How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors? (2023)



  • The typical cost for hardwood floor refinishing ranges from $1,098 to $2,598, with a national average cost of $1,828.
  • Some of the main factors influencing the project price include the size of the room, the cost of labor, the type of wood, and the refinishing method chosen.
  • A home may need its hardwood floor refinished if it has visible dents, scratches, staining, cupping, splintering, or color fading.
  • A homeowner with contracting experience may be able to refinish a floor themselves, but having the work done by a professional can lead to a better-looking and longer-lasting result.

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A home with hardwood floors is modern and welcoming, but hardwood floors can start looking drab after years of wear and tear from kids, pets, and everyday life. Homeowners with dull, scratched, and old-looking hardwood floors may be considering refinishing them to their former state. But how much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors? According to HomeAdvisor and Angi, the typical price range is between $1,098 and $2,598, with the national average at $1,828. This comes out to $3 to $8 per square foot, including materials and labor. Roughly 80 percent of the cost to refinish hardwood floors comes from labor. The overall cost can vary based on the complexity of the floor refinishing, labor, type of wood flooring, and length of time needed to complete the job.

Factors in Calculating the Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Estimating the cost to refinish hardwood floors before getting started can help homeowners stay on budget. The answer to the question “How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors?” can differ from the national average depending on the size of the hardwood flooring area, location, labor, material, and prep work along with sanding, staining, coating, and finishing.

Room or Home Size

The larger the room where the hardwood floors are located, the more the refinishing project will cost. The average price per square foot to refinish hardwood floors is $3 to $8; that increases to $5 to $8 per square foot for homeowners who choose a dustless refinishing method. The costs can go beyond that for particularly tricky projects. The following table shows the average cost ranges to refinish hardwood floors in various room and home sizes.

Room or Home SizeTraditional Hardwood Floor Refinishing CostDustless Hardwood Floor Refinishing Cost
100 square feet$300 to $800$500 to $800
144 square feet$450 to $1,152$720 to $1,152
256 square feet$800 to $2,048$1,280 to $2,048
400 square feet$1,200 to $3,200$2,000 to $3,200
1,000 square feet$3,000 to $8,000$5,000 to $8,000
2,000 square feet$6,000 to $16,000$10,000 to $16,000

Wood Type

The type of hardwood floors can have an impact on the total refinishing cost. Oak is one of the most popular choices for homeowners because it’s durable and relatively inexpensive to refinish. Many homeowners opt for cherry wood for similar reasons, as well as its tendency to deepen in color over time. Other wood types that can be refinished include parquet, engineered hardwood, pine, maple, mahogany, and bamboo. Each wood type and its average refinishing cost are discussed in more detail in a section below.


Refinishing Method

Traditional refinishing can cause quite a lot of dust, which can be difficult to get rid of during cleaning. A less messy but slightly more expensive option is dustless refinishing. Dustless refinishing can cost between $5 and $8 per square foot and creates considerably less dust than traditional refinishing. Hardwood floor refinishers will attach a vacuum to the sander to collect most of the dust. Dustless refinishing is beneficial to those with allergies or breathing difficulties who cannot have excessive dust in their home for health reasons.


On average, sanding hardwood floors can cost between $0.50 and $3 per square foot. Sanding is done with large drum sanders for most of the area and belt sanders around the perimeter. Sanding usually takes several passes to make sure the hardwood flooring is smooth and blemish-free.


Staining hardwood floors costs between $1 and $3 per square foot. Prices can vary due to the quality and type of stain and the price of labor in the geographic area where the home is located. Low-end stains average $30 per gallon, and high-end stains can go for $100 per gallon or more. Some homeowners may choose to look up how to stain hardwood floors themselves, but inexperienced DIYers may decide to leave the job to a contractor to ensure a professional finish. Either way, each coat will need 24 hours to fully dry before the next layer is applied.

(Video) How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors?

Coating or Finishing

After the hardwood floors have been prepped, sanded, and stained, the final step is applying a topcoat. There are several types of coatings or finishings, each with a different price range as shown in the following table.

Type of CoatingAverage Cost per Gallon
Oil-based polyurethane$20 to $45
Water-based polyurethane$25 to $55
Penetrating oil$40 to $100
Acid-cured finish$50 to $80

Water- or oil-based polyurethane is applied in even coats. Oil-based polyurethane coating runs from $20 to $45 per gallon. This takes approximately 24 hours to dry and over time will develop an amber hue. Water-based polyurethane coating costs between $25 and $55 per gallon. This coating is clear and will not change over time. It also dries faster than an oil-based one. Homeowners can also choose between a penetrating oil coating for $40 to $100 per gallon and an acid-cured finish for $50 to $80 per gallon. Topcoats are available in matte to high-gloss finishes, and after drying, they may be buffed for additional shine and an even finish.

