Floor refinishing - drum or orbital sander?

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  #1  
Old 03-18-15, 12:15 PM
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Floor refinishing - drum or orbital sander?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

I have original 1.5" face hardwood floor (maple I think) in a living room, hall and two bedrooms (about 600 square feet). I pulled the carpet up last year and am looking to refinish the floor sometime this spring.

The local hardware store rents an orbital floor sander, no drum sander available. All the TV shows say to use a drum sander. I have used neither, so would like to do this easy and cheap and still get good results.

Will the orbital do a good job? Will it scuff the flooring?

I will include some pictures...Will the orbital help with the appearance of the puppy accidents in the living room when there was carpeting and the greyish wood look in the bedroom?

Thanks again...

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Old 03-18-15, 12:19 PM
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A drum sander is quicker BUT if you aren't careful you can over sand and ruin the floor An orbital sander is a lot more diy friendly! Both are capable of doing a good job. Those stains may or may not sand out, if they don't, you might be able to get most of it out with a wood bleach. If that doesn't work there isn't much you can do other than live with it or replace the affected boards.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 12:19 PM
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Is there a finish on the floor currently? First pic hard to tell but the second one looks like there is.

If raw wood gets stained, it may be horribly difficult to remove. If the stain is in the finish layer, that can be removed and the floor refinished.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 12:24 PM
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I'm assuming the stains [especially in the first pic] have soaked below the finish stains over the finish will easily sand out
 
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Old 03-18-15, 12:24 PM
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Here's the deal on drum sanders...if you cough or sneeze, you will probably badly gouge the floor. They are very aggressive and take a learned skill to operate well. I'd pay a company to just come in and sand before I'd use a drum sander myself, then I'd put the finish on.

The orbitals are much easier to use but take more time. They are normally just used to sand down a worn finish before re-coating.

The urine stains may be deep in the wood and won't be removed just by sanding with an orbital.
I believe there are treatments that can be applied that help lighten them, but not sure.
 
  #6  
Old 03-18-15, 04:08 PM
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Thanks so much.
Yes, there is finish on all the flooring. I assume it is oil-based since it is kind of orange in color.

The first picture is the living room, which had been covered in carpet. The second picture is the bedroom, which was NOT carpeted..as a result the finish is more worn.

I was not sure if the orbital would leave scratches in the finish, sanding against the grain in a rotating motion, so I was just asking. I like the sound of the orbital because the chances are less of damaging the wood.

I guess the only way to know for sure is to start sanding, huh?
 
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Old 03-18-15, 04:52 PM
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You'll start with an aggressive grit and finish with a fine grit to remove the sanding marks.
 
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Old 03-19-15, 03:34 AM
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Both hand sanding and drum sanding must be done with the direction of the grain but an orbital sander vibrates in a way that makes sanding scratches hard to spot. As Pete said, you'll start out with an aggressive grit with the final sanding being a finer grit which should eliminate the sanding marks. When a drum sander is used, the final sanding is always done with either a buffer with a sanding screen or an orbital sander.
 
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