One of the drawbacks of DIY Plywood floors is sanding. Because I wanted a rustic look and also because the plywood edges were full of splinters, I decided to bevel all four edges of the boards. This meant that I needed to sand each board individually.
I used a 5-inch orbital sander from Harbor Freight for the job. To get the plywood nice and smooth, I used 100-grit sandpaper.
Turns out there are two sides to plywood. In my experience, one side seemed to be smoother than the other, so that’s usually the side I used. However, each piece is different and sometimes the smooth side had gouges or knots that I didn’t want to have to fix, so I used the rougher side. This isn’t a bad thing, though. I found that in addition to one side being smoother, they also had very different grain patterns, which added a nice variability to the floor.
Now, if you’re looking for a total consistency in your grain pattern, you’ll want to use the same side.
It took me at least 5 minutes to sand each plank. I highly recommend that you do all the sanding in advance of your install day. I worked about an hour a day for about a week leading up to the project. I also miscalculated and had to do buy more plywood, which meant another hour spent sanding.
As I noted above, I beveled the edges. To do this, just run the sander at a 45-degree angle along each edge.