Can You Sand An Engineered Wood Floor

Engineered wood flooring ea ed its prestige by being an economical and attractive alte ative to solid wood flooring, offering a near-indistinguishable look and clear environmental benefits. Much like solid wood floors, engineered wood can be sanded and refinished. An engineered wood floor is composed of a hardwood ‘lamella’ that is set on top of several layers of high-quality plywood. The boards are then fitted with tongue and groove or click and lock fittings, to offer both an easy installation and a floor that can hold its own against day-to-day pressures and the natural ageing process. When these floors age, like solid wood, they will strengthen and mature. They can also start to show signs of wear and tear. This is a normal symptom of floors that have been used well and is usually nothing to worry about, and certainly not a reason to sand.

When Should You Sand Your Engineered Wood Floors?

Sanding should be a last resort, reserved for times when normal degradation worsens and risks irreparable damage, or if this wear has diminished the natural vibrance and beauty of the floor itself. In these cases, you can tu to sanding and refinishing to inject some much-needed life and lustre into your wooden floors.

What to Consider Before You Sand Your Floors

The Thickness of Your Wear Layer

The wear layer is essentially the top portion of the hardwood lamella, and is the measurable amount of ‘give’ that the floor has for sanding. When it comes to wear layers, all engineered wood flooring is different, so some can be sanded and some cannot. Our range of engineered wood flooring has an average thickness of 14 mm, and 3 mm of that is the hardwood lamella. This provides you with plenty of wiggle room when it comes to sanding, and you should be able to safely refinish your V4 engineered wood floors at least once, if not more times depending on the model and depth of sanding required.

How your Floors Have Been Fitted

Most engineered wood floors are either glued directly to the subfloor or underlayment when installed, or ‘floated’, which means the boards are glued together but not bonded to the underlayment, forming a solid structure that holds itself in place. This will make a slight difference to your sanding process, as glued floors are generally more sturdy than floating ones, which means you can be more vigorous with your sanding practice, whereas the latter should be tended to more carefully. This delicacy will of course depend on the quality of your installation, but is worth bearing in mind before you begin, especially if you are considering powered methods over manual ones.

Approach: Manual or Powered?

You can either sand your floors by hand or with a mechanical sander. The choice is yours, and will depend on the size of your room and your own personal abilities. For larger areas, sanding floors by hand can be incredibly strenuous and time-consuming.

Your Finish or Stain of Choice

Applying some kind of finish to your newly sanded flooring is non-negotiable, but the choice of finish is up to you. You can choose to stick to what has been used already, or branch out. Our range of engineered wood floors comes with either:

Lacquer Finishes

With up to eight coats of low-maintenance and hardwearing lacquer, our engineered wood floors become the ideal choice for busy family homes. The lacquer provides a water-resistant surface that makes cleaning easy and protects your floors from everyday wear and tear. We offer matt and polished finishes to suit any space. LACQUER CARE GUIDE

Oil Finishes

We offer several types of natural oils, from UV-cured to hard wax variations, which will penetrate deep into the wear layer of the engineered wood flooring, providing lasting protection against degradation and extra resilience to wet spills. Oil finishes are best for households looking for natural richness when it comes to their floor’s look and feel. OIL CARE GUIDE Important Note: Lacquered floors can be sanded and refinished (as the lacquer itself forms a layer on the lamella that can be lifted and respread as needed) but oil finishes cannot be sanded, only maintained. This is because the oil functions by sinking deep into the grain and preserving it from the inside out.

How to Sand and Refinish An Engineered Wood Floor

Prepare the Area

It is important to start by getting the space ready for sanding. Start by moving out all fu iture, or covering items that cannot be moved. Some spaces may require skirting removal, but this is not always necessary. As long as the area is clean and clear, you should be ready to begin.

Begin Sanding

Work your way out from one co er, working in neat sections so you keep track of your progress. You must always move in the direction of the grain, otherwise, you risk weakening and damaging the boards. We recommend only hand sanding engineered wood floors, as machine and orbital sanders are highly powered and risk breaking through the thin wear layer of the lamella. These heavy-duty machines are best suited for solid wood floors. If the space is large or you lack the physical capability to complete the job on your own, you can bring in a professional to handle the process.

Clean and Apply Finish

Sanding any kind of real wood floor will produce a lot of dust. You should be able to hoover up any excess debris, and then give the boards a wipe with a damp cloth and specially formulated floor cleaner. From here, you can apply your chosen finish, be that lacquer or oil, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidance on how many coats to apply and their drying times. Generally speaking, most finishes will need around twenty-four hours to fully cure.

Invest in Refinishable Floors That Age Well

The engineered wood floors we create at V4 are made to last, with high-quality hardwoods sourced from European or American managed woodlands, finished with industry-grade oils and lacquers to encase their natural beauty for decades to come, and set with a generous wear layer that allows for future sanding and refinishing.


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