The alternative to sanding is using chemicals, solvents or caustics available at the local store. These methods are easier on the wood than sanding, but the materials are hazardous. You need to be fully aware of the risk. Therefore take precautions. The different brand variety will be availed to you once you specify to the store attendant. For more details, visit http://www.ehow.com/way_5645474_alternatives-sanding-old-floors.html.