While renting a floor sander is a much more affordable option than hiring a contractor to help you refinish your floor, is it worth it? Having a professional complete the work means you know it will be finished to a high level, however if you have some skill, a little patience, and do some research, you can cut costs considerably by renting a floor sander and completing the job yourself.
You should bear in mind that this isn’t a job you should rush, so you might well have to rent it for several days in order to ensure the job gets done right. Also make sure to check if your floor can be sanded – you’d be surprised by how many people forget to do this! If you don’t feel confident in your sanding abilities, then the best advice would be not to risk it – paying for brand new flooring to be installed is going to be more expensive than hiring a contractor or a few days.
If you do decide you can handle the sander you’ll usually be renting two pieces of equipment: the large drum sander and the edger. Check out the following tips:
You need a steady pace when using the sander so keep moving – if you stop in the same place you can cause an unsightly dip. That being said, it’s not a race. Take your time and move with the machine.
It will be easier for you to work out a system and stick to it, to do so minimizes the risk of missing spots. You shouldn’t turn with the drum machine like you would a vacuum cleaner – only ever go in straight lines. Overlap a little on your path to ensure you cover the entire area (this is true for the edge sander too)
Use a Pencil on the Edges
If you mark the edge of the entire room with a pencil, you can then clearly see where you have and haven’t sanded.
Always wear a dust mask and safety glasses, and empty the bags when they’re a third full as they’re a fire hazard. Rest as often as you need and don’t apply any extra pressure to the drum sander – its own weight is enough.
Ask for Help
If you haven’t used a floor sander, ask the employees at the rental for any tips. You can also ask them to show you how to install the sandpaper, and get them to put the first piece on for you.