Can Engineered Oak Flooring Be Refinished?

27th May 2016

A common belief with engineered oak flooring is that once the finish is applied you are stuck with it, with no option to refinish the boards for repairing or if you simply fancy a change. So is there any truth to this?

We should begin by establishing exactly what engineered oak flooring is. Engineered oak flooring is a combination of solid oak which has been bonded to a ply board base. Solid oak flooring is 100% solid oak.

Engineered Oak Flooring Profile

So why use engineered oak flooring?

Engineered oak flooring is designed for areas where a solid oak would simply not be suitable. Its structure ensures that the boards are more stable than a traditional solid oak board. This allows engineered oak to be used in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, conservatories, over concrete subfloors or laid as a floating floor.

So can engineered oak flooring be refinished?

The main reason for many believing that engineered oak flooring cannot be refinished is due to the wear layer. For the refinishing process, the already applied finish is sanded away so that the new finish can be applied. This of course involves sanding the wear layer, thus reducing the thickness.

When you sand away the finish you will in fact only be removing a small amount from the wear layer - often less than a 1mm at each sanding. This means engineered oak flooring can be refinished.

When choosing engineered oak flooring it is important to choose as thick of wear layer as possible. The thicker the wear layer, the more times the engineered oak can be sanded. Some offer engineered oak flooring with wear layers as low as 2mm, although they may be able to be sanded a few times, they are unlikely to last a lifetimes worth.

All of our engineered oak flooring here at Peak Oak is 20mm in thickness. These boards consist of a 6mm solid oak wear layer - bonded to 14mm of Siberian birch ply. This thick wear layer ensures that the boards are suitable to last a lifetime.

Engineered Oak Flooring Bathroom

So which can be sanded more solid or engineered oak flooring?

Equal quality solid and engineered oak flooring should in fact be able to be sanded the same amount of times. This is because the distance from the top of the solid oak boards to its tongue is the same as the wear layer of our engineered oak flooring.

If you would like to discuss refinishing engineered oak flooring further, please call us on 01538 304584.

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