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Here’s How Long It’ll Take to Sand Your Wood Floor

Sand Your Wood Floor

How long does it take to Sand Your Wood Floor? The amount of time you spend sanding wood flooring will depend on several factors, including the type of wood flooring, its condition, and the tools you use. It takes about one week for professionals and two weeks for DIY enthusiasts. Here are some general guidelines to help you get started with the process.

How long does it take to sand a wood floor?

The length of time it takes to sand a wood floor will vary depending on a few factors, including: 

  • Type of wood flooring
  • Tools that you use
  • whether you choose an electric or manual sander
  • whether you are sanding hardwood or engineered flooring
  • if you have an entire room or just a couple of boards that need attention

If your floors are newly installed, it will also take longer since minor wear and tear. The general rule is that it takes 1 hour per every 400 square feet, so a 1,000-square-foot room would require 8 hours of sanding time. However, if you want to get specific, here’s how long it takes to sand various floors with different sanders. Wood Floors – Manual or Electric? There are two ways to sand your wood floors: manually with a handheld sander or an electric model. 

Both methods can be used on all types of wooden floors, but each has advantages and disadvantages. An electric sander offers more power for larger jobs like stripping off old layers of paint but can be heavy and difficult to use in small spaces like closets and bathrooms. On the other hand, handheld models offer flexibility but may not remove as much material at once—although they can still do a great job at stripping off old paint layers.

How is the sanding of the wood floor done?

Before we start about how long it takes to sand the wood floor, we have to know how the sanding of the floor is done? Here are the following steps involved in sanding the wood floor:

Prep the Surface for satin and sand for hardwood floors

The first step in preparing a wood floor for sanding is making sure it’s clean and ready for use. It would help if you swept or vacuumed any loose dirt or dust and applied an appropriate cleaning agent. It will ensure that you don’t scratch your floors when grinding them down. 

You may want to protect your other furniture while working, but make sure that nothing obstructs your access to your floors. If necessary, move everything out of harm’s way before you begin working on it.

Sand and refinish the hardwood  Floor with an Orbital Floor Sander.

An orbital floor sander is a compact and portable machine perfect for small wood floors. They can easily be operated by one person and can be used with different types of sandpaper. If you already have a powerful belt sander or are planning to invest in one, you’ll still need an orbital floor sander because they’re best at smoothing out scratches left by coarse-grit sandpaper (like 80 grit). 

Orbital sanders are also more effective at leveling dents in subfloors than belt sanders, making them ideal for older homes with softer, spongier floors.

Remove the remaining scratches.

Sand Your Wood Floor

After sanding your wood floor and removing all of your deep scratches, it is time to go back and clean up any leftovers. Use fine-grit sandpaper (200 or higher) for that. Make sure you use a mop dampened with water to remove excess dust from your floor before doing anything else. You can then finish off with a high-gloss finish if you like, but it isn’t necessary in most cases.

Finish up

Once you’ve sanded your floor, it’s time to put on a finish coat. Your wood floor needs a smooth surface for paint or sealer to adhere properly; sanding is how you create that. Before you get started on applying a finish, use a tack cloth (available at home centers and paint stores) to wipe down any debris left by sanding. 

A less-than-perfect job here will lead to problems with your finished floor. When applying polyurethane, don’t be afraid of coverage – it can hide imperfections! Wait until each coat dries fully before adding another layer; six or seven coats should do it for most floors.

How many times can a floor be sanded?

As with anything you decide to do, a few factors contribute to how many times a floor can be sanded. These include: what type of wood it is, how bad its condition is and how often it gets walked on by people or other animals. Typically, hardwood floors should only be sanded once every couple of years, but if they get a lot of traffic, it could be beneficial for them to be sanded twice per year.

