Buff and Coat Your Wood Floors

Are your wood floors looking a little dull, dirty or scuffed up? Are you wondering if there’s something you can do other than sanding and refinishing them that would be cost effective and help bring them back to life?

worn floor

I recommend considering a buff and coat. A buff and coat can really clean up your floors, remove some of the fine scratches and give your floors an overall fresh look at a fraction of the cost of sanding and refinishing, especially if you do it yourself.

What happens with a sand and refinish vs. a buff and coat ?

With a sand and refinish, heavy sanding equipment is brought into your home to remove all of the existing finish off of your floors. It also removes a bit of the wood flooring (usually 1/32 to 1/16 of an inch) and flattens any areas that may have shifted over time or warped from any water damage. This process is quite messy and can be very dusty. If the dust isn’t mitigated properly, you’ll be cleaning dust for weeks. Often times, the heavy equipment can leave some scarring/damage to your existing baseboards and other areas that meet the floor.


With a buff and coat, the process is much less invasive. Instead of heavy sanding equipment, a floor buffer is used to lightly abrade the surface of the existing floor finish. This process produces a much smaller amount of dust. It removes a lot of dirt and debris that has worked its way into the finish and buffs away fine scratches as well as preparing the existing finish to hold a new coat of finish. Once the floor is buffed well enough, the floors should be vacuumed well to remove all of the dust. They should then be cleaned with a tac-cloth (damp towel) to remove the really fine dust from the surface. The next step is to apply the new coat of finish. Some people like to apply two coats of finish. If you do that, make sure to abrade the surface between coats.


If you do this process routinely and before floors are too damaged from wear and tear, your floors can last for many, many years without having to do a full sand and refinish, thus extending the overall life of your floors.

buff and coat

When using professional floor finishers, you can expect to pay sometimes less than half the cost of a full sand and refinish. If you know how to use a floor buffer and feel comfortable applying floor finish, you can save a ton of money and do it yourself.