Well i just posted a question so in hopes that someone answers mine I'll answer yours...or give you my 2 cents. I've just finished restoring a house where I've redone the floor plus INTENDED to use stripper on the trim that is everywhere.
Well come to find out that they don't make stripper like they used to. I asked for the toughest one on the shelf and attempted to strip just ONE window....needless to say after 5 hours of applying and scraping a little window area...it didn't get down to the bare wood. So I've bagged that idea and bought a planer and am now planning all the trim.
The moral of the story is that you will spend a fortune on stripper because it will never take of the layers. (unless you find professional grade stuff somewhere and can bath your floor like they do with furniture.) That aside...it just isn't done.
If you don't want to, or your floor doesn't need to be sanded down to the raw wood...OTW your floor condition is OK but needs refinishing, then just rent the buffer with 100 grit screen and rough it up slightly and the polyUrathane will go on great and you'll be happy.
If you have to take it down to wood..Sanding is the only way to go. If you're afraid of putting dents in the wood from the sander...just find a place that rents the large square sander...paper's cheaper, don't need an extra edge, and does great.
Don't forget to buy filler and apply throughout your floor...yes the whole floor. Then starting with roughest grit - sand the floor, then move to 60 and 80 grit. Between each sand vacume thoroughly and then clean with mineral spirits to really get up the dust.
Last bit of info.... GET SOME QUOTES If you do this correctly you pay at least 80% of what a professional (some professionals) will charge...that's not counting your time! Not counting my time...I paid 2 other workers to help, plus tons of rental and professional supplies and for 1200 square feet of OAK with a little pine...it cost me probably $1200 and I got two quotes for $1600 & $3600. YES! I should have and probably will use a professional next time. Just another bit of info...I had another carpenter helping me when I recieved the $1600 and he told me he paid $4600 for a smaller area in his house. So you see...you really should shop around. Hope this helps.