How to Sand & Refinish Parquet Flooring

Written by kevin mcdermott
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How to Sand & Refinish Parquet Flooring
Parquet flooring shouldn't be deep-sanded. (blue parquet abstract image by weim from

When it comes time to refinish a regular wood floor, the process is often to sand it down to bare wood, then re-stain and re-gloss. That process shouldn't be used on a parquet floor, however. Parquet is a square tile of inlaid wood, generally with different pieces running in different direction, so that sanding into it will cause problems because it will go against some of the grain. A better approach is to use sanding screens, which take off the top layer of gloss but don't dig down into the wood. Then it's just a matter of re-glossing.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rented floor buffer
  • Sanding screens for the buffer (medium and fine abrasion)
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Tack cloths
  • Wide finish paintbrush
  • Polyurethane floor gloss
  • Extra-fine sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Load your sander with a medium-abrasion sanding screen. Start the machine and run it over the whole parquet floor, from one side to the other, moving in the direction of the courses of wood tiles. Run it until all the shine has been ground off the floor but the shade of the wood remains the same.

  2. 2

    Set up the buffer with a fine-abrasion sanding screen. Re-screen the floor in the same manner as before, running the buffer along the courses of the tiles. The screening should get it smooth and flat, with an even, no-gloss surface.

  3. 3

    Thoroughly vacuum up the dust. Go over the floor by hand with tack cloths to pick up any residual dust.

  4. 4

    Apply a thin, even layer of polyurethane over the whole floor with a wide finish paintbrush, beginning on the far side of the room from the entrance. Brush it on in a thin, smooth, even layer, in one consistent direction along the square shapes of the tiles. Do the whole floor. Let it dry for 24 hours.

  5. 5

    Buff the surface by hand with extra-fine sandpaper, very lightly, to dull the shine. Wipe up the dust with tack cloths. Apply a second layer of polyurethane in the same manner as you did the first.

  6. 6

    Repeat the process a third time, letting the polyurethane dry, buffing the surface, picking up the dust, and applying a third layer of gloss. Let the third layer set for 48 hours before walking on the floor.

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