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Can Engineered Wood Floors Be Refinished?

Can Engineered Wood Floors Be Refinished?


Most homeowners ask this important question about engineered wood’s maintenance requirements: “Can engineered wood floors be refinished and sanded?”

To be fair, that is a valid question. The makeup and composition of engineered hardwood is mostly plywood, with only up to 8-millimeter of real wood – so you absolutely don’t want to damage the wood coating by sanding and refinishing the surface.

So to answer your question “can engineered wood floors be refinished,” the short answer is yes – to an extent. The manner of sanding and refinishing engineered wood flooring depends on how thick the wear layer is.

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered hardwood floors consist of multiple bonded layers of wood with a wear layer (top surface) of real solid wood. This type of flooring is one of the most popular flooring options among homeowners who want the look of real hardwood to fit their budget.

Engineered wood planks are made of multiple layers.

Engineered wood flooring can withstand variations in humidity and temperature.

This feature means that engineered hardwood can be installed in kitchens and conservatories. It can also be placed underfloor heating.

Engineered hardwood is crafted from multiple layers of wood with a chosen species of wood placed on top, which is also called the wear layer. The base layer underneath, which is left unseen after the installation, is made up of either a 3-ply block construction or a plywood base.

A 3-ply block construction has a middle layer and a base of plywood. A plywood base, on the other hand, is a plywood layer bonded below the wear layer.

The wear or top layer must have a minimum thickness of 2 millimeters. Anything below this measurement doesn’t categorize the flooring as engineered hardwood; it will then be grouped under the veneered wood flooring type.

Where can engineered wood floors be installed?

Because of the multiple layer composition of engineered hardwood flooring, the engineered boards are resistant to expanding and contracting – as opposed to its solid wood counterpart.

Engineered wood floors are ideal in sun rooms.

This feature means engineered hardwood flooring is suitable for the following areas of the house:

  • Kitchens
  • Sunrooms
  • Conservatories
  • Rooms or areas of the house with excessive glazing

It’s not advisable to use this type of flooring in bathrooms or any other parts of the house with too much moisture.

Can engineered wood floors be refinished?

The standard rule to follow before you refinished engineered wood floors is to check the wear layer – it must not be narrower than 3 millimeters. Still, even if your engineered hardwood is at least a minimum of 3 millimeters thickness if the floor is looking rather uneven, you can attempt to sand through the plywood substrate.

If you don’t want to risk it, ask a flooring professional the “can engineered wood floors be refinished” question. They are the best experts to give you the right answer. Still, they will most likely attest that engineered hardwood floors that are starting from 4-millimeter thickness up to 8 millimeters can be sanded and refinished.

How many times can I sand and refinish engineered hardwood flooring?

Sanding and refinishing engineered hardwood will gradually make it thinner and flatter. Once engineered hardwood floor has been sanded and refinished the first time, the subsequent sanding and refinishing sessions must not take off much of the wear layer.  

When you ask, “can engineered wood floors be refinished and sanded how many times,” the answer is up to three times. If the engineered wood flooring only has a 3-millimeter thickness, it can only be sanded once. 

Another important consideration to factor in when sanding and refinishing engineered hardwood is the expertise, equipment, and capabilities of the flooring company you hire.

It’s important to know if your engineered wood floors have been sanded previously and how many times. This will help the flooring company know how they will go about sanding and refinishing your engineered wood floors. 

Experienced flooring professionals will even recommend not sanding engineered wood flooring at all – especially if it had been sanded once or twice before already.

Another scenario where engineered hardwood flooring can’t be sanded is when it’s showing signs of warping or if it doesn’t look even.  

Final Takeaway

Can engineered wood floors be refinished? Yes. To ensure that you’re deciding what’s best for your engineered wood floors, consult a flooring professional.