Our customers tend to have similar reactions to certain things we show them. It has to do with a lot of common misconceptions floating across the internet when people are looking for tips pertaining to hardwood floor refinishing. It is essential to know what sandpaper grit to start with when you begin to sand your floors. Read further to see what grit is best for your next project.
"Every situation is different, and understanding what grit of a sandpaper to use comes with time."
We often get a wide-eyed reaction when we tell people what type of sandpaper we use when sanding floors. Every situation is different, and understanding what grit of a sandpaper to use comes with time. A lot of "do-it-yourself" people have some experience with sandpaper choices when it comes to smaller projects, such as furniture. In these instances, it is best to use increibly fine sandpapers grits in order to do minimal damage to the wood. Hardwood floors are a different beast, however.
"You want to avoid choosing a grit too low, as that will leave scratches in the floor…"
The lower the grit number of the sandpaper, the rougher it is. Sandpaper grits can range anywhere from #16 to #220, with a lot of degrees of roughness in between. It can be confusing and daunting when it comes time to choosing the first grit you will be using for your first pass with your sanding machine. You want to avoid choosing a grit too low, as that will leave scratches in the floor, but you also want to avoid a grit that is too fine as that will make it nearly impossible to get the old finish out of the wood.
It’s not uncommon for us to go as low as a #12 grit sandpaper to deal with very old and damaged floors. This comes as a surprise to those that have sanded furniture before; furniture sandpapers can go as high as #220 grit. Hardwood floor finish can be very difficult to remove even with the roughest of sandpapers, so it’s important to have the proper grit sandpaper as well as the right sanding machine for the job. Click here to learn about the differences between orbital and drum sanders.