Recoating Wood Flooring Surfaces Technical Services Bulletin – June 2005


Recoating is a widely accepted practice within the flooring industry for renewing the appearance of surface-coated wood flooring. In addition. to renewing the appearance of older surfaces, recoating can correct a host of jobsite related issues such as dull spots due to heavy traffic, scratches, slight splintering, as well as installation related issues depending on the individual circumstances. In some instances architects will specify the addition of several coats of finish immediately after installation. While this is generally not a requirement for most installations, the additional coating(s) help prevent moisture intrusion between boards especially where frequent spills occur. In essence, proper maintenance which can include recoating at certain intervals (as needed) can increase the life and beauty of a natural wood floor for years to come.

The typical process in which a wood floor is prepared and then recoated should not involve the removal of our factory finish. Rather, the finish contractor first inspects the surface to ensure it qualifies for a recoat. And if it meets the criteria (which most floors do with the exception of some poorly maintained floors), the finish contractor prepares the surface to receive additional coat(s) of finish. There are many instances in which finishes are not sanded at all. Screen and recoat is one method heavily used in which the surface is abraded with sanding screens to create a mechanical bond. Other preparation systems include finish cleaners and bonding agents that perform the same function. These systems include the use of a bonding agent and, in some cases, preparation with an abrasive pad. Once the surface is properly prepared, which may include board replacements and/or minor cosmetic repairs to the floor as needed, the finish contractor applies additional coat(s) of finish to the existing factory finish following the finish manufacturer’s recommendations (see footnote 1 below).

When recoating is done to industry standards and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, it generally does not have a negative impact on our finish warranties with respect to wear through or separation (see footnote 2 below).

Recoating should not be confused with the sanding and refinishing of a floor. When a floor is sanded and refinished, one is essentially “sanding” away our finish to “white wood”, thus nullifying our finish warranty, since our finish no longer exists. In some cases AHF Products will authorize sand and refinish of a floor and extend our warranty to cover it. When approved by us, the new finish is covered under the remaining period of the finish warranty (excludes customer accommodations and policy adjustments) (see footnote 2 below).

(1) The recoating information included in this bulletin is for general educational purposes only and is not meant to replace instructions provided by the finish material manufacturer and/or industry standards. In all cases the finish materials manufacturer and finish contractor should be consulted with regards to their recommendations, limitations and warranties as applicable.

(2) This bulletin does not replace nor alter the obligations or limitations of any AHF Products warranty. Should a conflict exist between this bulletin and the terms and conditions of an AHF Products warranty, the warranty shall prevail. See the respective warranties for details.

Updated on September 26, 2022