Milwaukee Hardwood Flooring Restoration Company Explains the Difference Between Buffing and Sanding


Royal Wood Floors, a hardwood flooring company with an extended list of clients and completed projects all around Milwaukee and its suburbs, takes time to explain to its customers the importance of choosing the right treatment for rejuvenating worn hardwood floors. While sanding and buffing can both offer great results, they accomplish different things and must be chosen appropriately.

“Short of a full or partial replacement, the two solutions for restoring an old-looking damaged floor are sanding and buffing,” explains Keith Allman, the company owner. “The problem is that, to the new hardwood floor owner, the two processes seem somewhat similar, so there is a bit of confusion. It sometimes happens that contractors sell buffing services under the general umbrella of wood floor refinishing services, and deliver something else than homeowners expect.”

sanding wood floors“Refinishing” their hardwood floors is on the wish list of many homeowners. The term is often used by wood floor owners as a more technical one for “getting floors back in shape.” However, there is more than one way to get floors back in shape, and sanding and refinishing is just one of the solutions.

The difference between sanding and buffing as wood floor restoration techniques comes down to the level of damage they address. Sanding removes the damaged polyurethane sealer and part of the damaged wood. Because this upmost wood layer is the one that absorbs the stain, sanding the planks also removes the wood stain. Sanding is followed by restaining the planks and sealing them with a new coat of polyurethane.

By contrast, buffing addresses only the polyurethane sealer and does not touch the wood. Because damage may be contained by this protective layer, the wood underneath may be in good shape, even if the floors look worn. Wood floor buff and coat professionals use a circular machine to remove part of this layer while staying away from the wood, then apply a new coat of sealer, making the floors look like new.

Both buffing and sanding have their own advantages. Sanding takes care of deep imperfections and allows homeowners to change the color of their hardwood floors. Buffing is simpler, faster, less disruptive, costs less and extends the life of wood boards. However, the decisive criteria in choosing one or the other is the amount of damage that must be fixed and how far this got into the layers of the hardwood floor. If the wood is damaged, just buffing the sealer does not fix the problem and will just highlight the imperfections. If only the sealer is damaged, sanding is simply overkill. It shortens the life of wood boards that can only be sanded several times, and often costs double. This is why it is important to ask for the opinion of an experienced wood floor refinisher that will test the hardwood floor, assess the damage and find the appropriate solution for each particular situation. Experience and trust are essential, since some buffing professionals recommend their services regardless of the fact that this method may do nothing for deeply damaged floors. Royal Wood Floors offers affordable prices for both sanding and buffing, and is backed up by 17 years of experience and an impeccable record of jobs well done.

For more information about this experienced and professional hardwood floor restoration company, or to schedule repairs by these wood floor refinishing contractors, or learn about custom wood styles or the company’s inlay and medallion installation services, phone Keith Allman at 727-267-2617. Easy estimates and appointments are currently available through the company’s website, The company provides top craftsmanship and cares for many types of custom and domestic wood. Visit the company’s website for examples of previous work.