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Can Engineered Hardwood Floors Be Refinished?

Using wood flooring for any type of house is known to give the place a beautiful and elegant look. The design that comes from wood is natural and unique, which makes people prefer to use it rather than go for those made with synthetic materials. Hardwood flooring comes in different forms. Engineered hardwood flooring is one of those being chosen; not only for its beautiful design, but also for the longevity and strength they have against heavy foot traffic. Maintenance of this type of flooring is one of the concerns of some people. Solid hardwood flooring is known to be a kind of flooring that can be easily refinished multiple times. This article will talk about the process of refinishing hardwood flooring and if it is possible to refinish engineered hardwood floors.

Different Types of Hardwood Flooring

Knowing about the different types of hardwood flooring will help you in understanding the process of refinishing. All types of hardwood flooring come from a specific kind of tree. They are taken from different types of hardwood trees. These are deciduous trees. This means that these trees have gone through a slow growth rate as compared to other kinds of trees. This helps in making the trees denser. Having high density for trees would mean that they have a stronger build. The difference in the quality and aesthetics of hardwood trees are affected by the environment they were grown from.

This is why trees grown from Europe are known to be more durable as compared to hardwood trees grown from other parts of the world. It is also believed that European hardwood trees have finer grains which help them withstand harsh factors like extreme climate changes. Hardwood flooring panels can be made from three types. These types are brought about by the way they were manufactured. The three types are:

Solid unfinished hardwood flooring

o   This is a type of hardwood flooring that has not gone through complicated processes.

o   A manufacturer creates a solid unfinished hardwood flooring panel by getting solid wood from the hardwood tree. This solid wood is cut and shaped into a flooring panel.

o   After a flooring panel is formed, it is ready to be sold to customers.

Solid prefinished hardwood flooring

o   Just like solid unfinished hardwood flooring panel, this also uses only solid wood that comes from the hardwood tree.

o   The difference it has with solid unfinished hardwood flooring is that after the flooring panel is formed and shaped, the manufacturer further processes the resulting product.

o   A manufacturer adds two processes to create this type of flooring panel. The manufacturer will first sand the flooring panel. This ensures that the flooring panel has a smooth surface. The manufacturer will then apply a sealant and other kinds of protective coating on the flooring panel. The resulting product will then be ready to be sold to customers or retailers.

o   The sealant and protective coatings are added to add durability to the flooring panels.

Engineered hardwood flooring

o   This is a unique way of using hardwood trees when creating a flooring panel.

o   This type of flooring panel is composed of different plies of wood veneer. The different plies of wood veneer bonded together using a strong adhesive.

o   The wood veneer used for this type of flooring panel can be made from hardwood, plywood and softwood. The manufacturer usually uses solid hardwood which is placed as the topmost veneer of the flooring panel. This will also help in identifying which kind of hardwood tree the flooring panel came from.

o   Just like solid prefinished flooring panels, the manufacturer also sands and seals this type of hardwood flooring before it is sent out to retailers and customers.

o   The main difference between solid hardwood flooring panel and engineered hardwood flooring panel is that engineered hardwood has a better capability to withstand the effects of extreme climate changes. It is natural for any kind of wood to react when exposed to hot or cold air. Wood is known to expand when it is exposed to hot air, while it shrinks when exposed to cold air. With engineered hardwood, the addition of the strong adhesive and protective coatings will serve as protection against air. So the flooring panels will not form gaps or rise up during summer or winter.

refinishing hardwood

Important Things to Know About Refinishing

If you are already using hardwood floors that may have been installed many years back, you will notice that there may be cosmetic damages that cannot be removed with deep cleaning or scratch concealers. It may worry you that your hardwood floors have already met their end and may need replacement. However, you still have a way to fix them and prolong your usage of them for many more years. This is the process called refinishing. You may refer to the following list for some important things you need to know about refinishing:

  • Refinishing is the process of reviving your hardwood floors. This process involves sanding only the surface of your hardwood flooring panels. For any cosmetic damages, you should repair them as well. The flooring panels are now ready to be sealed. The most common sealant used for hardwood flooring panels is polyurethane. After sealing, you can then add your preferred finishing and protective coatings. One of the best types of protective coating for hardwood flooring is hardwax oil.
  • The good thing about hardwood flooring is that it can be refinished multiple times, until it reaches a point that the flooring panels are too thin to be sanded again. Refinishing your hardwood flooring can extend its life for about 5 to 7 years.
  • Before sanding the flooring panels, you must check first if there are structural damages like cracks, holes, or missing pieces. If you see these signs, you will need to resurface your hardwood floors instead. Also, if you have finished sanding the flooring panels and see that there is uneven color on the planks, resurfacing is the only option to fix your hardwood panels.
  • Refinishing your hardwood flooring is a cheaper alternative to resurfacing or changing the flooring panels altogether.
  • The process of refinishing is known to take a long time to finish. Since sanding will mean that the area will become dusty, it is highly recommended that you contact a professional team of floor installers to do the job for you. This will ensure that you do not get sick with all the dust flying around. Also, you may risk sanding more than what is needed. Expert installers are equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to finish the job properly. They can also evaluate if your floor can still be refinished or if there are signs showing that would need resurfacing to be done instead.

Refinishing Engineered Hardwood Flooring

The positive thing about engineered hardwood flooring is that they are eligible to be refinished. However, compared to solid hardwood flooring that can be refinished numerous times, engineered hardwood flooring can only be refinished a fewer number of times. This will depend on the thickness of the hardwood veneer used by the manufacturer in creating the flooring panel. For authentic engineered hardwood flooring panels, they may be refinished up to 3 times. So that means you may extend the life of the hardwood flooring for at least 10 years. The topmost veneer of engineered hardwood flooring panels is also called the wear layer. The wear layer can vary with a thickness of 3 mm or even reach up to 15 mm. However, the maximum thickness of most engineered hardwood flooring panels is usually 7 mm. A wear layer with a thickness of 3 mm can be refinished up to 3 times. Sanding the topmost surface of hardwood flooring will remove about 0.5 mm of the hardwood. For a 6 mm thick wear layer, it can be refinished up to 6 times. This just shows that purchasing engineered hardwood with a thicker wear layer will be beneficial in the long run.

Refinishing Engineered Hardwood Flooring Should be your First Option

One of the main reasons why people choose to install hardwood flooring is due to the fact that it is known to last for a very long time. Hardwood flooring may be more costly as compared to other flooring options, but the benefits it will give you will make up for its cost. When you are interested in buying engineered hardwood flooring, you should make sure that you are buying from a reputable manufacturer or retailer. You must make sure that you try to purchase flooring panels that have thick wear layers. Be cautious that you are buying engineered hardwood flooring that has a wear layer that is less than 3 mm. Always look at the long-term when you purchase engineered hardwood flooring.

If you are currently in need of authentic hardwood flooring, you may contact Three Trees Flooring at (416) 665-2624. We are known to be one of the reputable suppliers of authentic hardwood flooring panels within the province of Ontario, Canada.

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