How to Refinish Bamboo Floors

Bamboo is a highly popular wood used in flooring because it is renewable, less expensive than some other hardwoods and available at most home improvement stores or by special order. Like other hardwoods, however, bamboo flooring benefits from multiple coats of protective polyurethane finish to keep it looking nice and sufficiently protected. The most difficult aspect is in the sanding of the floor and removal of old finish, while the polyurethane takes only a few hours from start to finish.

  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Pry bar
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Floor sander
  • Mop
  • Paint tray
  • Polyurethane finish
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
Clean the floor to remove all dirt, dust and debris from the bamboo. For hair and other contaminants, use a vacuum. Clean carefully under cabinets and other hard-to-reach areas. Remove any molding from around the walls to access the entire floor.

Sand the floor with medium-grit sandpaper to remove the finish but not damage the wood beneath. Hand sanding is acceptable, but you can use a rental floor sander on a low setting. Apply gentle pressure and travel in small circles around the floor until complete.

Use a damp mop after sanding to remove all dust from the surface. Allow the floor to dry completely.

Apply a fresh finish of polyurethane with a mop to the bare bamboo floor to seal it. Let it dry.

Sand the floor lightly with fine-grit sandpaper if you are putting down another layer of finish. This helps the finish bond with the previous layer. Use as many coats of new polyurethane as needed to obtain the look you need.

Tips and Warnings

  • While sanding, if the dust becomes dark, stop sanding. This indicates that you are sanding wood and not finish.
  • Begin work at the farthest point and work toward the exit to avoid walking on the bamboo.

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