Things that affect the sanding time for hardwood floors

The longer it takes to sand a wood floor depends on a few things. Three significant variables affect how long it takes to sand a wood floor: surface area, grain direction, and type of wood. Larger surfaces require more time due to higher distances between grits. Hardwood floors with tight grain typically need less time than softwood floors with open grain. The type of sander you use can also affect how long it takes—hand sanding will take significantly longer than using a power sander or belt sander.

Un-professional worker

If you’re a weekend warrior and don’t want to spend much time on your floor, you might be better off hiring a professional. Expecting a novice or even someone with some experience at sanding floors will likely take twice as long as it would for an expert. If time is of utmost importance to you, it might be worth the investment. An unskilled worker will also have a higher error rate, so watch out for deep scratches on your floor that could require additional sanding or even refinishing.

Surface Area

The bigger your wood floor and its surface area, the longer it’ll take to the sand. The average square footage of a home’s main level is around 1,500-2,000 sq. ft., but it can vary depending on how big your bathroom, kitchen, and living areas are. Whether you have a lot of space or not much at all affects sanding time—you’ll spend more time (and exert more energy) trying to sand a large surface in just one session versus a smaller one that takes less time and effort.

Grain direction

The direction of wood grains varies, impacting how quickly you can sand them. The wider a board is and more parallel its grains are generally meant, it’ll take longer to sand than one with smaller boards or perpendicular grains. If your wood floor is composed of dozens of different-sized pieces, you’ll have to measure each piece individually before getting started. It might take days or even weeks rather than hours—mainly if you aren’t accustomed to working with these materials.

Size of the room

With hardwood flooring, smaller rooms are much easier to sand and will require less time than large ones. The dust created by sanding is a significant factor in how long it takes to complete a job. According to HomeAdvisor, a 1000-square foot room that is well ventilated should take about 8 hours to thoroughly sand using an electric sander. 

Floor condition

Even if you’re hiring a pro, it’s good to know what condition your floor is. Floors are made from different types of wood, and each requires slightly different maintenance. Softer woods, such as pine or fir, don’t require sanding at all; older or weathered floors need some sanding to take off loose patches, and hardwood floors will require more sanding than softwoods (though never more than 1⁄8 inch). Having a general idea of what your floor looks like before you begin makes for smooth sailing when your professional arrives onsite.

Type of wood

Another thing that affects how long it will take you to sand your wood floor is what type of wood you have. Different types of wood take different amounts of time and effort. Hardwood, for example, can be a lot tougher than softwood, so while you may only need two hours with a fine-grit pad and finish a paper on softwood, hardwood might need as much as five or six hours with a good grade 60-grit paper. Maple, oak, hickory, cherry, and other hardwoods can be tough on machinery like floor sanders because they’re solid and dense.

Type of sander

It might be quicker or slower than other sanders depending on your sander. If you’re doing a lot of prep work—sanding and then stripping off layers of varnish, paint, or polyurethane—it’ll take longer than if you do some light sanding before applying coats of finish. 

Wet-dry sanders are designed to remove layers and leave a rougher surface (but take less time) than random-orbit sanders (which give you a smoother finish and use more energy). Because every job is different, there’s no way to say precisely how long it takes to sand the hardwood floor; however, here are some helpful estimates. 

If you have an orbital sander, expect to spend about 1 hour per 100 square feet. If you have a belt sander, expect to spend about 2 hours per 100 square feet. And if you’re using a hand block plane or sandpaper wrapped around a piece of wood instead of using an electric tool, plan on spending up to 10 hours per 100 square feet! 

5 Tips to Decrease Sanding Time

Here are some tips to decrease your sanding time: 

Use a Random Orbital Sander

Although you can sand most floors with a handheld sander, it is easier (and quicker) with an orbital sander. It is especially true if you are dealing with any curves or turns on your floor, as these spaces will be difficult to reach with a normal handheld sander. In addition, using an orbital sander will keep your movements more consistent and even across your floor. 

Because they are compact and portable, they are also ideal for working in small areas that could not usually be reached by other means. Using an orbital sander will save you more time and effort than a handheld device, making it worth every penny!