If the hardwood floor is in relatively good shape and doesn’t have deep scratches or gouges, homeowners may have the option just to recoat the floor. Recoating involves applying polyurethane to the flooring without the extra cost of sanding. Recoating costs between $1 and $2 per square foot.


Labor costs are usually between $2 and $8 per square foot. The price of labor depends on the amount of prep work the floor needs, the area’s accessibility, the amount of sanding that is needed, and the geographic location of the home. Some contractors may charge for this project on an hourly basis, and homeowners can expect to pay between $60 and $160 per hour. Homeowners can search for “floor refinishing near me” to check local prices.

Geographic Location

The price of wood floor refinishing can fluctuate depending on a home’s geographic location. Homes situated in urban areas with a high cost of living will have a significantly higher cost when it comes to labor and materials. The same goes for various regions of the country where the cost of living can be drastically different.


Additional Costs and Considerations

When homeowners are budgeting for hardwood floor refinishing cost, there are usually additional price factors and considerations. These can include the condition of the floor, repairs, carpet removal, relocation of furniture, cleaning, and traditional versus dustless refinishing.

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Floor Condition

The better the condition of the hardwood floor, the more budget-friendly the project price will be. Floors in poor condition will take more time to prep, repair, and sand, which means additional labor costs. This could be the case if the floor is badly scratched or warped. Some issues like deep stains and water damage may require replacing some planks altogether. Depending on the material, this could cost between $6 and $18 per square foot. Additionally, if the floor dips in places, the homeowner may need to pay a sagging floor repair cost of $300 to $6,500, with the cost depending on the severity of the issue.

Subfloor Repairs

For floors with extensive water damage, the subflooring may need to be repaired or replaced. Subflooring repairs can run anywhere from $1.30 to $12 per square foot. If the subflooring is loose and squeaky, a contractor can secure it to the joists to eliminate the squeaks. Plywood subfloor is relatively inexpensive to repair at $1.50 per square foot, but a concrete slab is a much pricier fix at $6 to $12 per square foot. Paying the cost to replace a subfloor is generally much more affordable than paying the cost to replace a subfloor completely.

Carpet Removal and Disposal

Homeowners can expect to pay extra if the hardwood floor is beneath carpeting. A contractor will charge additional fees to remove carpeting before refinishing the hardwood flooring. Removal and disposal of carpeting costs between $0.25 and $1 per square foot, and removal of carpeting from stairs can run from $7 to $10 per step.

(Video) How Much Does It Cost To Refinish Hardwood Floors

Furniture Moving and Cleaning Costs

Before hardwood floors can be refinished, everything needs to be moved out of the space, including furniture. Homeowners can ask their contractor if there are extra charges to move furniture out of a room or if it’s included in the estimate. If there are additional charges for this service, homeowners may save $20 to $50 per room by doing this themselves ahead of time. Another question to consider is whether the contractor will handle the cleaning after the project is completed or if that will fall on the homeowner to attempt using a hardwood floor cleaner.

Refinishing Stairs

Hardwood stairs are harder to refinish than floors simply because they have a more complex design. The cost to refinish hardwood stairs can run between $25 and $85 per step, with the project cost higher for a more complex stair design or the presence of spindles.

Screening or Buffing

Rather than fully refinishing the hardwood floors, homeowners can choose to skip the sanding and staining to save money and instead go with screening, or buffing, the floor. This process removes the floor topcoat without damaging the hardwood itself and can be a good option to refresh dingy-looking hardwood floors. Screening costs between $1 and $2.50 per square foot, making it considerably cheaper than refinishing.


Applying polish to hardwood floors can keep them in good condition for longer, which can help homeowners avoid paying for refinishing too often. A gallon of hardwood floor polish typically costs between $20 and $50, and this is a very DIY-friendly project.

Solid vs. Engineered Hardwood

Hardwood refinishing costs are around the same for both solid and engineered hardwood flooring at $3 to $5 per square foot. However, engineered hardwood requires an experienced individual to take on the refinishing project. This is because engineered hardwood is made from a plywood base with a thin layer of hardwood, which means it’s harder to refinish without causing damage. While a handy homeowner may be able to take on some or all of a hardwood refinishing project themselves, it’s recommended that they hire a professional to refinish engineered hardwood flooring.

Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors by Type of Wood

The type of hardwood floor doesn’t necessarily affect the overall cost of floor refinishing; the process, tools, materials, and length of time the refinishing takes won’t change because of the wood type. Some hardwoods may need special care during sanding, but the overall process is the same. The cost to refinish hardwood floors ranges from $3 to $8 per square foot.

