Refinishing a laminate "wood" floor is completely different than refinishing a traditional hardwood floor. Hardwood floors can be sanded, stained and coated with polyurethane. A laminate floor should be treated like a no-wax kitchen floor: Never sand it or the look of the floor will be ruined.
The best way to refinish the floor is to strip off the remaining factory shine and re-coat it with a floor sealer and high-gloss floor finish.
Things You'll Need
- Floor buffing machine
- Black stripping pad
- Three mops
- Wringer pail
- Wet vac
- 5-gallon pail
- Stripping solution
- Floor sealer
- Floor finish
Mix the floor stripper, as per the manufacturer's instructions, in a pail. Place a mop in this pail. This is known as the slop mop.
Fill the wringer pail with clear water; place a mop in this pail. This is your rinse mop.
Attach the black stripping pad to the floor buffing machine and connect the hoses and wand to the wet-vac. Place all equipment at your starting point, which should be the furthest point in the room from the exit. Plan on working your way toward the exit of the space to be stripped and waxed.
Stripping the Floor
Apply a liberal coat of floor stripper to the floor by allowing the slop mop to drip for a few seconds before mopping onto the laminate. Allow the solution to dwell for five to 15 minutes according to the manufacturer's recommendation. Cover an area of about 25 to 40 square feet.
Scrub the floor with the buffing machine using an overlapping left and right motion.
Vacuum the scrubbed area and immediately rinse with a well-wrung-out clear water mop.
Repeat steps 1 to 3 until the entire area is completed.
Allow to thoroughly dry before applying floor sealer.
Applying Floor Sealer and Finish
Line a clean, dry wringer pail with a heavy-duty trash pail liner. Fill with enough floor sealer to apply one coat of finish to the stripped laminate floor.
Dip a clean, dry finish mop into the pail. Wring tight.
Apply floor finish to the floor, starting at the furthest point in the room, with overlapping side to side, figure-eight strokes. Repeat until the entire floor is coated. Wait approximately 20 minutes before applying floor finish.
Remove and discard the floor sealer liner from the wringer pail. Place a new liner in the wringer pail. Fill with enough floor finish to apply two coats on the floor.
Wring out the floor finish mop. Apply in the same manner as the floor sealer with an overlapping, left to right figure-eight motion. Allow 20 minutes of drying time between coats.
Tips & Warnings
- The floor sealer mop may be used to apply the floor finish.
- Do not rinse the floor sealer mop between coats.
- The laminate floor will be extremely slippery during the stripping process. Place caution signs appropriately.
- Do not walk on the floor while the floor finish or sealer are drying.
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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