Buy Quality Flooring Tools

When shopping for tools, invest in quality equipment from trusted brands like PORTER-CABLE. While higher quality products may cost more initially, they typically last longer than cheaper alternatives. As such, your initial investment becomes a worthwhile expense over time.

Understand Your Flooring Type Before Starting Work

Before beginning work, ensure that you have done all necessary research about your specific type of flooring so that there are no surprises along the way. For example, laminate wood floors require less preparation than hardwood due to their surface finish but can still present challenges during installation. 

Knowing what to expect ahead of time will help you stay prepared and avoid costly mistakes. You should also consult your manufacturer’s instructions before starting work to know how best to care for your flooring once it has been installed.

You can also check out our other related article Sanding hardwood floors:

Avoid Slipping During Installation

The best way to avoid slipping during installation is by wearing proper footwear, preferably non-slip shoes or boots. Wearing slip-resistant shoes helps prevent accidents caused by slipping on wet surfaces because they provide extra traction when walking around wet floors. These shoes are available at most hardware stores and online retailers at reasonable prices. If you don’t want to purchase new shoes, another option is to wear old sneakers or rubber rain boots.

Choose Your Tools Carefully

Sand Your Wood Floor

If you’re going to do any serious work on your floors, investing in good quality tools is essential. Cheap tools won’t last long, meaning that after just one job, they’ll need replacing, which isn’t only expensive but also inconvenient. By buying high-quality flooring tools from a reputable brand like Porter-Cable, you’ll be able to get years of use out of each tool without having to replace them anytime soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions which are frequently asked about how long sand and refinish hardwood floors

What should I wear when sanding the hardwood floors in my home?

Proper safety gear should be worn at all times when working with wood. Wearing long pants, closed-toe shoes, and work gloves will protect your skin from splinters and cuts. A respirator mask is also recommended, especially when sanding or using other harsh chemicals on wood floors.

What kind of finish do I apply after sanding wood floors?

Depending on what type of floor you’re sanding, you’ll want to apply a specific finish. There are three main finishes for wood floors: oil-based urethane, water-based urethane, and oil-based polyurethane.

Is There Any Way To Speed Up The Process?

Many people are under the impression that it takes three days for a person to sand and finish a new hardwood floor. Some also think it’s impossible to do so in less than 24 hours. It depends on your skill level, experience, and tools (more expensive machines will cut down on time). 

How can I restore my old and damaged wooden floor?

To restore your wooden floor, you must sand down any existing layers and apply a new protective finish. The softest woods—think ash or aspen—are sanded easily in an hour; medium-hard ones such as mahogany require two hours, and tough types like teakwood can take up to eight hours.


When it comes to wood floors, preparation is one of your most powerful tools. Properly preparing your wood floor can mean spending minor sanding and more time enjoying your beautiful floor. Using these tips when staining or finishing will help you complete your project as efficiently as possible! 

I hope that these sanding finishes for wood floors have helped you get started on your next project! Whether you’re a professional working on a commercial building or just someone looking to fix up their house, these tips will ensure that you get it done right and fast!

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Why Trust About Sanders?

When it comes to the world of sanding and sanders, you need a trusted source of information and guidance to ensure you achieve those perfect finishes. That's where I come in – I'm Martin, a dedicated sanding enthusiast with a relentless passion for attaining flawless surfaces. With years of hands-on experience in the sanding industry, I've honed my skills and expertise to provide you with the most reliable and accurate insights. What sets me apart is my commitment to excellence. I meticulously handpick each sander after rigorous testing, ensuring that only the best tools make it to your hands. My goal is to empower you with the knowledge and recommendations you need to tackle any sanding task confidently. When you trust About Sanders, you're putting your faith in a seasoned expert who shares your passion for perfection and strives to deliver top-notch information and reviews for every sanding challenge.

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