When it comes to hardwood finishing your floors, the biggest issue is the sanding. All of the surfaces of every plank in the floors has to be sanded smooth to remove anything that is stuck to the surfaces or substances that refuse to be washed off the floors. It is also necessary to remove any previous stains or shellacs so that you can restain or varnish the floors. A dustless sander is your best option.
The Dustless Sander
A dustless sander is designed to not only sand your floors, but the sander also suctions up the sawdust and sanding dust and sticks it in a side bag. This makes it very easy to clean up after, since you do not have to constantly stop, sweep, clean, and then continue. It also means you do not have to put up any shields or plastic barriers around the space on which you are working because the dust created will not go anywhere else.
You Will Not Be Breathing in Any Dust
When you sand hardwood floors, you typically have to wear a respirator to protect your airways and lungs from the dust. With a dustless sander, you do not have to wear a respirator because there is next to no dust for you to accidentally breathe. The very limited amount of dust that escapes the suction of the dustless sander also does not fly upward toward your face. Ergo, you can leave the respirator behind (unless you are particularly allergic to dust, then wear one anyway).
Goggles or a Face Shield Are Still Recommended
While there is very little chance that a plank could splinter and send a splinter toward your eyes or face when you use a dustless sander, better safe than sorry. The dustless sander is very good at catching most splinters that do occur. With the way that the sander is designed, it is difficult to create splintering and jettisoning the splinters upward. However, better safe than sorry.
Where to Get a Dustless Sander
Many flooring refinishing professionals have dustless sanders now. If you hire one of these professionals for the job, ask that he/she use a dustless sander. Otherwise, many tool rental stores now offer dustless sanders for the DIY homeowner. Just make sure the rental store agent gives you a demo on how to operate the sander before you sign the paperwork and walk out of the store with the sander.