Can Prefinished Hardwood Floors Be Refinished?

People love prefinished hardwood floors because they are ready to install, and you don’t have to stain and seal them before you can walk on them. Prefinished floors come in many different colors and stains, so you have a lot of options available.

Prefinished floors can be refinished, especially if they are solid hardwood flooring. You can sand the old finish to get to the wood underneath, and then you can choose the color of the stain and refinish it. You can refinish prefinished floors as many as five times in their lifespan, so your floors will always look great.

What Are Prefinished Hardwood Floors?

Prefinished hardwood floors are factory finished before they arrive at your home. Once the floor boards are stained, they are coated with polyurethane. They are installed with the stain and sealant already applied, so you won’t have to suffer from the fumes in your home. You won’t need to wait for the stain and polyurethane to set and cure because it has already been done.

What Are Prefinished Hardwood Floors

How Do You Refinish Prefinished Hardwood Floors?

You can refinish prefinished hardwood floors the same way you would hardwood floors that were stained after the installation. In fact, you can refinish them as many as five times during their lifetime. You can follow these steps to refinish your prefinished hardwood floors.

1. Clear the Room

The first thing you need to do is clear out the room. Remove all of the furniture and materials, and you will want to take down any curtains as well. If you have light fixtures, you should cover them with plastic. Make sure that you cover any light switches or outlets with plastic and painter’s tape.

2 Remove Shoe Molding and Baseboards

You also need to remove the shoe molding, which is the rounded molding at the bottom of the wall. Then, carefully remove the baseboards. Make sure that you mark the individual pieces of molding so that you know where they go when you finish the job.

3. Sweep the Floor

Next, you need to sweep the floors in the room. Make sure that you get rid of any debris and dust before you begin sanding.

4. Sand the Floor

Start by sanding the main part of the floor. You can use a drum sander with 60-grit sandpaper and work in sections along each plank of wood. Move the whole way across the room before turning back, and stop two or three inches before the edge. Make sure that the sander is constantly moving when it is on so that it doesn’t damage the wood.

5. Sweep the Floor

Now, you can sweep the floor again to remove the sanding dust. Throw it away, and then change the sandpaper to 120-grit sandpaper.

6. Sand the Floor

Sand the entire floor again with the 120-grit sandpaper.

7. Sweep the Floor

Sweep the floor again to get rid of the dust. Make sure that you throw the dust away.

8. Use the Edge Sander

Attach a 60-grit sandpaper to the edge sander, and then sand the edges of the room. Make sure that you keep the sander moving so that you don’t damage the floor. Continue until the entire room is finished.

9. Sweep the Floor

Now, sweep the entire floor again and discard the sanding dust.

10. Sand the Edges Again

Change the sandpaper to 120-grit and use the edge sander to run around the entire edge again. Remove any finish that remains on the floor and continue until the entire floor is free of the finish and smooth.

11. Vacuum the Floor

Use a Shop-Vac to vacuum the entire floor. Then, you can use a tack cloth to wipe the entire floor and remove any sanding dust that remains.

12. Stain the Floors

Now you can stain the floor with a paintbrush or a roller. Start opposite the entrance to the room, and work your way back. You should do one strip at a time, and make sure that you follow the length of the wood planks.

Once you finish, you need to let the stain dry. Follow the recommendations by the manufacturer, and check to see if you need to apply a second coat of stain. If you do, you may need to do a light sanding first.

13. Apply Sealant

Once the floor is completely dry, you can apply a sealant. You need to follow the same process you used for the stain and then let it dry completely. Once it dries, you will apply a second coat in the same way.

Once you finish this process, your floors will look great and you can enjoy them.

Is Prefinished Hardwood the Same as Engineered Wood?

The first thing to know is that prefinished hardwood flooring is different from engineered wood flooring. Prefinished hardwood flooring is solid hardwood that has been stained and sealed before it leaves the factory. Engineered wood flooring is a thin piece of hardwood over plywood, and you can only refinish it once or twice. Sometimes people confuse the two because they both come prefinished.

Engineered wood flooring is usually installed in a floating pattern, so it isn’t glued or nailed to the subfloor. Prefinished hardwood floors are usually nailed to the subfloor. If your floor is installed over concrete, it might be engineered wood because solid wood needs to be nailed into a plywood subfloor.

If you aren’t sure what kind of wood floors you have, you need to look for clues before you refinish it. Look to see if the wood is below ground level or thin, which are both signs that it is engineered wood. If you have no idea, you should ask a contractor, as they have the experience and can tell the difference.

Final Words

You can refinish prefinished hardwood floors without any trouble. The process is basically the same as refinishing hardwood floors that were stained and sealed after the installation. It is important to make sure that the floors are solid hardwood, which can be refinished as many as five times. If they are engineered wood floors, you can only refinish them once or twice because there is just a thin layer of hardwood over the plywood base.