How to Refinish Engineered Hardwood Floors

Just like all hardwood, Engineered hardwood floors can be refinished. But what is the difference between refinishing solid hardwood and engineered hardwood?

Can you refinish engineered hardwood floors?

Yes! High-quality engineered hardwood flooring has wear layers equal to the wear layer of solid hardwood flooring. This means that it can be refinished several times and you can refinish your floors without having to fully replace them.

This is also a helpful way to distinguish between high-quality and low-quality engineered hardwood flooring. Premium engineered hardwood flooring will have a wear layer of solid hardwood that you can refinish multiple times.

How to refinish the floors

There are several steps to take when you want to refinish your hardwood floors. It’s important to read through all the steps before you begin, since some of them are time sensitive.

Clean the floor

Before you begin any of the more involved steps, make sure to clean your floor first. Because the next steps work best when your floor is clean, you don’t want to skip this. We outline how to clean your hardwood floors in this post.

Make sure you wash your floors with a hardwood floor cleaner that’s approved specifically to be non-damaging to your floors.

Sand the perimeter

You want to sand the outside edges of your floor first. This way, you can make sure the whole floor gets sanded. When you use a buffer to sand the rest of the floor, it might not reach the edges of the floor, so sanding the perimeter by hand makes sure no spots are overlooked. For this reason, you should use sandpaper and not a sanding block.

Sand the rest of the floor

Once the edges of the room are sanded, you can begin sanding the rest of your floor. Use a buffer and begin sanding your engineered hardwood floors, moving the buffer side to side, overlapping about six inches each time. Make sure you sand in the direction of the grain, and always keep the buffer moving! You don’t want to have one patch of floor that’s sanded further than the others.

Also make sure to wear a mask while sanding to prevent you from inhaling the dust.

Vacuum

Once you’ve finished sanding, you can move onto the next step to refinish engineered hardwood floors. However, you should wait about 15-20 minutes in between sanding and vacuuming. By waiting, you’ll allow time for all of the dust to settle to the floor. Then, vacuum with the grain of the floor to vacuum up all the dust you created by sanding. This will leave you with a smooth floor ready to be refinished.

Tack

Use a microfiber cloth to tack the floors. Push it along the grain of the engineered hardwood floors. This will pick up any lingering dust and particles to make sure your floor is ready for the final stages of refinishing.

Finish the edges

Once again, you want to finish the edges first, to make sure they don’t get overlooked. First, make sure to wear a mask with a filter. You don’t want to be breathing in the finish’s fumes. Begin applying finish to the edges of the room, starting with the area furthest from your exit. Work your way backwards to the exit of the room, applying three inch wide strips of finish to the edges.

When you refinish engineered hardwood floor–or any hardwood floor–you want to be a perfectionist. Your floors are the biggest surface in your home, so you want them to look good! And you definitely don’t want streaks in the finish.

You’ll get streaks if the edges of this finish start to dry before you finish the rest of the floors, so after 10 minutes you want to stop this step and move onto the next one.

Finish the rest of the floor

This is the last step to refinish engineered hardwood floors! Now that the edges are done, you want to pour a one-inch wide stripe of finish on the floor along the grain. Only pour as much as you can spread in ten minutes. Use a long-handled roller to roll out the finish with the grain.

After 10 minutes, you can repeat the last two steps. Brush more finish along the edges, and then pour more finish to cover the rest of the floor. Repeat these two steps every 10 minutes until your whole floor is covered.

This is why it is important to start at the back of the room and work your way to the exit door. If you don’t work in this direction, you’ll be stuck walking over finish that isn’t completely dry to exit the room. This will leave spots in your finish, and erase all of the hard work you’ve done so far.

When you’re finished…

When you’ve done all these steps to refinish engineered hardwood floor, make sure you like how your floors look. If you think they need another coat, wait at least 3 hours before applying.

Wait one week before putting furniture back in the room to make sure the finish has completely set.

Don’t want to do all of this yourself?

You can always hire professionals to do this for you. Regardless of if you choose to refinish your floors yourself or have someone else refinish engineered hardwood floors, we recommend leaving your home during this process. This is especially true if your home is mostly engineered hardwood flooring, as the process can displace you for a week.

Interested in purchasing engineered hardwood flooring?

At PurezaWood we can help you find the floor of your dreams! Since we are always custom, we can create any color or design you want to perfectly complete your home. And with our 3-6mm wear layers, you’ll be able to refinish your engineered hardwood floors if your tastes change.

Make an appointment to visit our showroom and learn more. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see examples of our flooring.

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