Just as with wood flooring, there are many kinds of bamboo flooring on the market, some of which have a fairly thick layer of bamboo on top and others with only a very thin layer. The thick kind can be sanded down to remove dents and scratches, while the thin kind has to be refinished carefully so that the sanding is confined to the finish layer and doesn’t dig into the top layer of bamboo. That careful treatment is also the only option if the bamboo was stained, because it would be nearly impossible to touch up sanded areas so they match a factory-applied color.
Bamboo is harder than oak and most other woods used for floorings, so it’s possible that the sorry look you describe is actually just skin deep. Conner said he doubts that dogs could actually dent bamboo — it’s that hard. “Finishes can dent and look scratched, even though the surface below it isn’t,” he said.
Call in a couple of floor finishers and ask for their advice about refinishing. If you have any extra pieces, have those available for them to examine, or they may be able to see how thick the top layer is by examining pieces alongside a floor register or other accessible spot. On the flooring association’s Web site (www.woodfloors.org), you can find local professionals who are members.
Several of the vinyl tiles in my kitchen are buckling on one or more corners. I suspect that the refrigerator being moved for service had something to do it, because most of the problems are in front of that unit. I do not have any replacement tiles and would prefer not to replace all of them. Should I try to lift some of them up so that I can clean and reglue them to the floor?
You don’t mention whether the tiles are the peel-and-stick type or ones glued down with a separate adhesive, or how old they are. But the problem you describe is fairly common with peel-and-stick tiles, said Matthew Grant, a sales associate at Flooring America of Springfield (703-650-0771; www.flooringamerica-fairfax.com). “I’m 99 percent sure that’s what they are,” he said — an indication of how many stories like yours that flooring companies hear.