Can you use a belt sander for hardwood floors?

Many DIYers are beginning to use Belt sanders to tackle bigger sanding jobs. These tools are powerful in handling heavy sanding jobs that a standard sander may fail to do. Therefore to answer the question, “can you use a belt sander for hardwood floors?” I give it a big YES. But, this will depend on the type of job you want to work on as well as your experience.

If you don’t know how to operate the tool, leave it because you will end up with an awkward finish. Manual sanding your floor is also possible tiresome, specifically if the room is vast.

Using a belt sander for hardwood floors

A belt sander can be a suitable tool for hardwood floors due to its relentless power. To successfully use the tool to sand hardwood floors, consider the following actions.

Remove any staple or nail from the wood surface before sanding. There might be some old nails or staples that can rip the sandpaper. Therefore, it is advisable to use a hammer to tap the nails or staples back in. The right solution is to remove them altogether to be confident with the surface you plan to work on.

What it means is that ensure the wood surface is completely clean with no objects. Before plugging the machine, fix the grit sandpaper. Since you are dealing with hardwood, begin with 36 grit sandpaper. This is the most common type for hardwood floors or heavy jobs. 

It is also advisable to start sanding in a hidden area in the room before going to an open place. This is because the machine can damage the wood floor if not well set. 

More so, when sanding, keep the tool moving. Failure to do that, you may be left with an uneven floor surface plus other blemishes. Also, experts say that it is advisable to leave a space of about two or three inches from your wall. You will damage the area between the wall and the wood floor. 

After several passes, you need to replace the coarse sandpaper with a finer one. Doing so will enable you to achieve a smooth floor. Also, the finer sandpaper will eliminate all scratches leaving you with a fair and excellent wood surface. The standard sandpaper for finishing is 100 grit paper. Use this when your floor is birch or maple. 

When staining, remember to clean up first. In such situations, you can use the belt sander that features a vacuum bag because a belt sander is associated with dust. But, you can use a damp to wipe your hardwood gently before staining. 

However, a belt sander is not suitable for finishing edges. This is the principal disadvantage of using this tool. Also, the machine produces a lot of dust that you may end up with health complications if not careful. Therefore, it is good to take precautions by wearing a dust mask, safety goggles, an apron, and hearing ear protectors.

use a belt sander for hardwood floors

Frequently asked questions

Can I use a rotary sander to sand floors?

Yes, but you will not be able to sand at the corners. You will need the help of a handheld sanding block. 

Why use a belt sander?

Belt sanders are robust, making them ideal for a large room. The only problem with them is the massive production of dust.


A belt sander is a versatile tool that you can use to work on various sanding jobs. Their versatility may save money that you could spend on buying a separate sander. Hopefully, this article answers the, “Can you use a belt sander for hardwood floors?” But, this is not the primary purpose of a belt; let it be an alternative.

Related article: Can You Use A Belt Sander On Metal?

Leave a Comment