5 Unexpected Things to Make Sanding Hardwood Floors More Enjoyable

refinished sanded hardwood floors

Sanding Hardwood Floors

I recently worked on sanding hardwood floors on my first floor, and boy, was that a job! During the 55 hours of work, my mind wandered a lot. And I couldn’t help but think about how I could have made sanding floors more enjoyable.

Five things came to mind that if I had to do it all over again, I’d do so that old wood floor sanding would be more fun!

Everything You Need to Refinish Hardwood Floors DIY

When starting, I had no idea how involved this entire process would be. I learned so much and put together several posts to help you save money and get lasting results you are proud of. 

  1. How to sand wooden floors
  2. DIY refinishing hardwood floors MISTAKES and how to avoid them
  3. Protecting your work is easy with this how to finish wood floors guide
  4. Money saving tips when refinishing wood floors yourself
  5. How to stain wood floors (coming soon!)

Just a friendly reminder: This tutorial and any opinions or recommendations are genuinely mine, but this is not a substitute for consulting a professional. I also use affiliate links to earn a commission.

sanding hardwood floors

1: Tissues

No joke, get yourself some good tissues! Despite wearing two masks, the sanding dust still found its way everywhere. Including up my nose. I’m talking chunks of dust. Bleh, gross, I know.

I found blowing my nose helpful whenever I changed my sandpaper. Doing this reduced the irritation and discomfort of having that stuff in my sinuses.

Quality tissues are key. None of that sandpaper, thin stuff!

2: Audiobook or Podcast

Grab your earbuds not only for protection but also for entertainment. Can you imagine pure silence (besides the hum of the sander) for 55 hours? I mean, maybe a fraction of that time, silence is nice. No kids arguing or yelling “mom,” but not for that long time!

I wish I had queued up a good audiobook or binged a podcast. Instead, I listened to the same playlist over and over again. That got old. If I could do it again, I would take advantage of this time and find something binge worthy!

3: Comfortable Shoes

My poor feet took a beating from all the standing. If I did this all over again, I’d be sure to have a clean but comfortable shoe made for standing. I started out wearing slippers, which lasted a few days, but by the end of each day, my feet were screaming at me.

So, I switched to my work boots, which were a little better, but still, this whole process would have been way better if I had something like my All Birds. I should have worn these because they are washable, and had I known how sore my feet were, I would have done this! Hindsight is always 20/20.

refinished hardwood floors

4: Treats

I’m talking about something to incentivize and reward yourself! This process was a project. It’s weird because it wasn’t physically demanding, but it took a lot of mental perseverance to keep going. 

I’m a big fan of breaking things down into smaller, more achievable goals and rewarding myself each step of the way. My go-to snack for this project was salt and vinegar chips and chocolate, and when I finished for the day, a glass of wine 🙂

There was a day when, around 11 am, after 3 hours of working and having only gone about 1/4 of the first pass of the living room, I considered day drinking. Luckily, it didn’t come to that, but the thought crossed my mind.

I had my goal for each day for the amount of space I needed to finish. And then I broke this down into 3-4 smaller goals. So, after completing the first two grits or about 3 hours of work, I indulged in my treat. And then rinse and repeat. Taking more frequent breaks also helped my productivity.

5: Back Up Ear Buds

So, back to the earbuds. Mine only stayed on for four or so hours, and I was working 10-12 hour days. So, do that math. That means I was without music for 6+ hours a day—just me and the hum of the sander. I feel like I was in some weird zone, but I really wish I had backup earbuds to do more than protect my ears.

The annoying part was that I couldn’t charge them because I needed them to protect my ears. So, once they died, that was it for the day.

I found it helpful to turn on music from my phone while sweeping or performing any other task that didn’t require ear protection. So, that helped, but it definitely did not make up for the fact that I spent most of my day in silence.

Sanding Hardwood Floors Guide

I hope sharing my experience of sanding hardwood floors helps you somehow! Lucky for you, I did it and discovered these unexpected things that would have made my project much more enjoyable. But if I ever have to do it again, the experience will be much more enjoyable!

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