How to Sand Hardwood Floors With Orbital Sander

Are your hardwood floors looking worn and in need of a facelift? If so, you’re in luck! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to Sand Hardwood Floors With Orbital Sander. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a homeowner looking to save money on refinishing services, this tutorial is designed to provide you with all the information you need to achieve professional-looking results.

How to Sand Hardwood Floors With Orbital Sander

Say goodbye to those unsightly scratches and dullness – it’s time to bring your hardwood floors back to life! So grab your safety goggles and join us on this exciting journey to transform your floors into works of art.

Why May You Want to Sand Hardwood Floors With Orbital Sander?

1 . To Remove Old Finish and Imperfections

When it comes to refinishing hardwood floors, one of the main reasons for using an orbital sander is to remove old finishes and imperfections on the surface. Over time, hardwood floors can become worn with scratches, dents, or discoloration from sun exposure. Using an orbital sander allows you to strip away these imperfections and reveal a fresh, new layer of wood.

2. To Smooth Out Uneven Areas

Another reason for sanding hardwood floors with an orbital sander is to smooth out any uneven areas on the surface. This could be due to warped boards or gaps between planks. By using an orbital sander, you can even out these inconsistencies and create a level surface for refinishing.

3. To Prep for Stain and Sealant

Sanding with an orbital sander is also an essential step in preparing hardwood floors for staining and sealing. By sanding the surface, you create a smooth and porous surface that allows the stain and sealant to penetrate evenly, resulting in a more uniform finish.

4. To Restore the Natural Beauty of the Wood

Hardwood floors are known for their timeless beauty, but over time they can become dull and worn. Sanding with an orbital sander not only removes imperfections but also restores the natural beauty of the wood. The process reveals the grain and color variations, giving your floors a fresh and rejuvenated look.

5. To Save Time and Effort

Compared to traditional hand sanding methods, using an orbital sander can save you time and effort. The powerful motor and round sanding pad allow for a more efficient sanding process, making it easier to cover large areas in less time. Plus, the ergonomic design of most orbital sanders reduces strain on your hand and arm.

How to Sand Hardwood Floors With Orbital Sander in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Before you begin sanding, it’s important to prepare the surface of your hardwood floors. This includes removing all furniture and rugs from the room and thoroughly cleaning the floors. Use a broom or vacuum to remove any loose debris, then mop with a mild detergent to remove any dirt or grime.

Step 2: Choose the Right Grit Sandpaper

Using the right grit sandpaper is crucial for achieving a smooth and even finish on your hardwood floors. For initial sanding, it’s best to start with a coarse grit (around 36-60) to remove any old finish or deep scratches. Then, move up to medium grit (80-100) for smoothing out imperfections and finally finish with a fine grit (120-150) for a polished look.

Step 3: Attach Sandpaper to Orbital Sander

Once you have chosen your sandpaper, it’s time to attach it to the orbital sander. Make sure the sander is unplugged and lay it on a flat surface with the sanding pad facing up. Align the holes in your sandpaper with the holes in the pad and then press down firmly to secure it.

Step 4: Begin Sanding

Now that everything is prepared, it’s time to start sanding! Turn on the orbital sander and make sure you are holding it at a comfortable angle. Start in one corner of the room and work your way across, moving with the grain of the wood. Be sure to keep the sander moving at all times to avoid uneven sanding.

Step 5: Finish and Clean Up

After you have completed sanding, use a vacuum or damp cloth to remove any remaining dust particles from the floor. Then, allow the floors to dry completely before proceeding with staining or refinishing. Remember to always wear protective gear while sanding and dispose of used sandpaper properly.

Additional Tips

1 .  Work in Small Sections

It’s best to work in small sections when sanding hardwood floors with an orbital sander. This ensures that the surface is evenly sanded and prevents over-sanding in certain areas. Also, make sure to overlap each section slightly to avoid leaving any untouched spots.

2. Use Proper Technique

When using an orbital sander, it’s important to keep a light but steady pressure while sanding. Do not push down too hard or move the sander too quickly as this can result in uneven sanding and potentially damage your floors.

3. Check for Nails and Staples

Before beginning to sand, make sure to check the floors for any exposed nails or staples. These can cause damage to the sander if not removed beforehand.

4. Avoid Sanding Against the Grain

Always sand with the grain of the wood rather than against it. Sanding against the grain can result in scratches and imperfections in the wood.

5. Take Breaks and Reassess

Sanding can be a tiring and time-consuming task, so it’s important to take breaks and reassess your progress. This will give you an opportunity to spot any missed areas or imperfections that may require further sanding.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions Should I Take When Sanding Hardwood Floors With an Orbital Sander?

When sanding hardwood floors with an orbital sander, it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and successful sanding project. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always wear protective gear, such as safety goggles, earplugs, and a dust mask.
  • Check the condition of your sandpaper before starting and replace it if necessary.
  • Test the sander on a small area first to get a feel for its power and control.
  • Keep the sander moving at all times to avoid creating dips or uneven areas.
  • Use a vacuum or dust collection system to keep the work area clean and minimize airborne dust particles.
Wear Safety Gear

Can I Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Stains or Deep Scratches on Hardwood Floors?

While an orbital sander can be used to remove surface stains and light scratches, it is not powerful enough to remove deep scratches or stains that have penetrated into the wood. In these cases, it may be necessary to use a more heavy-duty sander or consult a professional.

Can I Sand Hardwood Floors Without Using an Orbital Sander?

Yes, there are other types of sanders that can be used for hardwood floors, such as drum sanders and belt sanders. However, these types of sanders can be more difficult to control and may require more experience to use effectively. An orbital sander is a great option for DIY projects or beginners.

How Often Should I Sand My Hardwood Floors?

The frequency of sanding your hardwood floors depends on several factors, such as the amount of foot traffic, the type of finish, and the condition of the wood. As a general rule, it is recommended to sand and refinish hardwood floors every 3-5 years for optimal maintenance. However, if there are deep scratches or stains, it may be necessary to sand more frequently.

Can I Sand Engineered or Laminate Hardwood Floors With an Orbital Sander?

No, an orbital sander is not suitable for sanding engineered or laminate hardwood floors as it can cause damage to the top layer. These types of flooring are typically not able to be refinished and may need to be replaced if damaged.

Orbital Sander is Not Suitable for Sanding Engineered

Are There Any Alternatives to Sanding Hardwood Floors?

Yes, there are alternatives to sanding hardwood floors depending on the condition and type of flooring. For surface scratches or stains, you may be able to buff out the imperfections with a polishing compound. You can also opt for a restorative finish that does not require sanding, but these options may not be as long-lasting as traditional sanding and refinishing.


All in all, sanding your hardwood floors with an orbital sander is a great way to give them a fresh look and make sure that they last for years to come. To get the best results possible, start by cleaning and prepping the floor, then work slowly and carefully with the sander until you’ve achieved a smooth finish.

Now you know how to sand hardwood floors with orbital sander! Make sure you wear protective clothing, use dust collectors, and keep yourself safe at all times while you complete this project. You’ll also want to be sure that you have the right kind of orbital sander for your hardwood floor—check our guide here for more information on which type is best for your specific floor! Best of luck and don’t forget: safety first!

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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