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 Post subject: Can engineered floors be refinished?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:32 am
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Hey everybody.

The problem with shopping for hardwood floors is that one never seems to get the same answer to a particular asked question. I thought I'd pose the question to the experts on this forum to see if there was any kind of consensus.

Can engineered floors be refinished/resurfaced? Obviously, if the wear layer is only 1 millimeter, one would be hard pressed to sand away anything without destroying the floor, but what about larger wear layers? What about floors that have been stained a color (seems to me, this would make it tougher to resurface). Are these floors ever sanded, or does one just apply more protective coat (i.e., urethane). Finally, can floating floors be refinished/resurfaced? One guy told me you can't ever refinish a floating floor, because the powerful floor sander would just tear the floor apart - I don't know if I believe him, but it makes me wonder.

I'm not planning on refinishing an engineered floor; rather I'm looking to purchase flooring. While I've been pretty keen on getting a thick wear layer, if these floors can't be refinished, why does the wear layer thickness really matter?

Thanks for any input. You guys are great.

Todd


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:08 pm
Posts: 1492
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida
Todd:

You may want to start here for wear layer information and whether or not you would need a thicker engineered wear layer. It may help answer some of your questions.

Quote:
One guy told me you can't ever refinish a floating floor, because the powerful floor sander would just tear the floor apart


Typical clueless salesperson--probably knows carpet but not hardwood


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:42 pm
Posts: 4375
Location: Antioch, CA. 94509
As a hardwood installer and finisher for 25 yrs. I can assure you that most engineered wood floors can be refinished (sanded). If the wear layer (top veneer) is very thin, that will pose a problem. The newer aluminum oxide finishes ARE MORE DIFFICULT to remove by sanding but it can be done. Expect to pay extra for these types of floors. Stained floors can have their colors changed but may not be able to remove 100% of the existing stain/color due to the thiness of the veneer. And finally, floating floors can be sanded and refinished if they are not too uneven and are still well attatched to each other. The floor finisher should have experience dealing with engineered floors as I've seen where the less experienced tried to sand a veneered floor like a solid and went through the top layer in multiple places. When buying an engineered floor that you plan on being able to refinish, choose one with 1/8" top layer or greater.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:32 am
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Thanks Ken and Gary.

Your answers are pretty much in-line with what I thought. I just wanted to hear it from the experts. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that an engineered floor can't be refinished (even a thick one like Mirage) - mostly from sales people, but a few "installers" as well. On the other hand, I've also had plenty of people go the other way and overstate how many times one can refinish the thinner wear layers. One guy actually told me the BR-111 5/16 engineered (the budget, 1mm stuff) could be refinished just as much as solid hardwood; I walked out of his shop.

Thanks again. Cheers!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 5:44 am
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Location: Austin
Todd, checkout Bruce, Studio B Talk about a wear layer!!!!!! It can be refinished many times.

Owens Plank, is another engineered that can be resanded many times over.

Most thin wear layer engineered, is a screen and top coat only. Not a sand down to bare wood.

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 Post subject: hand-scraped
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:33 am
Posts: 106
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Todd:
Only one type of flooring I'd have a problem with is the engineered OR solid PREFINISHED, HAND-SCRAPED flooring. You can't sand it and I just feel that it's easier to maintain if you site-finish using a penetrating tung oil finish such as Waterlox. With Waterlox, you'll never have to screen (which is difficult with hand-scraped) like you would if it had polyurethane on it. However, I will qualify this; some of the prefinished are pretty good (not as much character/richness as a site finish, though) and you may never have to refinish or recoat them. Depends on how much abuse it gets.
Gets complicated even when I try to explain or articulate!
Charlie


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