HSS Guide to Floor Sanding

Floor Sanding Guide

It’s amazing how tired, ageing and discoloured floorboards can be transformed into a glorious floor in just a day or two by using a floor and edging sander, and applying a beautiful finish.

  • Floor & Edge Sander hire pack
  • Sanding sheets, discs and dust bags. (Don’t worry if you’re unsure about how many you require, take as many as you like and any you don’t use can be returned for a full refund.)
  • Protective Equipment – Our safety kit provides everything you need – (goggles, gloves, dust mask and ear plugs).
  • Large Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Hammer and Nail Punch
  • Why not finish your newly sanded floor with our great range of Ronseal varnish?

Floor Preparation

  • We would recommend emptying the room before you begin by removing any furniture or fixtures. This will provide you with the space to move around easily.nail punch
  • Ensure you remove any old floor coverings, nails and anything else you may have attached to the floor.
  • It’s a good idea to then give the room a good vacuum and clean so you have a clean surface to begin.
  • Before you begin using the sander use the nail punch and hammer to drive protruding nail heads below the surface. (It’s best to ensure there are no pipes or cables below.)
  • Block up the doorways and open all the windows, this will prevent dust escaping around the house and provide good ventilation.

Floor Sander Safety

  • Wood dust can be dangerous
  • Never tip wood into a fire or incinerator – it may explode
  • Never overfill disposable bags or leave wood dust packed in containers. Dampen before disposal.
  • To dispose of wood dust safely, mix it with general rubbish.
  • Observe safety wear recommendations due to dust levels.

Applying Sanding Sheets & Discs

Floor Sander

With the  floor sander switched off tilt the sander back on to the floor, lift the front flap and loosen the screws on the sanding drum’s gripper bar using a large flat head screwdriver.Floor Sandpaper Sheets

Push one end of the sanding sheet under the gripper bar and rotate the drum by hand until you can fit the other end of the sheet under the gripper bar as well. Pull the sheet tight against the drum and re-tighten the screws on the gripper bar. (Ensure you re-tighten the screws as tight as possible. This will prevent the sanding sheet from ripping off.)

Check the drum is able to move freely before you begin sanding your floors.

Edge Sander

With the edging sander switched off turn the machine upside down and unscrew the centre bolt using the key provided.

Place the disc on the machine and then place the bolt through the centre of the disc and re-tighten making sure the disc is correctly centered.

These steps will need to be repeated when changing the discs and sheets.

Abrasive Sheet Selection

HSS stock a comprehensive range of sanding sheets, discs and accessories. The guide below provides an easy product selector to help you choose the right products for you.

We are often asked how many sanding sheets are required to sand a floor? There is no straight forward answer to this as it will vary depending on the size of your room and the finish you wish to achieve. Our best advice is to take  more sheets than you think you will need for the job then any sheets, discs or bags that remain unused can be returned for a full refund.

Sanding Sheets

Sanding Techniques

How to Level Uneven Floors
  • If the floor is uneven sand diagonally at 45° across the room in both directions.Sanding Boards
How to Sand Main Floor
  • Sand in the direction the boards are laid with the wood grain.
  • Picture1Start the sander drum with the drum of the floor, walk forward and ease the drum onto the floor.
  • At the end of the section gradually raise the drum off the floor.

Note: These diagrams are based on traditional parquet or wood block floors.

Always make sure you sand in the direction of the main source of natural light. If there is no natural light, sand in the direction of the longest side of the room. If the room is square, sand in the direction the furniture is laid out.

Varnishing Your Floor

Finishing a wooden floor is a satisfying and visibly rewarding job. As with sanding it is important to be well prepared and to make sure you have enough time to complete the job.

  • Allow ample time to apply the varnish, it’s best to start at the beginning of the day to allow the 3 coats to be applied and to dry all in one day.
  • If the varnishing cannot be completed in one day you will need to lightly sand the floor before applying another coat the next day.
  • Inspect the floor carefully. Spot fill missed cracks and nail holes. Allow the filler to dry hard, then sand with the same grit paper as the final machine sanding sheet.
  • Remove all traces of dust from the floor by first vacuuming and then wiping over with a rag.
How to apply floor varnish
  • Ensure the room is well ventilated.
  • Stir the floor varnish thoroughly before and during use.
  • Use a wide brush to apply the varnish evenly and finish in the direction of the wood grain.
  • Be careful not to over brush as this will spread the finish too thinly and affect performance.
  • Before the final coat, lightly rub down the floor with fine abrasive paper and wipe over with a damp cloth then allow to dry.
  • The floor will be ready to walk on after 8 hrs but allow 72 hours before subjecting to heavy traffic.

Remember to exercise caution when working around dust always using recommended PPE – View our dedicated Health & Safety article on our blog now!

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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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