How to Refinish Micro Bevel Flooring
January 19, 2020
Even though they are all milled identically, flooring boards often have variants in depth that become evident after setup. You can level bare boards using floor sanding gear as part of this setup, but you will need a different strategy once the boards are prefinished. One approach will be to mill the boards with beveled edges so the depth variations are not as noticeable. All these micro-bevels collect dirt and make issues once the time arrives to refinish the floor.
Problems with Micro-Beveled Floors
The micro-bevels on prefinished floors boards create valleys between pairs of boards which quickly collect dirt. The dirt discolors the borders of the boards, particularly in the event that you wax over it, and the overall look of the floor suffers as a result. Water may also gather from the valleys once you mop the floor, and if you wait there, then it can result in problems associated with warping, like curling and separation of their borders. You can’t always correct these problems by refinishing unless you are ready to sand enough off the boards to erase the bevels.
Cleaning the Bevels During Refinishing
If your micro-beveled floor simply wants a new end, but is in good shape, you can sand it as you would sand any additional hardwood floor. Now you will need an additional procedure to clean out the valleys between boards, however. After making the final move with the drum sander and edger, vacuum all of the dust from between boards and remove the finish from the edges of the boards. The best approach to do this is with a pull-scraper, drawing it along either side of each groove and then vacuuming once more to remove the scrapings.
Staining and Finishing
Staining a micro-beveled floor is not much different from staining every other, except that you need more services to get the stain into all of the grooves. It can help to apply the stain with a paintbrush and to paint in the direction of the flux. In order to avoid loading finish into the flux, where it may collect dirt and dry unevenly, you should apply it with a pad in thinner layers than you would use for a floor without bevels and use a paintbrush to brush inside the flux. The process is a bit more painstaking, but the flux will be evenly coated.
The finish coat on prefinished flooring is durable, and by the time it wears out, the floors boards are usually in poor condition. To properly repair them, you may need to sand as much as 1/8 inch from the surfaces. That may wear down the bevels enough to the stage where sanding a bit more to fully erase them will be a better option than leaving them as they are. This aggressive approach won’t work if the boards are engineered, because you’ll wear through the veneer. Inspect the cross-sections of their boards in a door before beginning. When there is a veneer, you will have the ability to see it.