Flooring installers are often asked if engineered flooring can be refinished. This cannot be answered with a simple yes or no, the reality is it’s complicated. Many engineered hardwood floors can be finished but not all of them.
Engineered hardwood flooring is a specific section of the flooring market that is created from a natural wood veneer with an engineered structure for the rest of the flooring. Engineered flooring is made of two primary layers but many homeowners never see anything beyond the veneer layer. The veneer is the top layer and is made up of naturally wood and is often a very thin layer. The second layer is a plywood or similar material that may be made up of several plys or layers. The layers go in opposite directions which creates a stronger underlayment. Engineered hardwood is often great as resisting cupping and warping.
Many engineered hardwood floors can be refinished but not all of them. Many engineered hardwood floors have a top layer that is too thin to refinish. The wear layer of engineered flooring is between 3mm and 7mm. When refinishing hardwood 1mm is often removed. Each refinish makes the floor thinner and eliminates the chance for additional refinishes. Depending on how thick the floor is there are different amounts of refinishes that can be performed. The general rule is that you can get one less refinish than the amount of millimeters the wear layer is, for example, a 5mm wear layer can be finished 4 times.
When working with a contractor for new engineered floors they will likely advise you to choose a material with at least 2 mm of top layer veneer. A material with at least a few refinishes is ideal and gives your floor a longer life span.
When sanding an engineered floor the finish and special texture are removed which can change the overall look of the floor. Wire brushing, hand scraping and unique finishes do not penetrate below the surface and buffing or sanding the floors will remove these features.
When sanding a floor the top layer of the floor is removed to remove imperfections like scratches and dents. This process allows for the flooring finish to be replaced with a beautiful even coat. Stain can be applied during a refinishing, allowing the owner to change the color of the floor.
The bevel is another aspect to consider when refinishing flooring. Bevels are also called micro bevels are a feature of prefinished flooring, allowing for some imperfections between boards. Since the flooring is not being sanded on site the bevel allows for uneven heights to be concealed. The depth of the bevel can impact the refinishing process and if you are looking to get rid of this bevel you may need to sand more off the surface of the floor. The preference of bevel vs no bevel is strictly about aesthetics and does not impact the structure or use of the floor.
Engineered is a popular flooring type for a variety of reasons. Many people find engineering more appealing because of the accessibility, realistic look and the eco-friendliness of many of the lines. Engineered flooring is not made of a solid plank and this allows for some faster growing species to be utilized for the underlayer of the flooring. The style of engineered flooring is another big factor in its popularity. Many customers find that they look the look and feel of engineered flooring over solid wood because of the finish options and texturing options. Engineered flooring is unique and has more variation in color and grain when compared to LVP or laminate. The veneer is natural wood so it gives the look of real wood graining without any repeating textures or patterns.
Engineered flooring is also great at moisture resistance and can withstand more temperature fluctuations than solid wood flooring. The core in the flooring does impact the moisture resistances and ability to withstand humidity variations. The moisture resistance also allows for installation in nearly any room. Customers utilized engineered flooring in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and basements. Many homeowners lean towards engineered flooring because it’s DIY friendly. Most engineered products can be installed easily without prior experience because of the interlocking system.
Engineered flooring is a great option for many people and there are a lot of great benefits of engineered hardwood flooring. Depending on your lifestyle and the material you may find that this flooring type can last many decades. The maintenance and surface layer depth both impact the lifespace of your flooring. If you are curious if your engineered flooring can be refinished we would love to take a look. Our team can help verify if your flooring has the appropriate wearlayer for refinishing. Call Colorado Hardwoods today to set up your free in-home consultation.