When it comes to timeless, classic flooring materials, hardwood is at the top of the heap.  Rugged good looks, long-lasting durability and a premium underfoot feel, hardwood floors are often a top selling point in any room or home.  So how do you keep them looking great?  The secret is their ability to be refinished once the wear starts to show.  That said, sanding a hardwood floor can be a big job.  We’re often asked, “Can drum sanders be used on hardwood flooring?”  Absolutely, they can!  In this post, we’ll go over the basics of using a drum sander on hardwood floors.

Safety First!

While drum sanders can make the job of refinishing a hardwood floor much easier, it’s important to understand that they are very powerful tools.  You’ll need a good grip to keep them under control.  If handled improperly, they can quickly create deep gouges or burn marks on hardwood.  You should practice using the drum sander on a piece of plywood before letting it loose on your hardwood floor.  It’s also important to remember that dust and flying particles will be produced, so appropriate eye protection is necessary.  You’ll also need to pay extra attention if you plan on using an extension cord.  Not only do you want to avoid running over it, but it will also need to be an industrial gauge cord to prevent short-circuiting.

Rent Not Buy!

You shouldn’t need to refinish your hardwood floor more than once every 10 years, so unless you plan on becoming a hardwood flooring professional, it doesn’t make much sense to buy a drum sander.  Rent one instead from an industrial tool and equipment supplier.  You might also be able to find rentals at some of the larger home centre retailers.  

Evaluate Your Floor Carefully!

You want to make sure the hardwood layer of your floor is thick enough to withstand a couple of passes of a drum sander.  It’ll probably remove about 1/16th of an inch (1.6mm.)  If your floor has never been refinished before, you’ll be fine.  But if your floor has been refinished several times or you’re working with engineered hardwood, check to see that a sanding job won’t be causing damage.