First of all: Prepare yourself, and your floors.

You’ll save scads of both time and money in rental fees if your floors are ready to go before you pick up any equipment.

If you are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul MN area, you can rent your hardwood floor finishing equipment from Pete’s.

We have rented hardwood floor equipment at our St. Paul, MN storefront since 1998. We have the best equipment, tested supplies and experienced people who can tell you everything you need to know about your equipment, and even give you a free hands-on personal lesson with your rental from Pete’s.

1: Take a ‘before’ photo of all floors.

You’ll be glad you did.

2: Yes, take out all of the furniture.

We are not joking; you can’t sand around the piano.

And don’t trust the little wheels on those old upright pianos – get a piano dolly/hand truck or you may have permanent, un-sand-outable roll lines across your floor.

3: Remove all carpeting, tack strip, carpet pad, and carpet pad staples.

Be careful with your utility knife; don’t make cuts in the carpet while it is lying on the floor because the utility knife digs deeper than you can sand! Fold the carpet and make your cuts on the fold.

4: Complete any patching or repairs.

5: Secure any loose boards by top-nailing them in place.

6: If you’re getting ready for an installation, re-secure your subfloor to the joists.

And use screws, not nails; they’ll hold better and longer.

7: Counter-sink or remove any protruding nails or staples.

To ensure that you’ve found every nail, turn over a snow shovel and drag it across the floor; it will catch on any you may have missed.

This is crucial, as sanding over exposed metal can cause sparks that could ignite airborne sanding dust. It can also tear a hole in the sandpaper and damage or ruin the sander’s rubber drum.

8: Take down all window treatments and any art on the walls.

9: Temporarily raise any low-hanging light fixtures.

quarter round

10: Remove the quarter-round molding by prying it off with a wonder bar; be careful not to gouge the floor.

Number the pieces as you remove them to make re-installation easier.

11: Remove doors that swing into the room.

12: Stop up the return air ducts with plastic or old towels to keep sanding dust from circulating throughout the house.

13: Sweep the floor.

14: Finally, measure the square footage of your room and write it down.

This will help you in estimating the amount of abrasive and finish you’ll need.

Pete’s Bonus Tips

Get a one-on-one phone consultation with a hardwood flooring expert.

For a small fee of $25, we can provide the wisdom and knowledge that you need to complete your hardwood flooring project.

When you don’t know what you need to do next, that’s when it’s time to call Pete’s Hardwood Floors Help Hotline.

An actual flooring contractor will answer all of your questions!

We have a crack staff with a range of specialties, from carpentry through floor machine maintenance, and we can troubleshoot just about any hardwood flooring mystery thrown our way.

If you are stuck or struggling with your hardwood floor project, one call could save you hours in the long run.

Steam cleaners are bad for hardwood floors!

Yes, we know, you love your new floor steamer mop. And while it is true that it doesn't use any strange or harsh cleaners, it is still BAD for your hardwood floor.

Steam is water and water damages wood. Steam cleaning your floor is the same as leaving your floor out in the rain!

It will cause the finish to delaminate and the wood to swell. So, don't use steam-mops on hardwood floors.

Buy online, or stop by our cute store in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Pete's sells supplies online across the continental U.S., and rents equipment to Minneapolis/St. Paul DIYers. Our store at 186 Fairview Avenue North in St. Paul, MN is at the corner of Fairview and Selby.

It's just the cutest sander rental shop you'll ever visit. Call us at 651-698-5888.

Store hours during COVID:

  • Monday - Friday: 9-5
  • Saturday: 9-3
  • Sunday: Closed