How Do I Know If I Can Sand My Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors continue to be a popular choice for homeowners. The timeless elegance they carry, along with their charm and warmth defines the character of your home. However, over time, even the sturdiest of hardwood floors start showing signs of wear and tear. This makes your existing hardwood floor appear scuffed up or worn out.

Hardwood floor sanding is a cost-effective process of restoring the original shine and lustre in hardwood floors. However, the process is a complex one, and this explains why you need professional hands to restore your floor. Not all floors are suitable for sanding, either.

In this guide, we have explained whether or not you can sand your hardwood floors, depending on their condition.

What Is Hardwood Floor Sanding?

Sanding of hardwood floors is an eco-friendly and affordable solution to replace your old and battered floors. Professionally done, you can sand worn-out floors several times without damage. Each time, professionals will restore the original sheen on your elegant floors.

So, if you are planning to relocate to a new home and the existing wooden floor looks worn out, sanding can be a great solution. Or, maybe you want to restore the original look of your old floor. Let’s have a look at certain conditions that determine whether or not hardwood floor sanding can fix the issue.

3 Ways to Know Whether You Can Sand Your Wooden Floor

In the first place, professionals visually inspect the floor for signs of scratches, stains, and unevenness. While sanding can fix minor imperfections, water damage or severe warping might need replacement.

 As the process involves expertise, it’s imperative to hire seasoned sanding professionals. If your floor is too thin, sanding might not be a viable solution. Experienced specialists determine whether your wooden floor can be sanded, using proper tools.

1.    Thickness of the Wood

 Professionals use advanced tools to determine the thickness of your hardwood floor. During hardwood floor sanding, they remove a part of the wooden surface, eliminating the imperfections externally. This reveals a fresh layer of underlying wood, which they eventually polish.

Therefore, the thickness of your existing floor determines whether it can be sanded. If the old floor has been sanded down several times or appears too thin, professionals might recommend more extensive repairs. Typically, a solid hardwood floor should be at least 3/4 inch thick to offer adequate material for multiple sanding sessions. Engineered wooden floors cannot be sanded if they come with a wear layer of 2 mm or less.

2.    Type of Hardwood Floor

Do you have engineered hardwood flooring in your home? While most old homes have solid hardwood floors, engineered wood is a relatively new choice. Thus, the decision to sand this old floor requires careful consideration.

A solid hardwood floor can be sanded down at least 6 times. However, engineered floors come with a thin layer of veneer of hardwood bonded to layers of plywood or high-density fibreboard. The limited thickness of such floors makes hardwood floor sanding challenging.

With excessive sanding, there’s a risk of the veneer layer being penetrated, which eventually compromises the stability of the floor. Consulting a professional can help you determine whether you can sand your existing floor.

3.    Testing for Lead Paint

Is your hardwood floor coated with a lead-based paint? Older homes generally contain such paints, which can cause health hazards when disturbed. This explains why professional companies recommend lead paint testing to protect the floor against such exposure.

In case it contains lead paint, your contractor should loop in a certified professional trained in lead abatement to ensure safety.


While hardwood floor sanding appears to be a cost-effective solution to restore the charm of your wooden floors, find out whether your floors are ready for overhaul. The decision requires careful consideration of different aspects, as explained in this guide.

Consulting professionals ensures your peace of mind, as they will carry out a comprehensive evaluation. Breathe a new life into your living space and transform your wooden floors with advanced sanding techniques.