Floor Sanding and Refinishing


There are two different kinds of wood flooring when it comes to sanding and refinishing which are solid and engineered hardwood flooring. In a full scale sanding and refinishing, each time you sand down a floor, you remove a layer of the wood. A solid wood floor can be sanded several times but engineered hardwood floor has only a thin layer of wood veneer over a multiple layer of plywood. The veneer can be sanded once or twice depends on the thickness of the veneer.

Hardwood floors can usually last for a long time, however at some point they need refinishing due to wear and tear that caused by everyday use. Generally, refinishing process is using floor sander to remove a damaged top layer of the wood floors, and then applying stain and adding a protective wood finish to make your hardwood floors look new and shiny. While the process is simple and might be classified as DIY but always have a pro to do to the job if you aren’t sure how to do it.

In some scenario, hardwood floor damages might be small scratches and marks and as long as the damage is shallow you can use recoating technic which takes a lot less time, money compare to full-scale sanding and refinishing. This will renew the hardwood floor by applying a new coat of polyurethane right over the old finish.

Unfortunately, in some cases hardwood floors are beyond simple recoating. Having a floors with deep scratches and wide gaps need a full scale refinishing which is a lengthy and labor-intensive process.

Full scale hardwood floor refinish

Generally, refinishing a hardwood floor consists of two major steps which are sanding the old finish and stain & clear coat finish:

1.   Sanding a Hardwood Floor

There are three different types of sandpaper grades you need for floor refinishing: coarse, medium, and fine. Once you have finished sanding, you fill any gaps or deep scratches in the floor by using wood filler. Let the wood filler dry, then lightly sand the areas with medium or fine paper to smooth the areas.

After all the sanding is done, you must remove all the dust from the floor and then vacuum. After you vacuum, wipe the entire floor surface with a damp cloth. Then you stain the surface to a desired color and the hardwood is ready to apply clear coat finish.

2.   Finishes for a Hardwood Floor

Then it comes to the decision to choose the type of finish you would like which depends on the look you want for your floor. There are three different kind of finishes:

  • Polyurethane finishes are excellent for high-traffic and high-moisture areas such as kitchen. This comes either oil or water-based.
  • Varnish comes in a variety of lusters, from matte to glossy. The higher the gloss, the more durable the surface.
  • Penetrating sealer is a natural-looking finish that brings out the wood’s grain; however, it may change colour in the future. The finish is less durable compare to polyurethane or varnish.