Type of WoodAverage Refinishing Cost
Bamboo$3 to $6
Cherry wood$3 to $5
Engineered hardwood$3 to $5
Mahogany$6 to $8
Maple$6 to $8
Parquet$3 to $5
Pine$4 to $7
Oak$3 to $5


The cost to refinish bamboo flooring is typically between $3 and $6 per square foot (slightly less than the cost of bamboo flooring installation). It’s important to sand bamboo flooring at an angle or else the surface could begin to splinter away.

Cherry Wood

Cherry hardwood floors cost between $3 and $5 per square foot to refinish. They are one of the most common types of hardwood floors, and the process is similar to that for refinishing oak floors: sanding, cleaning, staining, and sealing. Cherry has a naturally smoother texture than other types of wood, so it refinishes particularly well. Cherry wood flooring has a distinctive color and deepens in both color and patina over time, so homeowners may want to choose a stain option that highlights rather than detracts from the wood’s natural qualities.

Engineered Hardwood

Homeowners can expect to pay around $3 to $5 to refinish engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood consists of a thin layer of real wood on top of plywood. Because of this, it takes a professional hardwood floor refinisher to properly sand engineered hardwood, since only a thin layer can be sanded off. Any sanding mistakes resulting from a DIY project will ruin the flooring. Engineered hardwood can usually be refinished only one to three times before the veneer becomes too thin.


Homeowners can expect to pay between $6 and $8 per square foot to refinish mahogany floors. Mahogany flooring needs more time for sanding to avoid damage to the darker wood color. It’s recommended that homeowners hire a professional to refinish this type of flooring so it won’t be damaged. Mahogany gets darker over time as it’s exposed to sunlight, so it may be more difficult to change the color of older mahogany flooring.


Maple floor refinishing costs can average between $6 and $8 per square foot. Since maple is a durable, higher-end material, it takes more effort to sand and more time for the stain to sink into the wood. Staining maple a darker color makes it more susceptible to visible stains than lighter-color maple.


The cost to refinish parquet flooring also runs from $3 to $5 per square foot. Homeowners are advised to hire a professional to refinish this style of flooring, since the wood grain runs in different directions and can damage easily. If the parquet floors have an intense sheen or orange tint that the homeowner finds dated or unappealing, refinishing is an excellent way to update the floors and make them look more modern.


The cost to refinish pine flooring ranges from $4 to $7 per square foot. Since pine is a softer wood that dents and scratches easily, the contractor needs to be careful with the sanding process and vary the grit depending on the condition of the floor, which means a slightly higher price. Pine also absorbs stain differently from other types of wood, so homeowners will need to be careful when choosing a stain color and steer away from dark stains.


The cost to refinish oak flooring is between $3 and $5 per square foot. Oak is also a very common flooring hardwood, and most contractors will have experience with refinishing this material. Oak is durable and can withstand a lot of foot traffic, so there’s little to no need for extra care when refinishing this type of flooring.


Do I Need to Refinish My Hardwood Floors?

Refinishing hardwood floors will eliminate scratches and gouges and reveal the natural warmth and beauty of the wood. If there is water or UV damage to the flooring, a full refinish will restore the luster and shine. It will also protect the floor from further damage, which can help homeowners avoid paying the cost for new hardwood floors in the near future. Here are some reasons for homeowners to consider refinishing their hardwood floors.

Visible Dents or Scratches

If the flooring is scratched up in multiple areas and has seen better days, it’s time for a refinish. Sanding the floor to a smooth finish is the best way to get the hardwood floor looking like new. Deeper scratches may require some extra repair, and a professional will be able to ensure that the repairs blend seamlessly into the rest of the floor.

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Gray- or Black-Stained Boards

Even regular cleaning can cause water damage if the protective layer has worn off the hardwood flooring. Water-damaged hardwood flooring will turn gray or black if enough water has soaked into it. The darker the wood is, the more damage it has. Refinishing the floor before the damage gets too extensive will ensure the structural integrity of the flooring. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that if the damage is widespread, some boards may need to be replaced, which will increase the overall cost of refinishing.


Cupping occurs when hardwood begins to cave in down the middle of each plank. More often than not, this is the result of water damage and is particularly common in regions that get a lot of humidity. If cupping is caught early, sanding can even out the planks enough to fix the problem.


Walking barefoot around the house shouldn’t be dangerous. In homes where splinters have become a problem, the floors have become too worn and the exposed wood is damaged. Refinishing the floor’s surface will buff away the splintered surface and seal it against further damage.

Faded Colors

Sunlight streaming across a radiant hardwood floor may look appealing, but damaging UV rays can take a toll. Hardwood flooring can fade and become discolored by sunlight. If the flooring looks dull and faded, a refinish will help restore the wood’s natural color. Refinishing also allows homeowners to alter the color of the floor if they’re not happy with the wood’s natural hue. For example, if a homeowner doesn’t like the reddish hue of cherry flooring, they can refinish the floor using a different stain color to make the flooring more neutral.

