in professional drum sanders. Before sanding your floor, make sure that you have removed all the stains from the floor. Use fine sandpapers for hard-to-reach corners and grain the old colors. Please follow the below steps to sand your hardwood floor like a professional.
1. Prepare the Floor
The first step in sanding the floor is to prepare your floor. You must remove all the furniture and fixtures from the floor. If your room has curtains and blinds, it’s better to remove them. But if you cannot remove your curtains and blinds, you must cover them with plastic sheets and seal them tightly. Then hang curtains and blinds at least 4 feet high from the floor. Make sure there will be no interference on the floor when you sand it.
Prepare yourself also before sanding. Wear gloves, a face mask, goggles, and earbuds to protect you from dust. Besides this, you should also take frequent breaks during the sanding process to not get tired. Also, take someone’s help clearing the furniture from the room and carrying the orbital sander to the workplace.
2. Determine Floor Thickness
Before sanding, determine the thickness of your hardwood floor. For sanding, your hardwood floor should be 0.75 inches thick at least. So, if your floor is less than 0.75 inches thick, then you should not take the risk of sanding the floor. You may end up damaging your floor more than before. If the floor is less than 0.75 inches thick, it’s recommended to take professional help for sanding rather than doing it yourself.
3. Choose Sandpaper
For sanding, you will require a lot of sandpapers with varying grit. The grit of the sandpaper is the rating of abrasive material on it. Choose open-face sandpaper because they are not only economical but also easy to use. You will require varying grits of sandpaper for the entire sanding process for the following reasons.
Coarser grits of sandpaper: Coarser grits of the sandpaper are needed for the first round of manual sending. Besides this, they are also required to remove the old finish from the wood.
Finer grits of sandpaper: The finer grits of sandpaper are used to get a smoother finish in the sanding process.
20-grit sandpaper: To paint the floor, you will require 20 grit sandpaper.
36-grit sandpaper: 36-grit sandpaper is required for shellac and varnish.
100-grit sandpaper: For final finishing, 100-grit sandpaper is perfect.
It will help if you buy some extra sandpaper, depending upon your hardwood floor condition. You can return them to your home depot if they are not used after finishing the sanding process.
4. Sand the Room with Orbital Sander
You have to use the orbital sander just like mowing on the lawn. Carefully proceed with the orbital sander row by row and overlap the space at least half of the sander’s width. Repeatedly passes over the same part of the floor so that sanding will be perfect.
For corners, use sandpaper manually to remove the stains from hardwood if it’s difficult for the orbital sander to go there.
5. Vacuum and Wipe the Dust
After sanding is done, use a vacuum cleaner to wipe up or suck the dust from the floor. After vacuuming, use a tack cloth to pick up any dust and debris left behind. If the hair of a screw is trapped inside the polyurethane, then carefully remove it without damaging the floor. Sand over the hair strand first and carefully pull it out with any sharp pin. Re-sand this same area by using finer grip sandpaper.
6. Use Sealer to Refinish the Floor
The sanding process is complete without sealing the floor, but it’s better to seal your floor if it sees heavy traffic and is prone to stains easily. Sealing your floor with a good sealer will protect it from stains. Please choose an oil-based polyurethane sealer instead of a water-based sealer. Wear gloves and ensure that the sealer is spread evenly to the entire floor. Let the floor dry for 48-72 hours before you move the furniture to the room.
Benefits of Using Orbital Sander on Hardwood Floor
Using an orbital sander on a hardwood floor has the following benefits.
- It is cheaper than a drum sander, so it is very cost-effective.
- You don’t require specialized skills or expertise to use it.
- For a newbie having no experience with wood grains, the orbital sander is easy to operate and more forgiving.
Sanding your hardwood floor doesn’t demand energy, money, and expertise. You can sand your hardwood floor like a professional if you follow this guide. Try it now and get your hardwood floor sparkle within a few hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does over-sanded wood look like?
The over-sanded wood has an uneven and distorted appearance. Even professionals mistakenly over-sanded the wood floor sometimes. It usually happens when you attempt to sand out the discolored, scratched, and defected portion of the floor.
2. How hard is it to sand hardwood floors?
Sanding the hardwood floors is relatively easy but a bit time-consuming. With a good sander, you can easily refinish your hardwood floor even if you are totally inexperienced. Moreover, it doesn’t cost you much and saves a lot of your money by avoid calling professionals.
3. What does 1000 grit sandpaper do?
The 800-1000 grit sandpaper is ultra-fine. The 1000 grits sandpaper is used for final sanding and polishing the thick finishes.