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Timber floors.

Overview

You can give an old timber floor a big facelift by sanding it down. We show you how to use sanding machines the professionals use to get the job done. We also give you a few helpful tips on using sandpaper.

Steps

1Prepare to sand the floorboards

Start by making sure your floor is ready for sanding. Check every nail is sitting below the surface, to avoid the sandpaper catching and ripping. Any nails sitting above the timber should be knocked in with a hammer and a nail punch.
DIY Step Image - How to sand timber floors . Blob storage upload.

2Install a sandpaper belt on the drum of the sander

Lay the drum sander on its side. Lift up the cover of the drum and slide the paper on. Sometimes the sandpaper can be a bit tight and hard to install. If that happens, wipe a little bit of fine sawdust on the inside of the belt to help the belt to slide on. If your floor needs a lot of sanding, start with a rough, 40-grit paper. For a floor in better condition, a lighter 60- or 80-grit is better. Use a finer, 120-grit for the second pass.
DIY Step Image - How to sand timber floors . Blob storage upload.

3Sand the floor with a drum sander

Make sure the drumhead is sitting off the floor, then pull back the lever that drops the drumhead onto the surface of the floor. To achieve the best results, push the drum sander forward along the grain of the floorboards, one row at a time. Move at a gradual, even pace to ensure the sander creates an even finish. At the end of each row push the lever down to lift the drum off the floor. Then reposition the sander to the next row and start again.
DIY Step Image - How to sand timber floors . Blob storage upload.

4Sand the edges of the floor with an edging sander

Use an edging sander to get closer to the skirting boards where the drum sander can't reach. Because these sanders use a disc that sands across the grain, you'll need a finer grit paper than the one you used on the drum sander.

DIY Step Image - How to sand timber floors . Blob storage upload.

5Sand the tight corners with a detail sander

Detail sanders are great for sanding in tight corners, under kitchen cabinets and inside cupboards. They reach in where the other, more powerful sanders can't. Once again, for the best results, move the sander with an even and gradual motion.
DIY Step Image - How to sand timber floors . Blob storage upload.

6Ready to seal your floor?

Check out our video on how to seal timber floors.

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.