How to Use a Belt Sander on Hardwood Floors?

How to Use a Belt Sander on Hardwood Floors

Most of us have hardwood floors in our homes which are mostly adorned with lavish carpets and rugs. These beautiful carpets hide away the grace of the wooden floors. The carpets also accumulate dust in them which can lead to dullness in the shine and polishing of your wooden floor. Now most of us do not want that and like the wooden floors shiny and clean with their beauty at the best.

For this, you can refine the hardwood floors with just the right types of equipment. Now refining the hardwood floors at home might seem to be a hard feat, but the reality is quite the opposite. Most of you would have heard about the equipment called the Belt Sander. These tools are equipped with rotating sandpaper which gives quick results with the right use.

To sand the hardwood floors with a belt sander is an easy task that you can easily do by yourself at home just with proper knowledge. This equipment does a fine job in leveling out your precious floor and bringing it out finer with all the rough surface gone. In this guide, I will explain How to Use a Belt Sander on Hardwood Floors in a step-by-step guide, along with the material you need and safety measures you should follow. You can also check out the guide on using a belt sander on decks.

How to Use a Belt Sander on Hardwood Floors

Pieces of Equipment You Will Need

When you are planning to start your work, there is a list of pieces of equipment that you need to make sure to have. These pieces of equipment will help you out during the course of your work. Each and every one of these is necessary as they play an important part in your work. Here is the list of the pieces of equipment you need;

Pieces of Equipment You Will Need
  1. Vacuum cleaner
  2. Belt Sandpaper
  3. Belt Sander
  4. Electrical outlet
  5. Extension Cord
  6. Dust Mask
  7. Gloves
  8. Eye Protection Goggles

What Do I Need To Do To Get My Floors Ready to Sand?

Before you start your work, there are a few important measures you need to take before sanding the floor. If you do not make sure of the following important points, you might end up ruining your work. Let us look at the following important points;

  1. The very first thing you are supposed to do is to measure the size of the room. This will help you to know how much area you need to cover to get the work done.
  2. The next thing that you must do is remove any rug or carpet you have laid down on the floor. If you try to sand over such things, the sander not only gets damaged but also damages your stuff.
  3. The next step is to remove any type of nails, or staples on the floor to avoid the risk of any damage.
  4. Now you must remove all the quarter-round, but it is not necessary to remove the baseboards. If the baseboards of your quarter-round are painted then removing it will be quite a repainting job. You can skip it if you do not plan to work on it. All you will have to do is to be careful when you reach the edge. You can just use a sharp scraper to clean the floor, you will just have to be more careful and do some paint touchups when you are done.
  5. You should also remove the doors which open into the room to cover every corner carefully.
  6. Now you may feel this is absurd, but you will have to remove all the furniture, all of it to keep it safe from dust.
  7. You should also either remove or raise any long hanging chandeliers or decorative stuff otherwise you will either hurt your head or break something.
  8. If you have any small pets like birds, rabbits, cats, guinea pigs, etc, you should shift them to a safer and cleaner environment. This is a necessary precaution because fumes of oil-modified polyurethane can be lethal to small pets. So it is better to remove your pets to keep them safe from any kind of disease.
  9. The last but not the least thing you should consider is taking pictures of the floor you are going to use a belt sander on. This will allow you to know how much work you have done properly with fine repairs.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to use Belt Sander on Hardwood Floors

Step 1

The first thing to do is prepare the floor by removing all the carpets and stuff you have laying there. You should vacuum all the loose debris left from the removal of the furniture.

step 1

This will keep the loose debris and little items like pebbles from getting caught in the sandpaper. If these get in the way of the sandpaper they will rip it apart quickly.

Step 2

Now that you have vacuumed the floor, it is time to turn the sandpaper on. You should wear eyeglasses dedicated to this type of work and a dust mask, better to change into a different working attire. This will help you keep your eyes and hands safe from the dust. After that put the sandpaper on the sander by releasing the lever.

Step 2

Make sure to precut the sandpaper before loading it on the sander. Then spin the rollers manually so that the paper tightens up on the sander. After that close, the lever, lock the machine, and be ready to start the work.

Step 3

Now that your sander is ready, you should plug it in the electric cord, hold it firmly over the floor, and turn it on. You should always hold the sander with both hands from the front and back handles.

Step 3

You should then slowly lower the unit on the floor and start working. When you are sanding the hardwood floor, make sure to keep the sander constantly moving. You should move it in the wood grain direction and not sit it in one place or you will end up with a real band dent on the floor.

Step 4

Now you just have to keep moving the sander slowly back and forth on the overlap. The slow movements will ensure that you get a smooth sanding of the hardwood floor. When your hand is tired or you want to see the progress of the work, slowly lift the sander and turn it off.

Step 4

This way you will be ensured of your work progress. When the initial sanding of the hardwood floor is done, it is time to shift to the finer sandpaper, and then start the sanding of the floor again until you have achieved your desired outcome.

Cleaning The Surface After Sanding

Now that you have perfectly sanded the whole area it is time to clean it. You have to make sure that the whole hardwood floor is dust-free and perfectly cleaned. It is better to use a high-power vacuum to clean all the floor. After that, you can further clean it if it is still dirty.

Cleaning The Surface After Sanding

It is better to leave the sanded room locked for 24 hours so that all the remaining dust settles. Also, you should make sure that the floor is 100% moisture free after being cleaned and perfectly dried up. You should make sure of all of this before moving on to using finishing on the floor.

Finishing The Wood Floor

Now it may seem to most people that the last part of the whole process is easy and can be done at once but that is not the case. The finishing of the floor requires some pretty good artistic attributes. This is a process that you need to carry on without leaving any lap marks. But if you got around with the sanding, you might be able to get the finishing done. For this, you need a respirator and a broad brush for the floor.

Finishing The Wood Floor

You need to evenly apply the finish on the floor and before moving the brush squeeze it properly to get all the extra finish out. This will help with not getting any overlap marks. The whole finishing process is very delicate. If you think that you are clumsy, it is better to leave it all to the experts to do the finishing. The finishing of the hardwood floor is a very important process for its refinement.


Can you sand the hardwood floor with a belt sander?

Yes, you can easily sand the hardwood floor with a belt sander. You just have to use the right grit and exert the right amount of pressure. The belt sanders are great pieces of equipment to refine your dull hardwood floors.

What grit sandpaper should I use for the hardwood floor?

It is better to use 36 grit sandpaper on the hardwood floor that has not been sanded in a long while. If you have a painted wooden floor, then it is recommended to go for 24 to 16 grit sandpaper, as it is more rough and tough. If the hardwood floor is made of maple wood, then it is best to use 36 grit paper as it is great for the hard floor.

How long does it take to sand down a hardwood floor?

The professional can take up to anywhere from 1 to 5 days to sand the hardwood floor and then give it a good finish. While a DIY enthusiast can take up to 5 to 12 days to get the hardwood floor done. Also, all of the work time depends upon the size of the floor we are sanding.


Sanding the hardwood floor might not be that difficult at all for the ones who want to do it themselves. Instead, sanding the floor is an enjoyable experience that requires your full attention and dedication for great results. The whole guide goes through the processes required to give a whole new and fresh look to your beautiful hardwood floor. I hope this thorough guide will help you all to get the work done.

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