refinishing floors


I have really old hardwood flooring that has seen better days.. They were just stained and waxed.. many years ago.. There is no way in hell I can afford to professionally have them re-done, so I am going to try it myself.. If I fail, I'll just carpet it..
I am afraid of using a drum sander.. can a belt sander be used, albeit with more wear and tear on your knees?
I am going to attempt the small hallway first. A drum sander won't fit in there.
What would be best? a drum sander or orbital sander?
what grits of sandpaper do I use?
for staining and sealing, a few coats of each, right?
I am starting small (the hall way).. what the hell to do it myself.. It can't look any worse than it does now, I say..
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a belt sander will be WORSE than a drum sander. with that, you're pretty much guaranteed not to have a level floor.
they make large pad sanders. it'll be slow, use lots of paper, but probably safest for you.
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thanks for reply..
Is a pad sander the same as an orbital sander?
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you should go to a tool rental place and look at them. they have orbital sanders, and pad sanders are a type of orbital sanders. you can also get square pad sanders that vibrate in both random or orbital patterns, depending upon if you're going cross or with the grain you get a different sanding pattern.
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No not a few coats of staining, no belt, and yes drum sander. clear is easiest, with no stain. the rental place will direct you best. sand it all..
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Have you tried a bid from Mr dustless. I've never tried them but it sounds interesting.
Also rustoleum makes a refinishing product for hardwood floors and you rent the equipment.

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wrote:

Solid hardwood or laminate? That makes a big difference when sanding. Orbital sander might be your best choice. 100, 150, 220 grit papers. Wall-off using plastic sheets to control the dust. A shop vac connected to the sander and respirator are smart choices.
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back in october i refinished 400 sq ft of 3/4 in oak floors using $ 25 wallmart hand sander and 120 grit paper from big lots, then i applied 3 layers of polyurethane finish from big lots ( @ $ 14 per gallon); total cost = ca $ 100 plus 2 weeks of my labor :) after almost a year of heavy use/traffic it still shines.............
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