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Can Bamboo Flooring be Refinished?

Yes. Contrary to popular belief, bamboo floors can be refinished. However, if you clean and seal the floor often, then the less frequent it will require Refinishing. More often than not, bamboo floors eventually need refinishing like hardwood. This is important, especially in high-traffic areas or if you have children or pets. The process of refinishing a bamboo floor is dependent mainly on the grade. 

Since bamboo is similar to hardwood, it can be purchased in various qualities. Some bamboo flooring features a thick layer of bamboo on top, just as others could have a thin layer. Just like hardwood, it is easy to sand and refinish Bamboo flooring that has a thick top layer to get rid of dents and scratches.

Furthermore, refinishing can be done many times over the lifespan of the floor. If you have to refinish a thin bamboo flooring, then do it very carefully. And ensure it is on the finish layer. But it should be duly noted that bamboo floors can only be refinished once in most cases. 

What is Bamboo Flooring?

Bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly, sturdy, moisture, and water-resistant kind of flooring. It is usually made from a grass known as bamboo grass. This grass should not be mistaken for a tree. Bamboo flooring is similar to wood flooring. However, bamboo is harder and has a slightly better degree of resistance to water. 

Nevertheless, both types of floors are refinished in nearly the same way. Currently, bamboo flooring is a popular option for homeowners. If the bamboo floor is adequately maintained, it will last longer, just like the hardwood floor.

But then you may find it much more challenging to maintain the surface of hardwood. However, the cleaning procedures are simple. And if the surface of the bamboo floor is cleaned correctly, then you would be able to maintain its shine and luster appearance for a long time.

Advantages of Bamboo Flooring 

Although not all bamboo flooring is made equal. But they all have numerous advantages. Here are some pros of installing bamboo flooring in your home:

  • Bamboo can also be refinished. However, this depends on the thickness of the plank.
  • High-quality bamboo flooring is very durable and long-lasting
  • it is DIY-friendly because a top layered-bamboo flooring is typically joined to several sub-layers.
  • This type of flooring is a modern décor with a clean and contemporary appearance.

The disadvantage of Bamboo Flooring 

Below are the cons of Bamboo flooring:

  • It’s a fact that Bamboo grass absorbs water. This makes it vulnerable to damage from water and a high level of moisture.
  • Due to the contemporary appearance of bamboo, it does match well with all décor.
  • This kind of floor is restricted to a few tonal shades.
  • Bamboo flooring is easily prone to dings and scratches.

How to Refinish Bamboo Flooring?

Follow the steps below to refinish your bamboo floor:

Get rid of the old finish.

First, you must ensure to get rid of the leftover of the old finish. You should make use of a sander coupled with a medium grit and endeavor to apply consistent pressure to remove only the finish. After doing this, you will get a smooth bamboo surface.

Get Rid of shallow scratches

Ensure you sweep your floor and then use a mild cleaner to wash the surface. This will help you to see the areas of the bamboo floor surface with scratches easily.

Make sure you use fine-grain sandpaper to get rid of shallow scratches without damaging the surface smooth. Also, Sweep or vacuum cleaner to remove dust, debris, dirt, and other particles before using polyurethane to cover it.

Ensure you Refinish deep gouges

Purchase a reliable wood filler that is nearly alike in bamboo flooring texture to a considerable degree. Then put the filler into sections with gouges and scratches. For a smooth surface, ensure you smoothen the putty and scrape the excess wood filler. Afterward, wait for some time so that it can dry and then use fine-grit sandpaper for sanding it.

 Ensure you apply wood stain. 

After the sanding process, some part of the Refinished floor becomes more brightly-colored than other areas. So you need to apply a light coat of wood stain to such part to match the color of the bamboo flooring. 

On second thought, you can just apply it to the entire flooring area. Ensure the wood stain dries up before you seal.

Choose the best-desired finish.

When you apply the new finish, ensure the finish gets dried, and use polyurethane to seal. The polyurethane sealant is not only resistant to scuff but it’s equally tough. So it can help to minimize floor damage in the future. Apply a second coat to get it thicker. However, ensure the sealant is dry before doing it.

Things to Consider Before Refinishing Your Bamboo Floors

Once you decide that your floors need refinishing, you should consider these factors before diving straight into refinishing your floor:

Test for Oil

It is necessary to use an oil-based soap to wax or cleanroom before having it buffed. First, use an ammonia and water mixture or an industrial cleaner to strip your floors. Secondly, lightly sand and apply a little finish to test an area of your bamboo floor. If it sets, you can begin with the process of sanding/buffing. 

A word of warning; ensure to inquire from your manufacturer the sanding and buffing procedures best suited for your finish type!


You usually have the choice of hiring a professional or to invest in the DIY method. There are many DIY programs available online that educate you on tackling different kinds of a home renovation or remodeling project. Hence you would want to consider refinishing your floors yourself as against hiring a professional.

This choice is the best for your wallet, though it may not be the best option for your floors. As earlier indicated, bamboo floors can be tricky and challenging to refinish. So sometimes it may be better you hire a professional to do the job than doing it yourself.

Rent or purchase Equipment

If you decide to refinish your bamboo floors yourself, you will need to buy equipment like a sander or duster. But note, once you make use of this costly tool once the first time, you will not need it again for another ten years or thereabout. 

Fortunately, there are local home improvement centers that rent out these tools. You should rent this equipment to save some extra dollars. However, there other equipment that’s advisable to purchase because you will likely use them often. Such tools include safety glasses and a ventilation mask.

Sanding process

When you observe just a little wear and scratching which doesn’t’ reach the actual bamboo, then sanding your floors is not really needed. Also, you can opt using a buffer to scuff-sand and apply one or two coats of finish. This method is cheap and can save you a lot of time. 

The time it takes to complete the project.

If your floor requires sanding, then it must be sealed on the same day you sand. Because it will help to prevent the bamboo plank from absorbing any moisture. For you to finish your project in one day is dependent on the time it takes for the finish you have chosen to dry. Give it 24 hours for the seal to dry up before returning furniture and fitting back into the room.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much will it cost to refinish bamboo floors? 

The cost of bamboo flooring depends on your materials or the desired floor impression. However, the cost per square ft falls in the range of $ 1.50 to $ 4.50. Ensure you pay attention to the type and quality of the bamboo you want to polish. Bamboo floors with high quality are thicker and can be refinished several times. While thinner bamboo flooring needs to be handled with some caution. You can only lightly sand it once

Can Bamboo flooring be stained?

Yes, Bamboo flooring can be stained. But the stain is not uniformly absorbed because some cells in the bamboo do not absorb stain at all. On the other hand, some cells absorb pretty well. So it is a good idea to set aside a sample patch in maybe a cupboard and observe the results first. 

Is Bamboo flooring durable?

Yes, Bamboo flooring is durable and long-lasting. However, durability can differ based on the type of bamboo floor. 

Final words

Scratches can still be found on the surface of the bamboo floor even with the best care and proper maintenance practices. Scratches catch dirt, dust, which makes floors look dull and old. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry much since you can smoothen your bamboo floor.

The best solution is to Refinishing and apply stains on bamboo floors. This is better than replacing it. To wrap up, ensure regular sealing and cleaning of the floor is done. This helps extends the lifespan of the floor in contrast to the neglected floor.