Posted by Jim IL on June 22, 1999 at 12:36:10:
A few months ago I did this, except I had someone else run the machine.
It depends on just how nice you want to make the floors look.
We used a stripper bought at the local warehouse home supply store to clean off the old finish.
Next,we rented a sander from the local a-z rental place. It was $80 for the day, and it came with all the sand paper pads we needed. (good thing too, the pads where $20/piece)
We sanded the floor down approx. 1/8 inch to bare wood, and then just coated it with some clear finish.
After 48 hours, we buffed it with floor wax, and it looked great.
Where there were stains, we used a bleach and water solution to wpie them clean after sanding.
The whole home (1200 sq/ft) cost me roughly $300 and that was WAY less than carpeting.
It also made it look real nice.
The down side is that you can still see where we did not get the floor real level, but for a first time job, it turned out nice enough.
(especially for a rental)
We also threw in an area rug, ($15 at home depot) for the main living area, and for reducing sound. We just put carpet tape on it to hold it in place.
Good luck, and I hope this helps,
P.S. where the floor creaked from loose boards, we just counter sunk some screws into the floor joists and then puttied over the counter sink holes. (before refinishing it)