How to Sand a Floor by Hand

Sanding your own floor is no easy feat, especially if you lack the right gear and expertise. Before we start, I recommend you read ‘Can I sand my own floor’ – a quick go-to guide of the things to think about when sanding your own floor. It’s a crazy undertaking to sand a floor without the use of a floor sander and even then, there are good and bad floor sanders. Combining a bad sander and an amateur is a recipe for disaster. My hat comes off to anyone who is prepared to undertake sanding a floor by hand without the right kit!

I have endeavoured to compile a list of hand sanders below, explaining the benefits and uses of each.

1. The Delta/Corner sander is probably the least used sander within the kit. That said, it certainly has its uses as it will get right into the corners, edges and other awkward little areas that others might be unable to reach.

2. The Orbital sander, often referred to as a finishing sander, is great for a fine finish, but is unsuitable for sanding an entire floor from start to finish by itself.

3. The Random Orbital sander does not generally have as much speed as a belt sander, but is easier to control and will leave a better finished surface. However, if used for removing the finish of a floor, it will take a considerable amount of time.

4. The hand-held belt sander has far more power than those mentioned previously. Due to their power, they can cut through dents and scratches and remove old finish from a room far quicker than the rest. It is important to keep the sander moving at all times in order to avoid digging into the wood.

5. Festool Rotex – many years ago I discovered this bad boy sander, but could not get my head around the cost. I remember thinking ‘why is it so expensive?’. But then I tried it and its performance and power was unbelievable. It has two settings, each with different speeds. It oscillates spins, and possesses a huge amount of force that will cut through the grimiest of floors with ease. This sander can produce a very fine finish and plugged into an extractor it will leave virtually no dust.

The process for sanding a floor by hand would be, as a general rule, to start on a 40 grit sandpaper and work your way up to 100 or 120 grit paper to leave a fine finish. It is important to keep any sander moving so it does not dig into or burn the floor. Make sure that all the old finish is completely removed, or it will look awful when the fresh finish is applied. It is vitally important that the floor is thoroughly vacuumed before the finish is applied.

Sanding a floor by hand is like everything in life – the better the tools the easier the job. We have the best Lagler floor sanders, Edgers, Festool sanders and dust extractors money can buy which makes the job far less laborious and produces a far better finish.

Trying to sand a floor by hand is a big no no in my book. Even with a Festool Rotex, which is about the best hand sander you can get, it will still take ages and the results of the job will be compromised. Get yourself a floor sander, or better still hire a pro.

For any more help and advice please feel free to call us on 01962 733016 or email and we can get your flooring project off the ground today! 

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