Laminated flooring question

I seem to recall that when i asked and installled my floor, I was told that eventually I made need to sand it. In doing so, it may not take more than 3 sandings of its lifetime. I had a heated argument with my brother who said none of them can be sanded as an ordinary wooden floor. Who's right?
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My employer makes a variety of wood floors. There are three primary options:
Solid Wood... Can be sanded numerous times.
Engineered flooring w/ real wood top layer. Can be sanded a "few" times. 3 times is probably a realistic figure.
Engineered flooring with a picture of woodgrain laminated to <essentially> MDF, plus a clear protective layer laminated on top of the picture of woodgrain. Some of this material is embossed to give it a texture. Sand it as many times as you like, but it'll look like hell after the first time. ;-)
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Kyle was right on the first two and not clear on the third option.
A laminated floor that is not one of the first two can not be sanded at all. It is a plastic veneer product. Looks great and lasts a long time then you rip it out and throw it away.
Colbyt
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If you have to sand out a stain or burn with thick plank you often can, on laminate you dont have much there, I had apx 1/8th" sanded off a 3/4" oak floor that was grey and unfinished for 20 years, now it looks new. With laminate it would be impossible to sand out much wear or any burn or deep damage.
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Neither or both of you, maybe. What is the floor made from?
Laminate floors are a plastic coating laminated to a different plastic base. This is a heavier duty version of the stuff on kitchen counters, often referred to as the brand named Formica. This type of flooring is made by WisonArt, Mannington, Pergo, many others. As such, it cannot be sanded. Most look like wood, but Wilson Art has some that looks like marble tiles. I have than in my foyer.
Then there is engineered wood. This is an all wood product that has a top layer of a very nice looking pre-finished flooring grade wood, over a few layers of other woods. It is made the same way as plywood. It is finished with a very durable coating. Yes, this may be sanded a bit if ever needed. There are special orbital sanders needed for it though, not the drum type used on solid hardwood floors.
Just for kicks, there is also pre-finished solid hardwood too.
People don't take the time to express themselves properly. One brand of flooring sold at the big box stores is Pergo. Thus, many people mistakenly call any pre-finished flooring "Pergo" but in reality, it may be of some different material. And made by a different company. Find out what you have, then use the proper terminology and you can explain and win every argument about it. Since you use the term laminate and talk about sanding, I have no clue if you are right or not.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/




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Hi,
There is no way you can sand a laminated floor without damaging it badly. My advice (yes, I have installed them) is to never try to sand one of them. A laminated floor is not a wood surface and can not be sanded.
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Tumbleweed36
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I should of mentioned the name, I finally found the brochure of the floor I installed. It was a Boen brand. it was bought in 1988 and still looks great, but for an exception of a couple of areas that were marred by dropping a microwave oven on the kitchen floor and a burnt spot on another area. I was thinking that if and when I sell the house, I or the buyer, most likely would of tried to sand it. I could of sworn that the salesman told me it could be done, but not more than 3 times. The description says and I quote " This flooring is a precisely milled dimensionally stable 3 ply laminate...tongue and grooves end and sides- prefinished with 4 coats of UV urethane. Do not wax your Boen floor.Should you desire added surface protection or when scratches and wear areas appear, have your floors recoated with a non-toxic, non-yellowing, water based polyurethane available from your Boen dealer. Honestly, I can't see by doing the latter, would cover up my burn section and the kitchen problem
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The real question here is exactly what type of flooring you have and what the correct terminology is. From what I know, laminate is generally used to refer to products like Pergo, which as someone pointed out, is essentially a plastic material made with a picture of real wood. That cannot be sanded and refinished. It is tough, durable, better for moisture prone areas.
Then there are the engineered wood flooring products. These combine a thin real wood top veneer with an engineered material base. So, they are in essence laminated, however I don't think the manufacturers refer to them that way as they are totally different than the plastic laminates. The better ones have a thick enough real wood surface so that it can be sanded if necessary, up to a few times. The advantage of these is they look like real wood, cost less, and can perform better, ie less expansion contraction, etc.
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My floor was also identified as the "floating floor". One had to put a layer of white foam looking material and the wood over it...result...the floating floor.
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