Royal Wood Floors Explains Whether Buffing or Sanding Your Floors is Best


Buff-and-coat treatments address superficial imperfections, while the sand-and-refinish restoration technique fixes damaged wood.

Choosing the right restoration technique to address damaged hardwood floors is half of a job well done. Royal Wood Floors, a company whose employees help Milwaukee homeowners make such decisions every day, says that, as far as hardwood floors are concerned, less is often more. There are two ways in which old hardwood floors can be restored to their former luster and glory. First, by buffing and replenishing the finish so that the wood underneath can show its grain, color and character. Second, by getting down to the planks and sanding away the damaged wood. “While both techniques are great for restoring old hardwood floors, there is a time and place for each,” says Keith Allman, Royal Wood Floors owner. “The idea is to choose the least invasive treatment that can fix the problem. There is a limited number of times that wood boards can be sanded. When homeowners avoid unnecessary sanding projects, they extend the life of their hardwood floors.“

ROYAL WOOD FLOORS BUFFING AND SANDINGBut only buffing the floors when sanding is necessary is not a good idea either. If a wood finisher attempts to buff a badly damaged floor, the result is not worth the money invested in it. Trapped underneath a new shiny finish coat, the damaged wood may actually become more conspicuous. So when should homeowners choose buffing, and when should they sand their wood floors? While each situation asks for an individual assessment, here are a few general pointers. If homeowners want to change the color of the stain, the planks must be sanded and a new stain applied. Waxed surfaces do not respond to buffing and need a harsher treatment, so that the film can be entirely removed. Pet stains or gray discolored floors require the removal of the uppermost layer of the wood, as do slightly cupped floors that can still be rescued by sanding them flat.

Generally, sanding is in order whenever the sealer has thinned, exposing the wood to daily wear and tear. A quick test can reveal the state of this protective finish layer. If a few drops of water are placed on the floor and bead up at the surface, the sealer is intact. If they seep into the wood, the finish is compromised, and sanding is necessary. Any scratches or accidental stains at the level of wood must be sanded away before the hardwood floor can regain its former glory. When the damage is superficial, as in the case of scratches in the sealer or a cloudy sheen, buffing is a simpler, faster and much cheaper way to bring the floors back to life. This method can also respond to some cosmetic preferences, such as a change in the finish sheen to a glossy or matte type of sealer. Royal Wood Floors advises homeowners to ask for the opinion of an experienced wood floor refinishing contractor and choose the appropriate method carefully, so that they get it right the first time and make good use of their financial resources.

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.