A.Mel Hines responds:
My floor protection method is as follows. It
applies to hardwood floors in excellent condition.
If the floors are in fair to poor condition, I
don’t always go to these extremes.
First, I put down a 2-mil-thick plastic drop
cloth. I butt the plastic right to the bottom of
the shoe mold. I then tape it — half the
tape on the mold, half on the plastic. I like to
use 1 1/2-inch Scotch-brand Long Mask. It
does not stick to the mold when removed, and does
not leave a residue. Next, I put down 4x8 sheets of
wafer board. This eliminates dings from dropped
tools and gouges from dropped and stepped on
fastener heads. On this I put down butyl-backed
drop cloths, available from Duron Paints (10406
Tucker St., Beltsville, MD 20705; 301/937-4600),
and other fine paint stores. These drop cloths keep
most dust from penetrating. Often, the wafer board
and the drop cloths can be reversed. With the drops
on top, however, I can fold them up and easily dump
out the debris at the end of each day, making sure
to shake out the cloths in an appropriate
As for a shop vac, I have tried many models. The
one I’ve been pleased with the most is the
Craftsman from Sears. I use the 5 hp,
16-gallon model, which sells for about $100.
Considering the amount we use this vacuum, this is
a great value. Drywall dust will occasionally
(though not very often) clog the filter. When it
does, I simply take it outside and tap it into the
base container, dump, and resume the cleanup.
Mel Hines owns Atlanta Pro-Serve, a ceiling
and wall repair service in Atlanta, Ga.