How to Finish Bamboo Flooring

What You'll Need
Disc sander
120 and 360 grit sandpaper
Polyurethane varnish or clear coat
Paint brush
Sponge mop
Wood cleaner
Old towels
Paint container
Floor wax
Floor buffer machine (optional)

Bamboo flooring is a lovely addition to any home and is much more environmentally friendly than many other types of wood flooring (Bamboo is actually a type of hard grass that grows up to four times as fast other hardwood trees). However, over time the finish on bamboo flooring can become dull, faded or damaged. When it does, use this easy to follow guide to refinish it and bring it back to life.

Step 1 - Clean the Floor

Start with sweeping and mopping the floor to remove any debris or dust before you begin.

Step 2 - Remove Old Finish

Take the disc sander and 120 grit sandpaper and begin to sand away the old finish. If you don't have a disc sander, your local tool rental store will have one you can rent for the day. Move across the floor with the sander slowly and work in small areas. Be careful to only remove the finish and not the flooring material. You can check by looking at the dist being expelled from the sander. If the dust is dense and thick, apply a little less pressure. If the dust is thin and nearly white in color, you are removing the finish and not sanding into the wood.

Step 3 - Sweep or Vacuum the Floor

Sweep or vacuum away all of the dust created by the sanding.

Step 4 - Apply First Coat Polyurethane

You can use a paint brush to apply the polyurethane finish; however, a sponge mop works just as well and is much faster. Pour some polyurethane into a paint container and dampen the mop with the finish. Apply the finish evenly on the floor. Apply a relatively light coat in order to reduce the amount of time needed for the finish to dry. Use the brush to apply finish on areas of the floor the mop can't reach.

Step 5 - Allow to Dry

Follow the directions on the can of polyurethane and allow enough time for the finish to adequately dry.

Step 6 - Sand Lightly

Install 360 grit sandpaper on the sander and lightly sand the floor after it dries. Don't apply too much pressure. You just want to scuff up the floor a little before applying the next coat of finish.

Step 7 - Apply Additional Coats of Polyurethane

Apply 2 or 3 additional coats of polyurethane finish. Be sure to repeat Steps 5 and 6 in between coats: dry, sand, apply polyurethane. In order to get the best gloss or shine, apply 4 to 5 coats, and make sure not to sand after the final coat.

Step 8 - Buff and Wax

After the finish has cured and dried (usually about 48 hours), choose a quality floor wax and follow the directions for creating a high gloss or shine on your newly refinished bamboo floor. You may find that a high speed floor buffer will help you to get an excellent glossy finish on the bamboo floor. You can get one when you rent the disc sander.