A Guide to Dustless Sanding for Hardwood Floors

Posted on: 18 July 2017

In general, there are three different ways that you can refinish a hardwood floor. The traditional and most comprehensive method is to sand and re-stain it. You can also use dustless sanding techniques. The third option uses no sanding at all. This article explains the key differences of each approach.

Sand and Re-stain

Most floors, when being refinished, require a full sand and re-stain. This means that the flooring specialist will actually sand off all of the existing stain to expose the raw wood. Then, the new stain will be applied. This is definitely the best way to accomplish a floor refinishing, especially if you are going to stain your wood a completely new color. During the sanding, you also remove most of the small scratches and dents in your wood. So, when you re-stain your floor, these blemishes are covered up. Professionals will either use handheld sanders or drum sanders to remove the existing stain.

The main drawback of a sand and re-stain job is all the dust that it kicks up. Your home needs to be extensively masked off and sealed to prevent dust from getting all over.

Dust-Free Sanding

Dust-free sand jobs are basically the same as sand and re-stain jobs, except a slightly different and more advanced machine is used. This piece of equipment is a large drum sander with a vacuum system attached. You still kick up a lot of dust, but most of it is sucked into the vacuum. Of course, the system is not fail safe. It also costs more than a normal sand and re-stain. This is why it is not worth it to some people. If there is going to be dust, even if just a small amount, you will end up masking off anyways. Keep this in mind, especially if you have a limited budget.

Sand-Free Stain Job

A sand-free stain job means that no sanders are used at all. The floor is just lightly buffed before applying a new coat of stain. This is only practical if you are staining your floor the exact same color that it was before. However, this staining approach will not cover any of the new dents and scratches on your floor. In fact, the new stain will highlight them, making them more noticeable in some cases. A sand-free approach is the cheapest approach, but it usually won't look as good or last as long.

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