How To Refinish Your Hardwood Floors: Sanding the Edges with the Edger

This week, we continue our ongoing series. As always, if you have any questions about any of the information that you're reading here, we're more than happy to answer the questions that you have. We don't expect anyone to get this down 100% with their first try. Hardwood flooring is a delicate and nuanced process that takes years to master. That being said, we'd like to share some of that wisdom when it comes to sanding the edges of your floor.

By this point you can most likely really see your floor coming alive! The main body of the floor looks great, but you still have a very distinctive foot or so of edges around the room that have been untouched. We will take care of this with the next step of the process.

When renting an edger machine, you should receive the power cord and a bag. Put the bag over the rear dust pipe and tie it carefully, double knotting it to make sure dust does not shoot out, or worse, so that the bag doesn’t fly off while the machine is on. Next, install your paper to the rubber edger pad under the machine. We must begin and end our sanding with the same grit sequence as the large belt sander. For this floor we will start off by sanding the entire perimeter with 50 grit and then do another pass with 80 grit. To do this, undo the bolt in the middle of the pad with the wrench that is attached to the back of the edger. Line your paper up onto the middle of the machine and screw your bolt back in tightening it hand tight. Be sure to put the wrench back into the clip at the rear of the machine so you do not misplace it! Your machine should now look something like this with the paper attached.

edge sander hardwood floors

Place the machine on the floor, hold it tight and lean it back as you flick the switch to turn it on and carefully set the disk onto the floor to begin sanding. The machine is very loud and very aggressive so make sure to not let go and be aware of the noise! It is going to take some getting used to and just like with the belt sander the rental store should give you a quick how-to on using the machine. I recommend focusing on simply removing the finish with the 50 grit paper. Once you finish with the 50 grit pass you must return and do everything with 80 grit, with this grit your main focus is to simply remove the scratches left from the previous 50 grit sanding. I would recommend trying to work in circular motions and putting very little to no pressure on the actual machine, let the machine do the work for you.

Again, I must stress this tutorial is simply meant to guide you, and this is not a tutorial on how to use the actual machines themselves. Although, after a few minutes you should start to get the hang of it fairly quickly. Once you are finished with the 80 grit sanding pass on the edger clean the machine and the bag. Wrap the cord and return it to the rental store with your big belt sander. It’s time for the fine sanding!