Let’s Talk About Bamboo Floor Refinishing


Whenever you’re looking to make a big decision about flooring, and especially when you’re leaning toward wood floors, you typically want to know if in the future you’ll be able to refinish your floors if they need a face lift.

So, it is understandable that a common question for people considering bamboo floors is: “Can bamboo floors be refinished?”. The good news is that the answer is yes, bamboo floors can be refinished. However, you should be aware that this is only our recommendation for floors that are glued down and not floating bamboo floors.

Now, you may have been looking for the answer to this question because you want to know if bamboo floors are the right choice for your space, but you may also already have bamboo floors and want to know if you can give them a touch up or if you’ll need to replace them.

Whichever camp you’re in, this article is going to help you understand why it is possible to refinish bamboo floors and if there are any exceptions, what to do if you already have bamboo floors and want them refinished, the top refinishing techniques that are used, and our recommendations for bamboo floors that are best for refinishing.

The details behind refinishing bamboo floors

Which bamboo floors can be refinished?

While the answer given above may seem like a very matter-of-fact statement, there are still things that you need to consider before making the call on whether or not you want to refinish your bamboo floors.

In other articles, we’ve often talked about the process that manufacturers go through that can make the wear layer of your bamboo floors more or less susceptible to scratches and wear. It is this same information that should guide your decision making for bamboo floor refinishing.

For high quality bamboo floors, manufacturers are typically producing their bamboo floors by compressing 5 or more layers of bamboo in order to increase the sturdiness of their floors. If this is the case for the bamboo flooring you’re considering or have already purchased, the these floors can actually be refinished multiple times in order to get back their original look.

Where this becomes complicated is when manufacturers are using very few layers of bamboo for their wear layer. In these cases, you may want to think twice about refinishing your bamboo floors. At times, the wear layer can be so thin that you can actually split, crack, or permanently damage your bamboo flooring.

Even if you are planning on refinishing your bamboo floors yourself, if you are unsure about the thickness of your floors and whether or not refinishing is recommended, have a flooring professional come out to have a look; this can help you save tons of time and will allow you to be more certain about the decision you’re making.

Other reasons why refinishing your floors may not be the best idea

1. You may void your warranty

Whether you are planning on purchasing or already have bamboo floors, be sure to read the fine print on your warranty pertaining to reasons why your warranty can be voided. There are retailers and manufacturers that will actually void your warranty should you decide to refinish your bamboo floors.

2. Your bamboo floors are thin and you’ve already refinished previously

Depending on the thickness of your bamboo floors, you may be pushing the limits when it comes to the number of times your floors can be refinished.

Most manufacturers list the thickness of their floors on the packaging which should help with understanding how many times and how often you’ll be able to refinish your floors.

If you refinish your floors too many times, you may run the risk of cracks appearing in your bamboo planks.

3. Your bamboo floors are showing other signs of wear that should be addressed before refinishing

Like many other flooring types, bamboo floors are susceptible to issues that may need to be addressed more immediately.

If your floors have swelled, shrunk, cracked, or warped, it may be time for a separate solution before you refinish. Allowing yourself time to address these concerns before refinishing will help with making sure your floors are in the right condition before refinishing work begins.

What signs tell you it’s time for a refinishing

If you’re wondering whether or not it is time for your bamboo floors to be refinished, here are a few signs that will help with the decision making:

  • Excessive surface-level scratches that have spread throughout most of the surface area of your bamboo floors
    • Keep in mind that if your are dealing with scratches that go below the surface, you may want to deal with this before a refinish. We provide simplified instructions for how to remedy this here.
  • Signs of discoloring that have spread and are noticeable. If you are seeing extreme cases of discoloring, you may be overdue.
  • If your bamboo floors have excessive water damage in more than just an isolated area. This may be the case in areas with high humidity or entry points of your home.

A simplified view of the refinishing process

So, what goes into the process of refinishing floors? To keep it simple, these are typically the steps that you or a flooring professional would take:

  1. Sand down your floors either manually using sandpaper or, if you’re familiar with using them, you can rent a floor sander from your local home improvement store.
  2. Allow time for your bamboo floors to settle after the sanding.
  3. Apply multiple coats of polyurethane to your bamboo floors and let sit. The number of coats you apply will depend on the type of finished look you’d like

Although this is an extremely simplified version of the refinishing process for bamboo floors, it goes to show that there is a process and plenty of examples of how to successfully complete this process.

Our picks for the best bamboo floors for refinishing

If you’re in the market for new bamboo floors and are looking for the best option that will offer you more chances to refinish, here are our top choices

1. 9/16″ Thick Carbonized Strand Wide Plank

We chose this as our top option because of the thickness and the ability to refinish multiples time because of said thickness. You also aren’t sacrificing great looking floors, as these come in a few options and all are extremely appealing.

2. 5/8″ Thick Home Legend Solid Bamboo Flooring

As with our top choice, these bamboo floors are above average in thickness and also come in a variety of colors. Most of the options in this category have at least a four-star rating from customers shopping online at The Home Depot.

3. Easoon USA’s 3/4″ Thick Option

While this is the thickest option on our list, you cannot purchase directly from Easoon USA unless it is a B2B purchase. If you’d like to purchase these floors, you’ll have to go through Wayfair. If this is not inconvenient for you, we believe this is a good option if you’re looking for the ability to refinish as many times as possible.

To conclude, looking for details on refinishing bamboo floors can turn into quite the depressing rabbit hole. There are many sources that have either limited or inaccurate information.

As we’ve noted throughout this post, it is definitely possible to refinish bamboo floors. If you are already a bamboo floor owner, there are a couple of considerations before getting started. On the other hand, if this will be your first time owning bamboo floors, be sure to do your research so that you can make a purchase that will allow you to keep your floors up to par for years to come.

Tilen Ledic

With years of experience in the home services space, Tilen is dedicated to finding the answers to your most pressing flooring questions. He created this site after feeling frustrated with the lack of relevant flooring information when shopping for his own home.

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