Dustless sanding vs sandless refinishing – What is the difference?

What’s the difference between sandless refinishing and dustless sanding?

“Dustless” sanding and refinishing

Now, the issue is that sanding creates dust, and it’s messy as it takes the wood down to its core.  So, many companies, including my own, offer a “dustless” or  “dustfree” option. 

Now, this name is bit misleading because nothing is 100% dustless, but this method does take care of most of the dust. 

While equipment may vary across the country, generally, this is a specialized machine that has a vacuum suction tube and the tube goes straight outside into a dust containment system (rather than in your room).  The negative pressure of the machine takes care of most the dust.

“Sandless” refinishing

Now, “sandless refinishing” is something completely different.  As the name implies, the floors are NOT sanded.  Rather, you are just screening/buffing the floors and adding a clear coat of polyurethane on top. 

A screening is just like putting on a clear coat of nail polish on your nails. It the base color has chipped or scratched, that will continue to show even after you add another coat of gloss.

Some people are attracted to sandless refinishing…because it sounds good, and it sounds like they can avoid all the dust and hassle. However, many do not realize that these are two different types of jobs, and more often than not, a full sanding is needed.