I have a couple of small rooms (around 80s.f. each) where the floors
need refinishing. They are natural maple wood floors. I want to do the
work myself. Should I rent a floor sander or can I get the work done
with a belt sander? I've never used either type of machine but I've
been wanting to buy a belt sander for a while.
You really have to rent a floor sander, and it is a challenging machine to
use in general. Not all rental units are good machines--look for a machine
where the sanding drum is raised and lowered with a lever while the machine
rests on its wheels, rather than one where you raise and lower the entire
machine to control drum contact. Once you get the hang of using the machine
it will probably be ok, but the floor you learn on may suffer for it. A
belt sander will do an uneven job, though I don't doubt that in the hands of
an artist you might get a satisfactory result. I wouldn't even consider
using a belt sander for the job, and I have owned (and used) one for thirty
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