Hardwood Floor Refinishing Tips: What Machines to Use

Trying to figure out what tools you’ll need for sanding and hardwood floor refinishing? Well look no further! Below is a comprehensive list of what tools you’ll need, what each tool is for, and tips on how to use each tool.

The Drum Sander

This machine does a lot of the work in the sanding and refinishing process. When it comes to refinishing old hardwood floors it removes old stain or finish and levels any excess wood. The drum sander is comprised of a drum made of metal that is sleeved with rubber to cushion contact with the floor. Then there is sandpaper wrapped around the rotating drum that removes small amounts of uneven wood, old stain, and old finish. There are four ways that drum sanders are specified: drum size, voltage, drum-elevating method, and sandpaper type. The most common size and best option for DIYers that are trying to do some hardwood floor refinishing for the first time would be 8-inch sanders with 110 voltage. These types of sanders are easy to maneuver which means that you are less likely to make a mistake or any harsh errors. If it’s your first time using a sander there are some precautions, you should take as far as safety. Make sure you always unplug the sander when adjusting anything with the machine and heavier sanders are equipped with belts, which will help take the burden off your arms and give the machine a smoother cut.

The Edger

When it comes to areas that the drum sander can’t reach, that’s where the edger comes in handy. The edger’s rotating disc can get close to walls and help perfect the hardwood floor refinishing job. They are ideal to use in tight areas such as closets. The edger is a large motor connected to a shrouded disc that ranges from 5 to 7 inches. Each wheel is adjustable, helping you perfect the depth and angle of the cut. Even though the edger is small it removes more wood per square foot than any other floor machine. Therefore, if you aren’t careful you can easily mess up and leave bad gashes.  

The Buffer

If you’re looking to complete a high-quality hardwood floor refinishing job, then you need to use a buffer. The buffer is used for a final, fine abrading of the wood floor before newly staining and finishing the floors. This helps blend all areas of the floors together and make it look seamless. Buffers are fitted with a screenback, which is a fine abrasive disc. The screens come in various diameters, from 60 grits to 180 grits. When you screen between coats of finish it’ll take a bit off the top making for a smoother final finish.


Now you know all there is to know about the machines that will help you refinish old hardwood floors and make them look new again. And as always, if you'd like to schedule a hardwood flooring project with us, feel free to contact us via our contact page. We look forward to working with you!


And don't forget to follow and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/plushardwoodflooring to make sure to always get the latest updates!