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Old 01-06-2014, 09:50 AM
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Default Refinishing wood floors

Howdy folks!

We pulled up some carpet at our place and found decent wood floors so were gonna refinish them. Any experience here with that? I was thinking about tackling it with a hand held belt sander instead of renting a big drum sander... Is that a bad idea? It's a small room.... Only about 9' x 8'.

Then I am assuming a clear polyurethane with some polish on top??





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Old 01-06-2014, 09:58 AM
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i was thinking something like this:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_76366-70-352...der&facetInfo=
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:40 AM
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Rent the floor sander. You'll leave a wavy surface with a hand sander. Otherwise, it ain't rocket surgery. Sure, there's a small possibility you'll screw it up but it's a small room and you gotta learn some how.

Pull or set any high nails, fill large holes or gaps, light sand, stain (if you wish), seal, light sand, seal, wait, light sand, wait, seal done. I'd pull off the baseboards to prevent them from being dinged and plus you can then sand all the way to the wall and cover the edges when you're done. Might take a weekend on account of the waiting between coats.

You'd need a hand or disc sander for inside of the closet(s) if you have them. You are welcome to borrow my cheap old belt sander if you don't want to buy one, but the floor sander is worth renting I thought. I also have a random orbit sander for the edges and corners if you need it.

You probably don't need to take off much material unless you want zero hint of the current color, so you're really looking for a floor polisher/buffer and not a sander. The first pass is with a mildly aggressive screen at most then the intermediate passes are with fine grit (essentially like a Scotchbrite).

Oh, do start in the middle of the room the first time you turn on the sander so you don't put a hole in a wall... Don't ask.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:53 AM
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Even with that small of a room, I'd think about renting an orbital floor sander. You're going to end up sanding that 9' x 8' area at least 5 times. My knees liked sanding standing up. The orbitals are way more forgiving than the drum sanders.

The big keys are to keep everything clean in the room, and mask off the room from the rest of the house as best as you can. Then keep your sanding even.

We used the Varathane water based sealer. It goes on easy and has held up really well.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:06 AM
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I also have a random orbit sander you can borrow for areas the big sander can't get to. I would definitely rent a standing disc sander... But I can totally see you getting it done with a belt sander.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:18 AM
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Any chance you will be doing the rest of the house in the future? If the rest of the place has the oak flooring in place, you might want to get a bid from a pro company. The finish they use is much better than any polyurethane I've found in a can.

It's a pain to prep the whole house for the job but the results make it well worth it.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:19 AM
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I wouldn't do it with a belt sander. Those can leave some serious grooves and are pretty aggressive. Either rent the floor sander or hire someone. If it was me, I would just hire a pro. They could be in and out in short order and you'd be done with no mess to deal with.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
Oh, do start in the middle of the room the first time you turn on the sander so you don't put a hole in a wall... Don't ask.


Marco, we just moved into a 1917 victorian and refinished our maple floors. Well, to make a long story shorter, do not use a belt sander! You will be very disappointed the results! I bought a Silverline drum sander with all stages of paper, an Alto edge sander and a Clarke orbital sander as I will be refinishing lots of flooring. Refinishing floors is an art and it takes practice to do it right but there is no reason not to give it a try as long as you know you can live with the results. The proper equipment makes all the difference in the world.. I don't know what your timing is, but I will be coming to Denver in the next few weeks and would be happy to let you borrow these units if you will just pay for the supplies you use.. I used an oil based Poly and they turned out fantastic..

Let me know,
Brian
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60wag View Post
Any chance you will be doing the rest of the house in the future? If the rest of the place has the oak flooring in place, you might want to get a bid from a pro company. The finish they use is much better than any polyurethane I've found in a can.

It's a pain to prep the whole house for the job but the results make it well worth it.
x2 if you can do the whole place at once it looks fantastic.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:22 PM
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I agree with everyone else regarding the floor sander for consistency. The only other thing I'll mention is doing it on a warm day so that it'll dry a bit faster and you can open windows to air the place out. The polyurethane will stink pretty bad.
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