Flooring Tools

Flooring Tools


You can rent most of the equipment and supplies needed to scrape a floor down to smooth, bare wood. A drum sander makes short work of open areas, a disk-type edger sands along the baseboards, and an orbital sander smoothes out circular marks made by the edger.

Also plan to rent a buffer for polishing the floor after you´ve applied sealer. And to get at hard-to-reach areas under radiators and other obstructions, consider an offset sander.

Check with local rental agencies to learn if you should reserve the machines in advance. In any case, be sure to pick them up early in the day to make sure you have enough time to do all the work you plan to do.

When you pick up the equipment, have the dealer demonstrate how it works. Incorrectly used, these powerful machines can gouge a floor in a hurry. Also, make sure you learn how to put sandpaper snugly on a drum sander. Otherwise, it will tear – and paper is expensive.


The rental agency should also supply you with sandpaper. Three cuts with the grain will give most floors a smooth surface, but if the floor is in bad condition, you may need to make four passes, the first two diagonally and the last two with the wood grain. Use progressively finer sandpaper with each cut. If you are removing paint or sanding very rough floorboards, start with very coarse 20-grit paper. The numbers get higher as the paper gets finer. For sanding new, fairly smooth strip or plank flooring or parquet; start with 60-grit open-coat paper. Make the second pass with 80-grit open-coat paper. Follow this with a third cut with 120-grit open-coat paper if the floor is softwood such as pine, fir, hemlock spruce. Use closed-coat paper for third cuts in hardwoods such as oak, birch, maple, hickory, or ash. The closed-coat paper has more grits per square inch than does the open-coat type.

Wood finishing tools

Apply floor finishes with a spray gun, natural-bristle brush, or a special lamb´s wool applicator. Load the applicator from a roller pan, or simply pour a puddle of finish on the floor and spread it out with the applicator.

If you plan to stain the floor or seal it with a penetrating oil finish, you will also need lots of clean rags.

Tools for installing resilient flooring

Cut a template for sheet goods with scissors and a utility knife. You can also cut the flooring itself with a utility knife, but a linoleum knife – which has a hooked blade – works better. You´ll also need a metal straightedge for guiding cuts. Apply flooring adhesive with a notched trowel. With sheet goods, any floor wider than 12 feet – the longest roll available – will require a seam. This must be seated with a steam roller.