How to refinish or sand a finished herringbone hardwood floor?
How you refinish this floor depends on how sound (water repellant) the existing finish is now. Please read the second half of my floor maintenance article, which could be found in the search box at the top of the web page. It will guide through various steps to identify the finish and see if it can be touched up and saved. That would be the best thing to do if you want to do this work all yourself. Because I’ll tell you right now, before I go any further, this floor will look great if properly sanded, but you will trash the floor with the rental sanding machines.
So, let’s presume Frank that you cannot save the old finish, and the floor needs to be resanded and finished. For now, (unless you are a professional floor sander with years of experience) I’m going to strongly suggest that you hire a wood floor mechanic to at least sand the floor. You can certainly do the finish yourself, but these floors are at their best when stained and then 3 coats of oil based polyurethane applied. And even this last part of the job will need some special coaching from one of our eBooks to help you through the job, to a smooth bubble free finish.
The main reason that you will not be able to sand the floor yourself, is the machines available at the rental yards. They are under-powered and chatter and gouge across these floors, never creating that silky smooth surface that is so important with this type of floor. The pro have well balanced 200 pounds 3 HP machines that cost more than 10,000 dollars.
And yet for as little as a buck a square foot these guys would be willing to sand the floor only (and I’ll tell you what to ask for as far as the order of sanding grits). Then you do a little more fine sanding with a buffer and clearing up of any errant sanding lines. And lastly a wood stain and 3 coats of poly, is applied.