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Tool Guide For Hardwood Floor Finishing

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Refinishing wood floors is a job that most homeowners can tackle themselves, as long as they have the right tools. Fortunately, the major tools needed for this project are available for renting, so you don't need to invest in expensive implements. The following are common tools necessary for completing your floor refinishing project.

Heat Gun

A heat gun isn't a necessity for every floor refinishing project. You may need one if you pull up the old carpet and padding and, instead of yards of pristine boards, you are greeted with thick globs of carpet glue.

Although chemical solvents are available, at best they are messy and hard to work with, while at worst, they can damage the wood floors. A heat gun is a better option. Simply soften the glue with gun, and then scrape it off with a paint scraper. Sanding will remove any remaining stains or residue once the bulk of the glue is gone.

Drum and Belt Sanders

Depending on your floors, you may need one or both of these sanders. Drum sanders are a necessity if you have uneven floor boards, deep stains, or several layers of stain or varnish to remove. Belt sanders are easier to use, but they work best as either a finishing sander or on floors that are smooth with only a thin layer of stain to remove.

Drum sanders are large and require some practice to control, so try it out on a sheet of plywood first. The trick is to keep the sander moving, otherwise your floor will end up with uneven gouges. Belt sanders are more forgiving and are moved along the floor in the direction of the grain. Although you can rent both sanders, you will need to purchase the sanding pads.


Edgers, or detail sanders, are a must for ensuring the edges and corners of the room are just a smooth and level as the center of the room. These small sanders are made to fit into tight corners and to work right up to the wall. You can also use a hand or palm sander for these locations.

Shop Vacuum

The final large tool you will need, and that is usually available for rental, is a shop vacuum. Floor refinishing produces a lot of sawdust. Not only is this messy, it can get into the final finish of the floor and ruin all your hard work. After each sanding, go over the entire room with a shop vacuum, and then wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth to collect any remaining sawdust. Your goal is to keep the floors as free from dust as possible until the finish is applied and cured.

Check with companies like Location Ferrento for more tips about tool rentals for your project.