Please Help! Two days & a square sander from Home Depot , Problem

bobbie46November 11, 2012

We rented a square sander from Home Depot for two days and bought about $100+ of sandpaper and have spent a minimum of 15 hours sanding our daughter's old 1937 oak strip floors in two rooms. Still can see traces of dark areas. A floor man came by to give us an estimate on the other floors and said the ones we were working on were not ready to stain and seal. He says we must use a drum sander to get them down far enough. There are a few dark spots but in general they look pretty clean. I read many entries and I have had floors done by pros. Not sure what to do next. I can possibly find someone who can use a drum sander but would rather not have wasted all this time and effort. If we change from a stain and a polyurethane finish to Waterlox (tung oil) would that be more forgiving? All ideas appreciated. Thanks.

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You rented a U-Sand sander---which is designed to level and finish sand unfinished flooring.

Floors do not need to be sealed, they need to have a floor finish applied---usually three coats minimum.

If you want a lighter color floor on the two you have sanded, you will need to have them sanded past the old stain---with a drum sander. While the sander you rented is DIY friendly, a drum sander takes some training and experience to properly use. And even then some inexperienced under trained users leave a roller coaster floor.

The best way is the right way. Hire the floors sanded by an experienced pro. There are stains/finishes you can apply to save money.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 9:20PM
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IMO floor sanding/finishing should always be left to professionals. It is probably the best bargain in home renovation.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:40AM
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The Home Depot tool rental description says: "Removes scratch patterns left by drum or rotary sanders; ideal for interim "screen and recoat" sanding jobs". It is clearly not intended to remove enough wood for floor refinishing.

Here is a link that might be useful: square sander

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:01AM
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Here is a link that might be useful: sander

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:27AM
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I have to fully agree with the aforementioned statements. I recently had my hardwood floors refinished, and it was worth it to have the professionals do it. Hardwood floors can be very unforgiving. It's a shame you may have wasted this time, but I had a terrible contractor sand my floors originally, and the new one saved me having a permanent terrible finished floor.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:19PM
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A 1.5 HP 120 V motor for a sander to strip a floor is a joke.
You are removing about 1/16 inch of wood.

Drum sanders ARE relatively hard to use and not wreck the floor, but this thing is a joke.

What grit paper did you start with?

A low horsepower sander will not be able to work with the coarser grits needed to strip a floor over a large sanding pad.

The link is mostly advertising puffery.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:37PM
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