Here’s our complete guide to sanding your floors.

Ready. Set. Sand.

This is where you take off for all things sanding. Think of it as Sanding Central for the DIY-er. With this guide, almost anyone can sand wood floors.

You know how cookbooks tell you to “read the whole recipe through first?”  We don’t have sanding “recipes” but you really want to read through the entire procedure before you start; there are shortcuts you can take, but only if you plan ahead!

Knowledge is power. You’ve got this!

Woman refinishing wood floor with sander
It’s all about the process.

Learn the 13 crucial step process to sanding your floors. There are so many sanding problems you can prevent by planning out your procedure first.

Recently sanded hardwood floor
We’ve heard all the questions, and have the answers.

Check out the Sanding FAQ for quick solutions.

100-grit sanding screen for sanding wood floors
Learn the best-kept secret in the hardwood flooring world.

A screen and recoat might save you time, money and work if it fits your project.

Rented Alto ClarkeE Z-8wood floor sander machine
Make friends with the sanding machines.

Floor sanding is done with sanders and edgers, learn the tips.

Dog holding up paw with long nails that scratch wood floors
Fido or Fluffy’s wear on your floors.

Tips to address pet damage on hardwood floors.

Cover of EPA Lead-Safe brochure for homes
Learn the EPA’s new rules about lead in homes.

Make sure you are addressing the April 2010 federal law regarding lead, including floor coatings. Read the EPA’s brochure.

Pete’s Bonus Tips

Wood floor with long utility knife scraches

Be careful when you remove carpet. Utility knives are the devil’s tool.

You can damage your floors just taking out the carpet! Never let your knife cut into the wood itself - it digs deeper than you think, and leaves cuts that are almost impossible to sand out. Instead, tear up enough carpet to fold over a section and cut on the fold.

If you are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, we rent sanders for your projects, and will give you a free lesson on the equipment at our storefront.

Incorrect vs correct drum sanding technique

Incorrect drum sanding on wood floor

Incorrect drum sanding looks like this.

When you first start sanding an old floor, you can tell exactly where the sander has been and how effective your feathering technique is, just by looking at your sander mark.

The photo above illustrates what happens when you are using the drum sander incorrectly - you can tell that the drum was still touching the floor when the sander stopped at the wall to change direction.

Correct drum sanding on wood floor

Correct drum technique looks like this.

In this photo, it is clear that the operator was smoothly lifting the drum off the floor as she prepared to stop at the wall to change direction.

The photo also shows that the drum was correctly feathered onto the floor as she began her backward pass.

Front of Pete's Hardwood Floors store in St. Paul, MN

Buy online, or stop by our cute store in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Pete's sells supplies online across the continental U.S., and rents equipment to Minneapolis/St. Paul DIYers. Our store at 186 Fairview Avenue North in St. Paul, MN is at the corner of Fairview and Selby.

It's just the cutest sander rental shop you'll ever visit. Call us at 651-698-5888.

Store hours:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:30-5
  • Saturday: 8:30-3
  • Sunday: Closed
24-grit sandpaper for wood floor finishing belt sander

Did you rent floor sanders from somebody else, but they don’t have sandpaper coarse enough?

Pete's always carries plenty of 24- and 16-grit (we even carry 12-grit for the edger)!

But you'd have saved yourself a trip if you'd just rented from us in the first place...