How to sand oak floors

Updated February 21, 2017

Oak hardwood is fairly inexpensive, sturdy, and attractive. This makes oak the perfect wood for hardwood flooring. Many homes have sturdy and attractive oak floors. To refinish these floors, homeowners often must sand them. Sanding oak floors is similar to sanding most types of wood flooring.

Block doorways with plastic to protect other areas of your home. This will make cleanup much easier when you have finished sanding the oak flooring.

Sand the floor with the drum sander. Start with low-grit sandpaper like 60-grit. Begin sanding at a 45-degree angle to the grain of the flooring. Sand at a 45-degree angle in both directions and then along the grain. This will remove large ridges and unevenness in the floor. Once the floor has been sanded with 60-grit sandpaper, move up to 80-grit, and then eventually 100-grit.

Sand the edges of the oak flooring with an edging sander. After each pass with the drum sander, use the edge sander in the accompanying sandpaper grit to sand the perimeter of the room.

Remove the dust from the oak wood floor with a vacuum. Finish as desired.


Protect yourself by wearing safety goggles, earplugs, and a ventilation mask. These will keep dust out of your lungs and eyes. The sander will also be loud, so it is important to wear earplugs.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic
  • Drum sander
  • Sandpaper in varying grits
  • Edge sander
  • Vacuum
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About the Author

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.