How to Sand Bamboo Flooring

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Carpenters pry bar
Palm sander
Plastic drop cloth
Square buff sander
Clean rags
Soft broom
Tack cloth

Bamboo flooring is fast becoming one of the most popular flooring materials in use today. Bamboo is dent resistant, mold resistant, mildew resistant, stain resistant, and waterproof and insects don't like it. There are two issues with using bamboo as flooring: cost and ability to stain. When you purchase bamboo flooring you'll notice few color choices. You can get natural bamboo and two shades darker which is achieved by the process used to turn bamboo into flooring material. It's possible for you to stain the bamboo but you need to sand it and this article will show you how.

Step 1 – Prepare the Floor

Sanding bamboo flooring is a process due to the texture of the material. Remove everything from the surface of the floor. This means everything from a step stool to a wrap around sofa. You'll be generating a large amount of sawdust so to protect other rooms of the home use painter’s tape and a plastic drop cloth to cover the entrances to the other rooms. Use the carpenter’s pry bar and carefully remove the baseboard material. This will allow you to be able to sand the entire floor. Place the baseboard material off to the side to use later if you plan to use it again after staining the bamboo flooring.

Step 2 – Sanding the Bamboo Flooring

As mentioned in Step 1, this is a process, due to the fine grain found in bamboo. Begin your sanding using the square buff sander. Begin at the furthest corner of the bamboo flooring. Use the sander by pulling it directly toward your body using constant and even pressure. You also want to sand along the length of the bamboo against the grain. Work like this until 2/3 of the floor is sanded. You will then want to finish your sanding in sections one pass at a time. For any areas that cannot be reached with the square buff sander use the palm sander to reach those areas. You will, in essence, be sanding the bamboo flooring three times. Start with the 100-grit sandpaper then go over it again with the 120-grit sandpaper and finally with the 180-grit sandpaper.

Step 3 – Final Floor Preparations

Now that the bamboo flooring has been thoroughly sanded down it is nearly ready to be stained. Use a push broom with soft bristles to sweet the sawdust in to a manageable pile and then suck it up with a vacuum. A tack cloth is a fabric that is fairly stiff with extra made to not just wipe up dirt but to cling to it. Wipe the bamboo flooring down with a tack cloth to ensure there is no sawdust lingering. Bamboo has a very tight grain which makes it hard to stain. Soak a rag in water and squeeze it out then so that it is damp. Wipe the bamboo flooring down in order to open up the pours of the bamboo.