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My husband and I have no clue about how to choose someone to refinish our Bruce (engineered?) hardwood floors. Could someone jump in with a list of the questions we should be asking a potential refinisher. Or, just let us know what steps are involved so we can see if the man is going through the same process as you would go through (e.g, isn't there some sandpaper sequence? how many coats? etc.)

Also would like to know if anyone has an opinion on which is the better waterborne product: MinWax or a product made by Bona called Mega? Oh, should mention that in addition to sanding and applying the poly, we will need to have the floors stained in order to match the exisiting stained stairs.

Thanks so very much for any information.
 

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As it may be too late, The first thing i would ask is if the person has ALOT of experience staining wood floors. The sanding process is much more intricate and most people i've seen don't know how to sand that way. The darker the stain, the more difficult to apply evenly. Ask him questions about the process. Other than that, i would recommend doing research on the process yourself so as to have a general idea.
 

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Choosing floor refinisher

Thanks for your reply. The man we're seriously considering has 14 years experience; plans to sand, stain and apply 2 coats of oil-based poly. The thing that concerns me the most, though, is that I read where Bruce engineered floors have varying degrees of thickness. How do you know how much to sand? Should I question him specifically about his experience with engineered floors? Thanks for your help!!
 

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Should I question him specifically about his experience with engineered floors?
Most certainly! Engineered hardwood floors have a thin top layer, and you can sand right through it and ruin the piece. Per the Armstrong site (makers of Bruce) "Engineered wood with a top layer thinner than 1/10" cannot be refinished; however, it can be recoated to renew the surface of the floor." Make sure this guys knows he's not dealing w/a solid hunk of wood.
 

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I too would have major concerns about the thickness of the wood veneer. It would be so very easy to sand right through it, ruining the floor. Definitely worth a call to the manufacturer's tech people to get some guidance from them before you take the plunge.
 

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Engineered floors have 1/8 thickness. a little more than veneered (they are different). Keep in mind 220v sanders usually take off between 1/16-1/8 off a floor when it's already flat. Engineered floor reps claim that there floors can be sanded up to 3 times... thats really crap. Technically they prob could if sanded just barely enough to strip off old finish and if there weren't any dings on the floor. I'd say you could get away with sanding it once. I had a salon that had thousands of heel mark holes in engineered and there was no way to sand them out. 2 coats is not enough to withstand wear, he should be putting down 3 or be giving you a discount for not.
 
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