Are you considering hardwood floors refinishing because your floor is beginning to show a lot of wear and tear. Maybe it is due to age or just a lot of traffic. Take the time to investigate how to complete the job without damaging the floor further. Most hardwood flooring stores will put on seminars for those people who plan to do the job themselves. They will show them how to sand the floor properly and make any repairs that may be needed. Of course they want you to rent their equipment and may even give you a discount if you attended the course. Don’t hesitate to ask for a discount. The worst that can happen is that they say sorry, there is no discount. You got the training for free so you really cannot complain too much.
Start by removing all of the furniture from the room and also all paintings or wall hangings along with any window coverings. There will be lots of dust and there is no use getting these things covered in dust as well. We would also recommend that you seal all doorways to other rooms to prevent as much dust as possible from being distributed to other areas of the house. If your furnace is running for air conditioning or heating, you may also want to block the cold air return vents to keep dust from being sucked into the heating system and also be distributed to the rest of the home.
If you are refinishing the floor by hand be prepared to use lots of elbow grease. This will be hard work and you will also reduce the amount of wood that is actually removed from the floor and reduce the total amount of dust that is generated. Always sand in the direction of the grain, never across the grain. There may be gauges or marks that you cannot remove with simple hand sanding. Most professionals will just sand the board down until the defect is no longer present.
The problem with this approach is that it removes a great deal of wood. It decreases the number of times the floor can be sanded that a floor can tolerate before it must be replaced. If you can tolerate the marks, then we would suggest you leave the marks. Clean them out if there is any dirt and then reseal it with whatever coating you are applying to the floor.
Belt sanders make a faster job and also are much easier to use than a hand sander. The problem with belt sanders is that they can remove a great deal of wood in a hurry if you are not careful. They also remove more wood when they are used on a floor. Operators need to take care that they only remove what is needed to expose bare wood. It can then be treated with a coating of stain and protective cover. Some belt sanders will also come with vacuums that can exhaust the dust outside of the home into a dust bag.
This is a huge advantage because the last thing you want is a lot of dust through out your house. The dust will get into everything all over the home unless you take some precautions. For example such as using a vacuum while the belt sander is running. The vacuum should also be exhausted outside into a bag that is designed to catch the dust. It should avoid the dust be distributed all over your neighborhood. Most rental companies have this kind of equipment. They can show you how to use them if you are doing this work yourself.
Also be prepared to do some hand sanding as well to get at the corners and other hard to reach locations. Be careful to always sand in the direction of the grain and never across the grain of the wood. Other wise you will end up with scratches across the grain which will not look very nice.