Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Sanding and Refinishing 1900 hardwood floors with border
4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Sanding and Refinishing 1900 hardwood floors with border

Hi, I've determined that in order to save money, I am going to refinish the hardwood floors in my 1900 Victorian home myself, if possible.

I initially intended to do so with my 5", random orbit sander that I own, but I underestimated the time and effort it takes to do so with a handheld machine.

We have a very intricate and eccentric border around our hardwood floors. One room we did refinish with the 5" random orbit sander and it tuned out nice, but was a ton of work, and it was years ago. (But this is just to say, the random orbit sander was okay on the border before.)

I would like to rent a four-disk 6" random orbit sander to complete the other rooms and the inside of the hardwood floor in the room already sanded. I don't want a bigger machine however to harm the border. I am basing all of my knowledge on this method off this video, by the way:


Good idea or bad? Is it worth the money (around 4k for four rooms) to have a professional refinish? Am I getting myself into too much here?

Here are the pictures of our floor currently:




Re: Sanding and Refinishing 1900 hardwood floors with border

Yes, it is practical for a DIYer to refinish a floor. I always recommend the RO snaders rather than the drum sanders for a beginner because you are less likely to gauge the floor. I personally haven't used the 4 disk units, around here the tool rental has a single 12 X12 pad RO sander. It works well to get right next to the edges. On your floor I would not start with the courses grade of sanding disks.


Re: Sanding and Refinishing 1900 hardwood floors with border

If the flooring is flat- ie no badly cupped boards and no bad dips- than the 4-pad sander will do nicely. If there are some un-sanded spots left when the rest is ready, hit them with your 5" RO then go back over with the 4-pad sander using it's finish paper just a little to help blend it in. I just did 5 rooms this way week before last and they look fine. It takes longer for these machines than for a drum sander, but that lack of aggressiveness makes the 4-pad machines a whole lot more forgiving for an inexperienced operator, whereas one bad moment with a drum sander can ruin it all.


Re: Sanding and Refinishing 1900 hardwood floors with border

Things to consider, before you do it yourself for the first time:

- Dust. If the home is not vacant, no amount of tarps, plastic and covers will stop the dust penetrating everything in the house.

- Unfortunately, that includes your lungs.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.