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Old 04-23-2014, 06:04 PM   #1
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floor sander ?'s


Planning to sand the hardwood in a couple of rooms and haven't done this before, so...how close to the wall can you get? Do I need to remove the baseboards for a good result? Also what type of sander would you suggest? Don't know if I have options around here when renting but it seems like a good question. Any other tips for a good result? Thanks
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:08 PM   #2
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My tip is to hire this one out.
By the time you go rent the equipment, sanding pads, rags, stain, sealer, go though the learning curve, damage the flooring from the sander digging in to deep, a refinishing company could have had the whole job done faster less mess and come out better.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
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Have to second Joe's advice. We did one room by sanding, brutally hard work, very difficult to achieve high quality results, took longer, cost more than expected. Never do it again.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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Hmm well I do appreciate the input but there's not a chance I'd hire someone. There isn't anything in the realm of home improvement I can't figure out and pull off. Managed to do a bit of everything over the years including a 2 bedroom addition on my own. I'll figure this one out too.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:03 PM   #5
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I think it all depends on what you want to achieve. If like new appearance is what you are going for, then you would need to use a floor drum sander. I have never used one but have heard they are a bear to work with and very easy to screw up the wood. But if you can learn how to use it without damaging the floor, it will give almost flawless floors. If you are just looking to refresh your old floors and don't mind imperfections in the finished product, you can use a floor pad sander. This is the type I used when I refinished my son's room. It is basically a large palm sander with a long handle. It was pretty easy to use. I did have to use a regular hand sander around the perimeter of the room as I wasn't able to remove the baseboards (make sure you use the same grit as on the floor sander). If you use the pad sander, make sure you get enough sheets of sandpaper. If you think you need 10 sheets, get 15-20 sheets (of each grit). You will go through them quick, as the old finish will probably ball up on the paper. You can find tutorials and how-tos online. I will try to get some pics up tomorrow.

I probably left some info out about the pad sander. Just ask, I'll try to remember.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:25 AM   #6
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I would recommend you rent an orbital style floor sander.
The first floor I did I rented a buffer type sander. I plugged it in for about 15 seconds before I realized there was no way I could control it. Took it back and traded for an orbital style and it was a piece of cake.

The orbital style is slow compared to some other styles, but there is almost no risk of damaging the floor. And they are easy to control. You basically just walk behind them guiding them by gentle pressure.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:57 AM   #7
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I'm sure you will figure it out.It's not rocket science.But,Figuring it out and achieving a quality finish with no prior experience are two different things.I would take Joes advice.Let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:56 AM   #8
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I sure wish I had an orbital floor sander when I sanded my floors. I used a drum sander and disk edger. The first floor I did turned out pretty bad and had to redo it after staining it. If you think the finish will hide any flaws, it won't. My advice would be to get it as smooth as you can and then a little smoother before you put a finish on it. If you see any flaws sand them out. Good luck. You should be OK.

Last edited by Robpo; 04-24-2014 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robpo
I sure wish I had an orbital floor sander when I sanded my floors. I used a drum sander and disk edger. The first floor I did turned out pretty bad and had to redo it after staining it. If you think the finish will hide any flaws, it won't. My advice would be to get it as smooth as you can and then a little smoother before you put a finish on it. If you see any flaws sand them out. Good luck. You should be OK.

Yeah, you really got to know what your doing to operate a drum sander or the oscillating type. You can make a mess in a hurry.

For a first timer its definitely worth the extra time using a orbital type.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schatzi View Post
Planning to sand the hardwood in a couple of rooms and haven't done this before, so...how close to the wall can you get? Do I need to remove the baseboards for a good result? Also what type of sander would you suggest? Don't know if I have options around here when renting but it seems like a good question. Any other tips for a good result? Thanks
Just rented a drum sander from Home Depot a couple weekends ago.

We basically were just trying to remove the peaks and valleys from some really old plank (sub)flooring. The thing worked great and was pretty effective in removing the old paint and the peaks and valleys.

Tips:
1. If you are trying to really get into the wood, start on a diagonal and then go back over with the grain. Will take way less time.
2. Keep it moving when you lower the drum and you won't damage the floor.
3. You will also need to rent a edge sander as the drum won't get closer than like 4" from the wall. Boo!
4. I didn't finish the floors, as i mentioned above, but I have read if you plan to finish the floors, you might even need the orbital sander once you get to the finer grits.
5. PATIENCE - it takes a good amount of time and is extremely boring! I couldn't imagine having to do more than just the minimal work we did!
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:04 AM   #11
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thanks for the input guys, appreciate it. I enjoy learning something new and love a challenge. I'm planning to do two rooms so worst case scenario is the first room is practice and I can always level it out and put down an engineered floating floor if I've really messed it up.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:17 PM   #12
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I used a clarke 3 disk orbital sander on my new oak floor and I think it worked good. It gets an inch or two from the edge. I didn't have base board on when I sanded. I just crawled around and used a palm random orbit sander to get all the way to the edge. I'm happy with how it turned out. I don't think it was hard work it was boring and tedious if anything.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:03 PM   #13
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I rented a 4 disk orbital sander for my floor from HD. There were a couple of high areas where there had been a steam radiator, the finish was really hard, and some interesting dips and swirls from the previous owners amateur sanding job. It took a LOT of sand paper because of the finish and the uneven finish, but I was very pleased with the results. I would say that you would have to work extremely hard to gouge the floor with it. My husband and I are moderately experienced at applying urethane because all of our apartments are of an age to have 2 1/4 maple floors and occasionally we have to scuff and apply a new coat.

This is what the floor looked like before I sanded. In this photo you can see the deep gouging from a previous sanding. floor sander ?'s-image-695078043.jpg


This is the finished floor. floor sander ?'s-image-3277706825.jpg
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:19 AM   #14
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Looks great, enjoy.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:45 AM   #15
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Finally got the floor sanded and first coat of stain is on. I'm very happy with the results but do have one spot where I have sanding swirls. Not bad for a first timer. I can live with them, in fact they will be under furniture, but in the pursuit of perfection is there anything I can do to get them out? Hand sanding or an orbital sander?
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