March 6, 2023

Refinishing Floors 101: The Best Sanders to Use for Your Hardwood Flooring

Repairman restoring parquet with a sanding machine

Owning solid hardwood floors means enjoying the perks of having timeless, long-lasting wooden flooring for your home and a higher property value. But it also means maintaining them to keep their classic, elegant appearance. It means refinishing them every few years to keep them in peak condition. One of the processes included when you refinish hardwood flooring is sanding. In this guide, know which sanders are best suited when refinishing your hardwood floorings.

What You Need to Know About Refinishing Hardwood Floors

One of the selling factors of solid hardwood floors is their versatility, and refinishing is one reason they're a flexible addition to any home. With sanding, you reset the look of your flooring, remove scratches and minor dents, and finish them with your preferred stain and coat. But there’s more to refinishing than its notable advantages.

Compared to hardwood flooring replacement, refinishing your hardwood floors is more affordable. While the process keeps homeowners from spending additional costs for new planks, it’s a labor-intensive activity, especially if you plan on doing it yourself. One thing about DIY hardwood floor sanding is that they’re a cost-efficient method for any experienced remodeler on a budget.

There’s also a difference when refinishing solid hardwood floors and engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood floors offer one or two refinishing and sanding chances during their years of service. Meanwhile, solid hardwood floorings can handle multiple sandings throughout their lifespan. The downside is that wrong sanding practices, like the highly intense use of sanders, will destroy the boards’ surface faster than usual.

Drum Floor Sander

Drum floor sanders are large, heavy belt sanders that users operate while standing up. It consists of the sander body, a sizeable dust bag, and the drum to which you attach the belts of sanding paper. In addition, it’s the strongest floor sander available.

Using a drum sander allows you to remove all the spots, high spots, paint drips, and deeply embedded stains and remove small dents and scratches on your flooring. Besides baring your wooden floors, it also smoothens out the planks.

But, be mindful of the strength and power you put in when sanding the floor with a drum sander, as it can carve your floorings and create permanent grooves in the floorboards. Due to their size and weight, they’re difficult to lift and control.

Sanding papers for this type of floor sander should also come from the tool rental yards. Homeowners will have trouble finding the ones that fit best at any local hardware store. Drum flooring sanders use sandpapers with at least three gradations: coarse, medium, and fine.

When you’re using a drum sander, always consider the following factors:

  • Floor Thickness
  • Imperfections or dents on the hardwood floorings
  • User experience
  • User strength

Although you have many chances of sanding solid hardwood floors, you still need to check on the conditions of your planks before proceeding. Sometimes, the floorboards have an uneven thickness, and some may require replacement because they’re thinned down.

In addition, checking for any defects like deep scratches and wide-sized dents is crucial. Sanding the floors with major imperfections can become fruitless and will only add more damage.

Drum floor sanders are the strongest and heaviest sanders available. Without any experience in using the equipment can ruin the state of your flooring because they’re hard to control. 

Orbital Vibrating Floor Sander

Like drum floor sanders, homeowners operate orbital vibrating floor sanders standing up. The difference between the two pieces of equipment is that the orbital floor sander vibrates in tight circles instead of rotating.

The typical use of an orbital vibrating floor sander is smoothening the hardwood after sanding them with a drum sander. They also work well for all types of hardwood flooring, like parquet, engineered hardwood, and solid wood. Using this type of sander ensures your hardwood floors have the smoothest finish.

Unlike drum sanders, they’re easier to carry and control. Their only downside is that they’re unable to sand deep scratches and stains on your flooring.

Edge Floor Sander

Edge floor sanders are small, hand-held sanding equipment used for hard-to-reach areas that other sanders are unable to reach. They also have a dust bag attached to help deal with the mess.

Many rental edge floor sanders are more powerful than most hand-held orbital sanders you can buy at your local hardware store. While the rentals for this equipment are inexpensive, you still need to rent other drum sanders to finish the job. 

Sanders and Hardwood Floor Refinishing in Austin

Refinishing your hardwood floors allows you to keep them fresh-looking and in peak condition. Whenever you refinish wooden floorings, sanding is a crucial step you can’t skip. Using the most suited floor sanders is essential for the best refinishing outcome. Homeowners must familiarize themselves with each piece of equipment and their uses to prevent more damage and have a successful sanding procedure.

Visit Kelly Hardwood Floors today to know more about your hardwood floors and their needs!