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skipjack 12-12-2008 11:09 AM

Best way to fix poorly finished hardwood floors...
I'm still rehabbing my cookie-cutter 50's ranch house. Anyway, this past week, I finally decided to take a day off work and sand the tattered oak floors throughout the place.

I swung by Home Depot and rented a "U-Sand" floor sander. It's essentially four 6" random orbital sanders attached to a heavy vacuum. Pretty cool, actually.. and really easy to use.

Anyway... and you floor guys might cringe at this, I hadn't really planned to give the floors a whole lot of detailed attention. Just an overall sanding and some poly and be done with it, I thought. Anything I did would be an improvement on what was there and any imperfections I would just write off as "character". ;)

However, once I got started with the sander and I could really see the potential coming out in the floors, I began to take a little more pride in my work.

That is, until I hit one of the bedrooms. Here a previous owner had refinished the floors (I'm thinking in the 80's) with what looks to be a handheld belt sander and some rather rough-grit sandpaper. To get to the point, the U-Sand had a hard time getting through the finish here and, where it did manage to get through, had a hard time smoothing out the "dents" left behind by the belt sander.

Here's a photo of what I'm talking about:

The sanding wound up really highlighting the groove marks in the floor.

So, I ran back to home depot and grabbed the roughest paper I could find for the U-Sand. (24 grit) and planned to just hunker down on these marks until they were gone. But, even with the heavier grit, it was slow going and I wound up having to get the rental back in time.

So, right now I've got two bedrooms that look like the picture above. My plan is to use a chemical stripper to remove whatever poly is left and rent the sander again and just go at it until it's smooth. I'm hoping by stripping, the sander will be able to get a little more "bite" and the smoothing process will go a little quicker.

Anyone have any thoughts on this or see an easier way?

DangerMouse 12-12-2008 11:17 AM

heya skip.... that looks to me not to be handbelt sander, but rented large floor sander marks left behind by last sander. too wide to be handbelt. with gouges that bad, either you keep sanding or put in a new floor....... i like cork myself. nice and warm on the feet in this weather.


voiles 12-12-2008 01:20 PM

Seen it before. Ho used a hand belt sander. Keep sanding it will come out.

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