A Guide to Stripping Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors offer incredible beauty and value to any home because these floors can last a lifetime. However, the finishes that protect this type of flooring don’t have such a long lifespan, so your hardwood floors may need refinishing if they look scuffed, bleached, or otherwise damaged. Stripping your flooring is the first step in restoring its natural beauty, and you can easily take on this project yourself with some equipment rentals in San Jose, as well as the advice below.


Because stripping your floors will kick up a lot of dust, you will want to seal off any rooms adjacent to the one you’re working in. That means placing plastic drop cloths over the doors and protecting the flooring outside the room with a tarp or another drop cloth. If possible, you might also place a box fan in one of the room’s windows facing outwards. You should prepare yourself by wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs, work gloves, goggles, and a face mask to protect your skin, eyes, and lungs from stray dust. The tools and accessories you’ll need for your project include:

  • A floor sander.
  • A detail sander.
  • 36-grit, 60-grit, and 80-grit sandpaper.
  • Plastic drop cloths.
  • A hammer.
  • A vacuum.
  • Wood filler and a drywall knife.


Once you have prepared the room by moving everything out and taking the steps above, you can begin sanding to strip the floors . Start with 36-grit sandpaper on your floor sander, and work your way slowly across the whole floor, moving from side to side as you go across the room. Repeat this step beginning at a diagonal angle from where you started, and then vacuum the floor clean. Nail down any stray screws and fill in cracks using wood filler and the drywall knife. Let the wood filler dry and then use a detail sander to reach any areas you could not strip on the first pass with the floor sander. Sand the floor once more with the 60-grit and then the 80-grit sandpaper, and vacuum following each step. Now, your floors are ready to be resealed for years of protection and lasting beauty.

For sanders , polishers, and other flooring tools you just won’t use enough to justify buying, check out A-1 Rental Center in San Jose. We have a large selection of floor sanders, polishers, and wet-dry vacuums so you can get your project done right. Find us online or call (650) 369-2992 to schedule pickup for your flooring tools.

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