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Handling Dents and Scratches in wood flooring

4827 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  pinwheel45
2 months ago I had a brand new engineered hardwood flooring put down in 2 restaurants I manage. The floors scratch and dent so easily. Is there a simple way to better protect the floor so it doesn't get damaged so quickly? Was engineered hardwood not the best choice? I'd like to get pros and cons or any input anybody has on experience and handling of dents and scratches in hardwood floors or, in my case, engineered hardwood floors. Thanks. Tom
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Which type of wood is it and how thick is the hardwood layer? Some types of wood are much more suited to your situation than others. Also, unfortunately, whereas with a solid wood floor you can sand and refinish repeatedly if necessary, it is not such a great option with engineered wood. Hopefully you can figure out a way to resolve this, but in case you need to replace the flooring you might want to try this site which can help you to identify types of wood flooring that might suit your circumstances via an interactive profile.
Wood flooring in a restaurant where the managers are concerned on how they look? YIKES! Who talked you guys into that? Not a good choice at all.

Wood will; wear, scratch, shrink, expand and buckle and is not sanitary in most of that kind of environment. It's a little better than carpet though.

The only kind of wood I'd recommend is a commercial acrylic impregnated flooring and then only if the restaurant does not have direct access from the exterior elements. Otherwise keep the lights low and the floor dry.

I assumed you meant in an indoor setting and you are refering to the areas where customers sit, not the kitchens. As the last poster said water does not go well with engineered flooring.
Some engineered floors can be sanded and re-finished. Not all. That's why another poster asked you how thick the real wood layer is and what species of wood. If its a softwood like pine its probably not worth re-finishing even if you could. How long did it last before looking shabby? Expect it to last only that long after re-finishing, maybe not as long. Once you refinish the one or two times that may be possible it will be time to replace it. Next time choose a better product.
I checked a piece and found it is about 1/16th thick. Can't tell the type of wood, but tracking this down to the suppliers still. With the uneven texture of the surface (a design feature) sanding almost prohibits as Ill get sand-throughs, unless it's all done by hand. Uggh. Yes, the floors are indoors, in a hotel. They started denting and scratching within days of completing install. I guess a real 3/4" hardwood floor is best, with a heavy duty urethane topcoat?

If you want wood, yes. Probably finished in place with 6+ topcoats. I have never seen a hotel with wood floors - they all have carpets in the halls. Could you use area rugs and runners to protect the high traffic areas?
Tomp - any updates on how this worked out for you? You'll certainly need more than 1/16th thickness to sand down and refinish. You mentioned earlier it was a restaurant but now you add it is a hotel, so I assume it is a hotel restaurant. Food and drink spilllages would obviously be easier to clean on a hard floor than some sort of wood set up with rugs and runners in the heavily used areas. Are you going to persevere with wood flooring or look at some other flooring?
If you want wood, yes. Probably finished in place with 6+ topcoats. I have never seen a hotel with wood floors - they all have carpets in the halls. Could you use area rugs and runners to protect the high traffic areas?
6 topcoats is a recipe for finish failure. Too thick & poly becomes brittle, rather than elastic. 3 coats of a commercial grade polyurethane will hold up well in commercial applications. I finished & installed 3/4" oak in a restaurant 3 years ago that serves 3 meals a day & has heavy traffic. I was in there last week & the floors still look very good. Sand on site sealed hardwood is far better than pre finished engineered, or even pre finished solid wood because the joints are sealed to help prevent moisture from entering the wood. Sand on site floors can typically be recoated if need be. Prefinished aluminum oxide floors cannot easily be recoated. Without a bonding agent, nothing is going to adhear to aluminum oxide.
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