How much dust is created when floor sanding and polishing?

It is obvious and correct to assume floor sanders produce a great deal of dust. The standard industry dust free machinery are fitted with internal fans and dust bags.  Although it’s called a “dustless” process, in reality it’s not completely dust-free. There will always be a small amount of dust created and released into the air during any hardwood floor finishing process. I have always adopted a dust minimization process which focuses on controlling the airborne dust created when sanding wood floors

Dust control vacuums

We use commercial vacuums that are connected to smaller handheld polishers and sanders which are not as effective at controlling dust while wood floor refinishing.  These vacuums are connected to smaller random orbitals and rotary polishers which suck the dust into filter bags before being carried outside your home or commercial building.  The vacuum we use contains a HEPA filter and connects directly to the dust exhausts from edgers, polishers, and orbital sanders.

Containing residual dust

I have used many different vacuums and “dust free” systems over the years and no system is guaranteed to contain 100% of dust. It is inevitable that small amounts of dust will not be collected but vacuums particularly when using course grit sanding techniques. Professional floor refinishing requires are few processes that cannot collect dust while be completed. Scraping of corners and grinding “tight spots”, and other areas the main floor sanders cant reach, will produce dust as the tools used do not have adequate dust control systems. Areas such as under heaters, kitchen cabinets, and stairs are difficult to complete successfully without producing some dust. For this reason we recommend taping or sealing off the areas being sanded from other parts of the home, keeping doors closed and removing furnishings from the work area. A refinishing contractor will vacuum the floor at least 4 times as part of the refinishing process. I vacuum the tops of baseboards and wipe down flat surfaces before applying the final coats. By adopting this dust minimization technique, clients have been pleasantly surprised by how little dust I create when sanding.