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Refinishing Bamboo

Can my bamboo flooring be re-sanded or re-finished? What are the basic procedures?

Bamboo flooring can be fully re-sanded and finished as any other species

Typically floor sanding involves using a special (drum) floor sander, edger, and a buffer/ polisher with a disc attachment for holding sand paper and buffing pads. The sanding procedure starts with a course to medium grit sand paper. After sanding the entire floor, repeat with a medium grit and complete sanding with a fine grit sand paper. This produces a fine surface and is ready for finishing. Be aware that because bamoo is a grass it tends to get "fuzzy", the surface burns or heats-up faster than wood during sanding. Approach the sanding at a slight angle to the grain direction then graduating down to fine course. The method is similar to sanding soft yellow Pine.

Note that in most cases a full sanding is usually not required, just a "buff & re-coat" or "screening & re-coating" may be all that needed to re-freshen a floor. This method of light sanding employs an industrial type orbital buffer fitted with a nylon pad and screen that removes surface scratches, cleans, and prepares the floor for new top finishes.  Using this procedure really depends on how the floor was used or abused. In general, high traffic areas; kitchen-dinette would need to be re-coated sooner than a bedroom or formal dining room. If your floors have been treated with any "non-hardwood friendly products" such as; waxes, oils, heavy wear patterns or has lots of dents, then it would need to be fully refinished.

The techniques of sanding and finishing bamboo do require higher skills and best left to professionals.

Here is the Suggested Sequence for bamboo sanding

First Cut: 60 grit paper at a 7-15 degree angle with the grain

Second Cut: 80 grit straight with the grain

Third Cut: 100 or 120 grit (CHANGE SAND PAPER OFTEN)


Suggested Sequence for bamboo Screening

First Screen: 100 or 120 grit

Second Screen: 150 grit

FINISHING: Water-based and oil modified finishes have been used successfully with bamboo. Darker colors will tend to show finish overlap marks.

Info from the (NWFA) National Wood Flooring Association

Lumber Liquidators Technical and Installation 02/2016