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Refinishing: How to Sand Hardwood Floors

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Chris in North Carolina needs some help with a flooring project. What can we do for you?

    CHRIS: Hello. I have rather unremarkable, ten-year-old, oak hardwood floors …

    LESLIE: OK.

    CHRIS: … and they’re in need of refinishing. They’re suffering from age and having a large family and lots of foot traffic. Recently, I got an ad in the mail for a so-called sandless floor refinisher and it almost seems to good to be true, so I want to know if these things are legit and if they are worth the money.

    TOM: A sandless floor refinisher?

    CHRIS: Yeah, they claim that instead of several days worth of sanding and then urethane; that they use a wet sanding technique and a special coating that dries within an hour, so they can do the whole job in seven to eight hours rather than days.

    TOM: Alright. Well, a couple of things. First of all, there are sanding machines out there that you could rent that create less dust. There’s a machine that I like called a U-Sand machine – U-S-a-n-d – and if I remember right, I think that that’s the URL for their website – U-Sand. And the U-Sand machine basically has a vacuum system built into it. Yeah, that is, in fact, the right URL. There’s a vacuum system built into it, so it pretty much sucks up almost all of the dust it generates. Plus, what I like about it is it’s a little bit easier to use than a belt sander. Because if you try to rent one of those big floor belt sanders and you trip or you cough …

    LESLIE: And you lean on a side.

    TOM: … or you hiccup or you lean to one side or the phone rings and you turn your head, you’re going to put a dig in your floor.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) You’re going to make a big dent.

    TOM: Yeah. So the U-Sand machine is a nice way to go. And so you have professional floor finishers that have these and they certainly can use them and have less dust.

    In terms of the drying time, that may in fact be true because professional floor finishers can use a two-part floor finish system where it’s a chemical cure; and so that can dramatically shorten the drying time. And those are products that you can’t buy over the counter, so to speak. So, you know, I don’t think that it’s inaccurate but it’s nothing that you couldn’t do yourself; with respect to the sanding, at least.

    CHRIS: OK, great.

    TOM: Alright? Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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