Advice needed repairing my Kahrs (Engineered) wood floor.

23 May 2007
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United Kingdom

I had a Kahrs oak floor put down in my GF hallway just under a year ago, and I need advice on repair.

The main problem, is that the floor seems to mark very easily. By that I mean, it dents when anything hard presses against it. Take your pick:

1. Stones stuck to the bottom of your shoe soles.
2. Impressions left by the nails of my dog (trying to get purchase on what is a polished floor).
3. High heel shoes (not on my feet before you ask..)
4. Dropping anything at all on it that's hard, like a dinner plate etc.

I've also noticed that you can't get the floor too wet either, because the water seems to seep in-between the edges on the wooden boards (t&g), and then soak into the edges. The stain shows beneath the varnish. What ever you do, don’t spill Coke on it.

What looked like a million dollar floor 12 months ago, now looks like it's high time for something new.

I know you have to treat natural wood products with respect, but the way I see it, the only way this floor is going to last, is if I don’t walk on it.

So, what are my options?

I could sand it down, but that would not stop a repeat of the above problems. It's a short term fix. What would I sand it down with? Got no experience of floor sanders or what grade paper to use. What gloss would I use? I assume I'd have to get rid of all the old gloss before applying the new stuff or the overlap is going to show.

I'm leaning towards sticking amtico or karndean over the existing oak floor (oak look naturally). The individual tiles could be replaced if they're damaged - no need to take up the whole t&g floor to get at one area - and the floor is water resistant - it wont soak up liquids accidentally spilled.

Any other ideas?


Has anyone managed to pull an individual board up? I could just buy a few more boards and replace what's been damaged. I thought you had to pull your skirts off in order to get the boards up though. The Kahrs website says it's easy to replace a board, but stops short of telling you how.

'Damaged boards can also be replaced. This is easy with the woodloc joint.'
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Which wood-type and which thickness of Kahrs floor do you have (Kahrs has from veneer to thick layer engineered boards)
It's Kahrs Oak Sienna. 3mm hardwood stuck to the man made boad below.

I spoke with the people at my local floor retailer who sell the flooring I've got, and they told me I'd have to sand it all back, and re-laquer.

Is this a hard job?

I suppose I'll have to sand all the existing laquer off, as if I leave the areas which are OK, the new \ old laquer is going to show as a difference?

Oak shouldn't dent or damage that easily as yours does. What 'man-made' backing is there, not pine?

You do have to sand the whole floor if your floor has been lacquered otherwise you end up indeed with a patchy floor. If your floor had been pre-oiled then that would not have been the case, oiled floors can be repaired/sanded locally. Perhaps a thought when considering your new finish layer?
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Have to say, I don't know what it's backed with. Kahrs is meant to be up there with the best engineered hardwood floors though.

I spoke to Kahrs today, and explained the problem. Spoke to two people about fixing the floor. Basically, I have two options; 1, sand the whole floor down (not just the patches that need doing, because the new laquer would look patchy), or 2, pull up the affected boards.

I asked further about the sanding option, and it became clear that it wasn't going to work very well, because there are lots of difficult to reach places, like radiator pipes coming up out the floor, and around the door architraves (used a fane multi cut to slide the floor under the frame). It's one thinng to sand round this lot, quite another to get the new laquer on evenly. I was told that getting a professional (even) laquer look is quite difficult and is best left to the pro's. I was told they use a roller to get an even effect, which will not work around architraves and rad pipes, so I abandoned that idea.

The individual floorboard option, sounds good, but all of my wood planks either start or end under a skirting board, so at least one skirt is going to have to come off (=re-caulk & decorate...).

Beyond that, the tech people had no other ideas.

I brought up the subject of their wooden floors lasting a lifetime...and why was it denting so easily ....had to laugh when I was told that dents & scratches were just part of the character of the floor (don't know about you, but I always go for the car paint job with the character....).

I also asked about sticking laminate down. Was told this would not work, because the floor moves. The tiles would come up eventually.

As a note to anyone reading this, I think a large part of the problem was opting for a hardwood floor that had not texture in it. If you look at any of the Kahrs samples, they are all machined flat. Scratches and dents show up easily, but because there is no natural texture in the surface of the wood, the 'additions' shall we say don't add to the floor, they just make it look tired. I've seen hardwood floors that are just nailed planks, and the scratches do seem to add some character (if that makes sense). The floor I got once it was down, although it looked good, did seem to have a fake look about it - it was too flat and perfect - almost like laminate.

You live and learn.

I'll have a go at replacing the planks by cutting them up individually. If it all goes wrong, I'll just put 10mm ply down and laminate on top.


I found this video tutorial on how to fix a Kahrs hardwood floor. It shows you how to pull up individual planks (and put new ones back) without taking the whole floor apart. It also shows you how to repair a plank in-situ, by just pulling up the hardwood layer and leaving the man made backing in place. I have my doubts about how well the latter would work in practice - you'd prb need some filler at the end too.

3rd entry down: Kahrs - 3 Repair of Hardwood Flooring- for dialup users 56k (2.47 MB)
Lacquered floors show scratches etc sooner than oiled floors, hence our preference for oiled floors. Plus they show the character of the wood much better and nicer than lacquer. Also, every little bit of TLC bestowed upon it will reward you with you floor becoming more beautiful.

As for repairing/replacing one board in a floor: cut the board that needs to be replaced through the middle - length-wise - and then carefully lift both parts out. From the new board, cut off the bottom part of the groove, put pvac wood glue on both Tongue and groove and place a weight on the boards until the glue bonds. It will always be a weak spot in your floor however.

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