Factors to Consider When Sanding and Refinishing Engineered Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful, durable, and add value to your property, but proper maintenance is a must to keep them in good shape. Along with appropriate cleaning, hardwood flooring must be sanded and refinished from time to time to maintain its good looks. Refinishing wood flooring keeps it attractive, preserves the wood, and extends its lifespan.

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, all wood flooring can last for over 100 years with proper maintenance. You should be aware that different woods require different kinds of upkeep.

Here are a few factors to consider when sanding and refinishing engineered hardwood floors:

  • When should you have your floors refinished? Many homeowners seek a total refinish when worn or bare spots appear, or scratching has become too much to handle. In some cases, a color change is desired, or you may want to convert from a waxed finish to a maintenance type finish. Most people can live with scratches, dings, and dents, but others prefer the contemporary look. In that case, every refinishing every five years may best suit your needs. The amount of foot traffic on the floor will have an enormous effect on the finish and how long it will last. If you keep up regular cleaning, the right time for sanding and refinishing will be easy to identify due to the dull appearance of the wood.
  • Refinishing wax-sealed floors: While newer floors are sealed with urethane, classic hardwood flooring is protected by a layer of wax. Wax is not as tough, as modern seals so must be refinished more frequently. Stripping away the top layer of hardwood flooring is time-consuming and labor intensive and should be done by professional floorers.
  • Refinishing hardwood floors sealed with urethane: Urethane finishes are available in different varieties, from water-based to oil-based and acid-cured, and are generally very tough and shouldn't require refinishing for decades. Water-based urethane is less durable and needs more maintenance and frequent refinishing.
  • Here are the tools needed to sand and refinish a hardwood floor: drum sander, floor edger, buffer, orbital/palm sander, putty knife and scraper, shop vacuum, ear protection, dust mask and safety goggles, natural bristle brush, and tack cloths.

Finding a good refinishing company: It's good to meet with at least three different contractors to discuss your job. See their work, and get references and quotes from each. It may take a little time but hiring the right company for the job is essential to protecting and preserving your hardwood floors.


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