I'd consider hiring a pro.
You can rent the machines, but it is also possible to make a mess very
quickly until you learn how to handle the machine properly. I understand
there are newer machines with orbital disks that would be easier to control,
just not as fact.
I have used the belt type floor sanders and with some practice got good
at it. I was lucky I did not damage anything important while practicing.
The rotary floor sanders are suppose to make the job less demanding for us
unskilled types. I have not tried one so I can't say. I would personally
rent one the next time I do that kind of job even though I believe they take
Since you have never used one, you would probably dig ruts deep enough
to fall into with a floor belt sander. Rent one with a large
platen...sort of a super sized orbital sander. They will take a bit
longer but you'll be able to do a good job and not mess up your floor.
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Belt sanders can be a hoot. If your not careful you can dig holes in the
floor. Best to practice with less aggressive paper at first. We only used
the rotary sanders for the corners and areas that the big bertha could not
reach, about 3 inches.
Unless your a complete bumbling idiot a drum sander is easy to use did
my living and dining room in 3 days 1 sanding and 2 for the finish.
The most important thing to remember is NEVER stop moving when the
belts ingaged. next use a light colored stain it will show less
scratches and spend the extra money and use a lambs wool aplicator.
Remeber NEVER stop moving in the direction of the grain by moving i
mean from one end to the other not just back and forth in one spot. If
the floors have no finish on them dont use anything coarser than 120
it only takes a second to put a dip in your floor so DONT stop in the
middle of the room for nothing. Remember this and you'll be fine
On Tue, 05 Jul 2005 13:28:38 -0400, "CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert"
I rented the drum sander, edging sander, bought a bunch of paper,
floor finish, applicators, etc. I spent about $375 by the time I was
all done to do a 13x10 bedroom. It was a BITCH. Lots of time and
work. I called the pro to quote the other bedroom. $400. I saved
$25 freaking dollars and it took me several days by the time I was
done. I would NEVER do that job myself again. By the way, I decided
to leave the other bedroom carpeted as the floor feels cold with the
wood, but that's a function of the moron that built the house and
didn't insulate the ceiling of the garage that is directly below the
I just did mine, prior to moving in. I used a flat sander vs. the drum.
Someone had used a drum sander prior to me and gouged the floors in
many places. My floors had stain plus varnish on them, and I tried to
bring them down to the original wood. I was 95% successful. Luckily the
stain i selected did not show the areas where the previous owners had
gouged it with a drum sander.
Lots of work. Lots of fumes. Was worth it in the long run doing it
myself since I was on a strict budget. However, I would never
voluntarily do it again myself. If you have the funds, have a pro do
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