Can I sand engineered wood flooring? This is a question we are often asked at Wood Flooring Ireland. Yes, it is possible to sand engineered wood flooring. However, there are a few factors that determine how often you can repeat the process. Before we can get into that, let’s shed some light on what wood floor sanding is and its purpose.
Wood floor sanding is a process that removes the upper surface of hardwood floors using an abrasive sanding material. This process can serve various purposes. For starters, you can sand an old floor to remove old, tattered finishes and level out worn parts. Similarly, experts can sand a newly laid floor to ensure it is level before refinishing.
There are various ways to sand engineered wood flooring without damaging the floor. With the expertise of Wood Flooring Ireland, we can advise you on how you can restore your floor’s appearance and make it look new without any risks. This is just one of the many advantages of engineered wood flooring.
How Often Can I Sand Engineered Wood Flooring?
Sanding is one of the best ways to level out your floor and give it a beautiful, brand-new look. Unfortunately, excessive sanding can cause serious damage to your hardwood flooring. So, how many times can I sand engineered wood flooring?
What Factors Determine How Often I Can Sand It?
The Thickness of the Top Layer
How often you can sand engineered wood flooring depends on how thick the top layer is. Unlike timber floors, types of flooring such as herringbone flooring and Versailles panels, consist of layers of soft plywood glued together and then topped with a lamella layer of hardwood. The thickness of this top layer varies in different engineered wood floorings.
Standard engineered flooring can be sanded two or three times in its lifetime. However, if your floors have a thin top layer, you should never sand them even once.
Recommendation by Manufacturer
If your floor doesn’t have extreme conditions that are out of the ordinary, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s sanding recommendations. Since wood sanding is an important maintenance process, most manufacturers include instructions on when and how to sand without damaging the floor.
Sometimes, you might even have to sand the floor immediately after installation to prepare it for oil finishing. Pre-finishing sanding is essential as it creates a perfect room for oil to sip into the wood well. It also produces a series of grooves, increasing the surface area for adhesion of the finishing coat.
The Severity of Wear and Tear
If the damage on your engineered wood floor is visible, it might be time to sand and apply a new coat of finish. In most cases, wood floors in high-traffic areas of your house, such as the hallway, may need sanding more frequently than similar floors in low-traffic areas, such as bedrooms. That is even worse if you have kids or pets that can scratch and wear out the floor quickly.
Sometimes, if the floor has been sanded several times, it might be a good idea to buffer and apply a coat of finish instead of sanding. This approach is also advisable for cupped floors (although you rarely experience cupping in engineered wood flooring). Sanding a cupped hardwood floor can result in crowning. So, if your floors are cupped, it is good practice to avoid sanding until you resolve the issue (find and fix the cause of cupping).
How Can I Sand Engineered Wood Flooring: Important Steps to Follow
The preparation process involves getting the room and floor ready for the sanding process. You need to clear the room by removing furniture, decorations, and other objects that might get in the way of the sanding machine. Even though sanding has nothing to do with the walls, you might also need to remove all paintings and portraits to avoid any damage.
Although most modern sanding machines can collect up to 98% of the sawdust, wood floor sanding can still be messy. So, it is essential to cover your windows and vents with plastic sheets to prevent the dust from spreading to other rooms. Once you’ve done all that, it’s time to clean the room thoroughly and prepare it for the sanding process.
The Sanding Process
When sanding engineered wood flooring, a professional will use sandpaper with different grit ratings. Using sandpaper with varying ratings is essential for eliminating most imperfections and ensuring the floor is as smooth as possible.
For instance, they can start sanding with coarser sandpapers with grit ratings of 40 to 60 and finish with a lower grit alternative for a more smooth and more refined surface. The professional will examine the floor first to determine what grit size to start with.
In the case of engineered wood floors, such as chevron flooring and long plank wood flooring, it is possible to start with sandpapers with medium grit ratings (80 to 100) because they rarely develop deep scratches.
After the flooring expert is done sanding, the next step is to thoroughly clean the floor. Cleaning the surface to perfection ensures you eliminate all the dirt and dust that can lead to uneven coverage once you apply the finishing coat. Besides getting trapped between the floor and the finish, dust particles can leave unwanted patterns that, in other people’s eyes, can seem like major imperfections. So, before applying the finishing coat, it is essential to clean sanded wood floors.
Apply Finishing Product
The final step is applying a finishing coat. Finishes are a special kind of liquid applied to wood surfaces. They act as a coating to protect the wood from dirt and, most importantly, moisture. Finishes also make wood surfaces elegant by highlighting their colour and woody look.
In a Nutshell
So, can I sand engineered wood flooring? Yes, it’s possible to sand engineered wood floors multiple times depending on various factors, such as the thickness of the outer layer. We recommend a maximum of three times, assuming you have the thickness in the wood.
Engineered wood floors are highly durable and resistant to wear and tear. However, trying to sand them by yourself can risk damaging the wood. That’s why it is important to seek the help of a professional.
If you are thinking of restoring your wood floors, make sure you let a team of experts handle the work and guide you through an affordable and risk-free sanding process.
If you are interested in buying new flooring, we are the right people for you. To book a consultation or get a free quote, fill out the contact form.