Contrary to what some people think, bamboo floors can be refinished. The more often you clean and seal the floor, the less often they will have to be refinished. But, like hardwood, almost all bamboo floors eventually require refinishing, particularly in high-traffic areas or if you have kids or pets.
The method of refinishing a bamboo floor depends heavily on the grade. Just like hardwood, bamboo is sold in varying qualities. Some flooring has a very thick layer of bamboo on top, while others have a very thin layer. Bamboo flooring with a thick top layer can be sanded and refinished much like regular hardwood to remove dents and scratches, and it can be refinished several times over the floor’s lifespan. Thin bamboo flooring has to be refinished very carefully, and only on the finish layer. In many cases, you can only refinish thin bamboo floors once.
Because refinishing methods are tied so closely to grade, it’s best to consult a professional for advice before you attempt any sort of DIY job. It helps if you have leftover pieces of the material for the finisher to examine. If the finisher tells you the floors are thin, leave the precarious task of refinishing to the pros.
If you’re currently in the market for bamboo floors, give some serious consideration to investing in a higher grade. You’ll spend more upfront, but the floors will last considerably longer. Look for bamboo that has been harvested after no less than four years, or consider durable strand-woven bamboo flooring.