Sanding Characteristics of Various Hardwood Floors
When it comes to sanding floorboards, not all floors are created alike. The number of times that a given floor can be sanded is dependent on various factors, most of which relate to the thickness of the original floorboards.
Floors Prior to 1900
If your wood floor is very old, it is most likely made of planks that are about one inch thick. It will not have the tongue and groove construction that became common later. This can be an advantage; the way early floors were constructed means that they can usually be sanded many times.
Homeowners may not know how much of the original floorboards are left, however – they may already have been sanded many times. To determine the remaining wood thickness, find a spot where you can slip a thin metal ruler down between the floorboards to find a joist. This will let you measure the remaining thickness so you can determine if another round of hardwood floor sanding is feasible.
Tongue and Groove Wood Flooring
The sanding characteristics of these floors depend on how much wood is available above the tongue and groove joins. If wood is sanded below this level, it will expose the nails that attach the boards to the floor. Again, a measurement can be taken to reveal how much wood is still available for a sanding operation. Insert a very thin metal ruler into a gap between boards so that it rests atop the “tongue” of the floorboard.