Sanding wood floors by yourself is definitely a good way to help almost any home-improvement budget. Although it is impossible to do this without the proper knowledge, thorough research can get you up to speed on the process, at least enough that you can manage to perform it decently. If you put in ample effort, the results would be reflected in your work. Below are a few things you need to remember to ensure the proper sanding process.
Buffer sanders function in a circular motion. Note that this is the same machine used to clean and polish commercial and industrial floors. The process is very sensitive, hence it is not advisable to try it without any prior experience.
You will need many grits of paper and a few cushioning pads. You can get these materials as well when you get the machine on rent. Make sure to ask for pointers regarding the quantity if the material you would need based on the space over which you have to work. Get a few extra pieces every time, because you never know when they will become necessary. You can return the grits that remain, at the time of returning the machine.
The pad acts very similarly to a shock absorber and gives the sander a smooth motion. It gets compressed after being continuously worked for two hours. Installation of the paper and pads is considered easy. First, you stick the paper to the pad before you drop it to the floor. Next, you place the sander on the pad, which will stay intact because of the weight and friction of the machine. The used pads can be re-purposed and split up to be used again as excellent scrubbers.
This type of sander is the most difficult to operate wrongly. You are bound to get it right while using it. Like the first sander, you would have to rent it along with the pads and papers. If you are doing this job for the first time, this really is your best bet.
In case of both square sanders and buffers, you will have to use an additional orbital hand sander to deal with the edges, because they will come very close to the walls. If you are sanding the new floors, bear in mind that the baseboards will probably cover 1/2 to 3/4 inches away from the wall.
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