Why you Need to Buff and Coat your Valuable Hardwood Floors

The National Association of REALTORS® recently released a report sharing the home renovation projects with the best return on investment (ROI) upon resale. To my delight, installing and refinishing hardwood floors is at the very top of this list! Check it out.👇

We hope homeowners protect their investment by taking care of their hardwood floors on a daily basis. Additionally, when the time is right, we encourage homeowners to consider a buff and coat to protect their investment and keep their floors looking their best. A buff and coat is an essential preventative maintenance process that will restore and protect your hardwood floor. 

Here, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about the buff and coat process, the pros and cons, and when you should and should not buff and coat your hardwood floors to protect and prolong the life of your floors. 

But, first...

What is a buff and coat?

A buff and coat, also known as a screen and recoat, is a refinishing process.

During the New Glow Flooring buff and coat, we do a deep cleaning of your hardwood floors, removing dirt and contaminants. After the floors are cleaned, we lightly sand the floors with a buffer and sanding screen. The sanding screen is a fine sandpaper that will help remove minor surface imperfections. After buffing, we vacuum everything up and apply a layer of finish to give your floors a new and protective coat.

A buff and coat has its benefits, but it is not perfect for every situation. 

The Pros

  • A buff and coat will prolong the life of your hardwood floors and extend the time between another full refinish. 
  • Buff and coats are less invasive than a full refinish and are completed in one day.
  • Floors will have a fresh new appearance
  • Cheaper than a full refinish
  • Virtually a dust-free process

 The Cons

  • It will not remove deep scratches or dents.
  • It will not remove water stains.
  • It will not remove traffic patterns - dry/gray areas of the floor that finish has worn away.

Will a buff and coat work for my floors?

Not every hardwood floor is a good candidate for a buff and coat. 

My in-laws installed an engineered hardwood six years ago. They are both retired, the kids are out of the house, they have no pets, and my mother-in-law is known as The White Tornado - meaning she doesn’t allow a speck of dust or debris in her home. Even after all these years, their hardwood floors are in pristine shape, and a buff and coat would not benefit them at this time. 

My house on the other hand, is a different situation. We installed my dream hardwood floors four years ago. We have two kids, a dog and a cat. Our house is very active and we’ve had significant wear and tear over the years. A buff and coat is my to-do list within the next year.

So let’s break it down...

A buff and coat IS A GOOD OPTION if hardwood floors… 

  • Have been refinished or installed in the last three to five years
  • Are starting to look tired
  • Have some minor surface imperfections
  • Have a polyurethane top coat, not a penetrating oil

A buff and coat IS NOT a good option if hardwood floors…

  • Have deep scratches or stains that you wish to remove
  • Are an icky color, and a color change is desired
  • Have been cleaned with wax cleaners (Murphy's oil soap, orange glow, mop and shine, bona polish, etc.) Side note: We DO NOT recommend wax cleaners ever.
  • Have previously been finished with penetrating oil rather than a polyurethane finish

The cost of a buff and coat

A buff and coat will cost between $1.50 - $2.50/sq ft. As compared to a full sand and refinish, which ranges from $4.50 - $6.40/sq ft. 

Our Advice

A buff and coat is significantly cheaper than a full sand and refinish. Ideally, you’d want to do a buff and coat on your hardwood floors BEFORE you require a full sand and refinish. Your lifestyle and daily wear and tear will determine when it's time to do a buff and coat. And when it is time, get it done before it’s too late!