How to Refinish Hardwood Floors — One Project Closer

How to Refinish Hardwood Floors - One Project Closer

How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Welcome back to our latest Pro-Follow series focused on how to refinish hardwood floors. Refinishing a hardwood floor is a great way to bring new life to a floor that is showing too much wear and tear or if the finish is no longer protecting the floor. Its also a necessary part of extending an existing hardwood floor like we showcase here.

All of our Pro-Follow articles are the result of shadowing expert, professional contractors on actual job sites. Theres no better way to learn about home improvement than straight from the guys working in the field with decades of experience under their tool belt. For this Pro-Follow, Ive partnered with Danny Riter, owner of Signature Hardwood Floors, Inc. In this article Danny shares the tips and tricks to successfully refinish a hardwood floor. The process includes removing the old stain and finish, proper sanding progression, sanding edges and corners, applying stain, and sealing the floor to protect its beauty for years to come.

If youre considering new hardwood floors or refinishing an existing floor and you live in the greater Baltimore area, give Danny a call. He and his crew will work with you to provide a beautiful, long-lasting flooring solution. This article is a great example of the knowledge and attention to detail Danny brings to every job. Check out his website for more details.

Tools & Materials

These are the tools and materials that Danny and his crew used for this project. If youre taking this project on yourself, you can rent the bigger tools at your local DIY center. Links to the manufacturer product pages can be found at the end of this article in the Related Content section.

  • Drum Sander
  • Floor Edger
  • Buffer
  • Hand Scraper
  • Nail Set
  • Vacuum
  • Floor Coater and Trim Pads
  • Terry Cloth Towels
  • Wood Filler
  • Stain
  • Shellac
  • Polyurethane

Step 1: Drum Sand Floor

To remove the majority of the existing finish and stain, Dannys crew used an 8 drum sander. They started off with a 36 grit sanding belt.

Pro-Tip:  Some floors may only have a thin layer of hardwood material, and these floors cannot be refinished.

The sander is a pretty simple machine. The handle enable the operator to maneuver the sander, and the lever engages the sanding belt against the floor. The bag can swivel to either side, and it captured a fair amount of dust.

Pro-Tip: Always sand in the direction of the boards.

Pro-Tip: Always put the sander in motion before engaging the belt against the floor to prevent uneven sanding.

For the most part, two or three overlapping passes was enough to completely remove the old polyurethane and stain. Occasionally the guys found a low spot and had to hit it again. Dannys crew would sand 3/4 of a room facing one direction, then sand the rest of the room facing the opposite direction.

Pro-Tip: Each sanding belt covered approximately 250 sq ft. before the guys swapped it out.

How to Refinish Hardwood Floors - One Project Closer

The belt sander can only get so close to walls, corners and other tight spaces. The guys were very careful not to bump the sander and thereby damage the floor. They also avoided going over the floor vent openings with the drum sander.

The result was about a 5 perimeter around most rooms and the hallway. The drum sander was too large for a few of the closets so the guys couldnt use it there either.

Step 2: Sand with Floor Edger

Next, Dannys crew used a pair of floor edgers which enabled them to get right up against the walls and into areas with limited space.

Like with the drum sander, they used 36 grit sanding discs.

Pro-Tip: The guys double-stacked the sanding discs so that when the first one wore out, they could just rip it off and get right back to work.

How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Welcome back to our latest Pro-Follow series focused on how to refinish hardwood floors. Refinishing a hardwood floor is a great way to bring new life to a floor that is showing too much wear and tear or if the finish is no longer protecting the floor. Its also a necessary part of extending an existing hardwood floor like we showcase here.

All of our Pro-Follow articles are the result of shadowing expert, professional contractors on actual job sites. Theres no better way to learn about home improvement than straight from the guys working in the field with decades of experience under their tool belt. For this Pro-Follow, Ive partnered with Danny Riter, owner of Signature Hardwood Floors, Inc. In this article Danny shares the tips and tricks to successfully refinish a hardwood floor. The process includes removing the old stain and finish, proper sanding progression, sanding edges and corners, applying stain, and sealing the floor to protect its beauty for years to come.

If youre considering new hardwood floors or refinishing an existing floor and you live in the greater Baltimore area, give Danny a call. He and his crew will work with you to provide a beautiful, long-lasting flooring solution. This article is a great example of the knowledge and attention to detail Danny brings to every job. Check out his website for more details.

Tools & Materials

These are the tools and materials that Danny and his crew used for this project. If youre taking this project on yourself, you can rent the bigger tools at your local DIY center. Links to the manufacturer product pages can be found at the end of this article in the Related Content section.

  • Drum Sander
  • Floor Edger
  • Buffer
  • Hand Scraper
  • Nail Set
  • Vacuum
  • Floor Coater and Trim Pads
  • Terry Cloth Towels
  • Wood Filler
  • Stain
  • Shellac
  • Polyurethane

Step 1: Drum Sand Floor

To remove the majority of the existing finish and stain, Dannys crew used an 8 drum sander. They started off with a 36 grit sanding belt.

Pro-Tip:  Some floors may only have a thin layer of hardwood material, and these floors cannot be refinished.

The sander is a pretty simple machine. The handle enable the operator to maneuver the sander, and the lever engages the sanding belt against the floor. The bag can swivel to either side, and it captured a fair amount of dust.

Pro-Tip: Always sand in the direction of the boards.

Pro-Tip: Always put the sander in motion before engaging the belt against the floor to prevent uneven sanding.

For the most part, two or three overlapping passes was enough to completely remove the old polyurethane and stain. Occasionally the guys found a low spot and had to hit it again. Dannys crew would sand 3/4 of a room facing one direction, then sand the rest of the room facing the opposite direction.

Pro-Tip: Each sanding belt covered approximately 250 sq ft. before the guys swapped it out.

The belt sander can only get so close to walls, corners and other tight spaces. The guys were very careful not to bump the sander and thereby damage the floor. They also avoided going over the floor vent openings with the drum sander.

The result was about a 5 perimeter around most rooms and the hallway. The drum sander was too large for a few of the closets so the guys couldnt use it there either.

Step 2: Sand with Floor Edger

Next, Dannys crew used a pair of floor edgers which enabled them to get right up against the walls and into areas with limited space.

Like with the drum sander, they used 36 grit sanding discs.

Pro-Tip: The guys double-stacked the sanding discs so that when the first one wore out, they could just rip it off and get right back to work.


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