Refinishing vs. Replacing Hardwood Floors

Homeowners may be wondering whether to refinish or replace their wood floors. Refinishing hardwood floors is more cost-effective than replacing them. On average, it costs about $2,500 to $6,800 to replace hardwood flooring, which is two to three times more than the cost to refinish. It’s a more sustainable and environmentally friendly choice to refinish and take care of the existing hardwood floors rather than replacing them. If the flooring cannot be refinished, then there’s no choice but to call one of the best hardwood flooring installation companies such as Empire Today or LL Flooring and have the floors replaced. Here are some reasons replacement would be needed.

Presence of Water Damage

Extreme water damage due to flooding or burst pipes will compromise the structural integrity of the hardwood floor and the subflooring underneath. Damaged subflooring needs to be replaced, which means ripping up the existing hardwood to access the subfloor. Once the subfloor has been fixed, the homeowner will need a new hardwood floor installation to replace the old, damaged material.

Thinning Boards

Older hardwood floors may have been previously sanded and refinished, or newer engineered hardwood floors may not have enough veneer left. There are only so many times a floor can be refinished before the boards become too thin. If this is the case, replacement is the only option. A professional can tell whether a hardwood floor has enough veneer left to be refinished or whether it needs to be replaced instead.

Home Renovations

Refinishing is mainly a cosmetic upgrade. Homeowners looking to upgrade less expensive wood floors so they have more durability and better resale value will find that replacement is the way to go. The best flooring companies will have attractive options that will stand the test of time and add value to the home. Replacing the floors also provides the opportunity for homeowners to add new subflooring or fix constantly squeaking floorboards.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Homeowners who know how to refinish hardwood floors because they have professional contracting experience may choose to DIY this project to save on the cost, but the job is more complicated than it looks, and most homeowners won’t have the necessary experience to complete the job properly. Refinishing hardwood floors is a time-consuming, messy, and costly job. On average, homeowners can expect to pay from $500 to $1,000 to refinish hardwood floors on their own. The cost to rent a drum floor sander is between $50 and $80 per day, but homeowners will need more than just a drum sander to complete the project. The prices of other materials such as sandpaper, a belt sander, an edger, nails, stain, topcoat, brushes, rollers, safety gear, a shop vacuum, cleaning materials, and more will quickly add up. Homeowners who know how to refinish hardwood floors and are willing to pay for materials may be able to complete the project themselves, but they are advised to keep in mind that sanding and finishing mistakes can be expensive. Homeowners will want to be prepared to pay two to three times the price to replace the floors after a DIY refinishing mistake than they would have paid a professional to do the refinishing project in the first place.

ExpenseAverage Cost
Drum sander rental$50 to $80 per day
Edger rental$35 to $45 per day
Handheld belt sander$60 to $100
Stains and varnishes$20 to $360 per gallon
Brushes and rollers$50
Plastic sheeting$12 to $25 per roll

When homeowners employ a professional to complete the hardwood floor refinishing project, these costs will be wrapped up into the total project amount quoted. Those who attempt to DIY their floor refinishing project may find their costs for materials alone exceeding $1,000. The time and money savings make it well worth it for a homeowner to hire a professional for this project. Homeowners can call the best hardwood floor refinishing companies for a quote or search online for “hardwood floor refinishing near me” for local options.

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(Video) Refinishing Hardwood Floors - Costs and Home Depot Rentals

How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors? (12)


How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors? (13)

How to Save Money on the Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors

The cost to refinish hardwood floors can be pricey, and the additional costs associated with the project can quickly add up. One way to save money on the cost of hardwood floor refinishing is to find the least expensive contractor, but there are other ways to save money without compromising on quality.

  • Do the prep work. Clear all furniture and personal objects out of the room to save on labor costs. If the hardwood flooring is under carpeting, homeowners can rip it out on their own. These options don’t take skill, but they do involve time and effort on the part of the homeowner.
  • Get multiple estimates. Choosing the cheapest contractor may save some money, but most times homeowners will get what they pay for. Before hiring, homeowners can read reviews and ask questions to get the price that’s right for their budget.
  • Take care of the cleaning. Many contractors will charge extra for cleaning up after the refinishing job. This is typically something homeowners can do themselves with a mop and one of the best hardwood floor cleaners. Homeowners who don’t mind cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, and mopping up after the project is completed will find that this is a good way to save some cash.

Questions to Ask About Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Asking a professional the right questions about floor refinishing can help minimize miscommunication, save money, and get homeowners the desired results. Here are some questions to ask about the cost to refinish hardwood floors.

  • Can you provide a list of references?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Does the estimate include the cost of moving furniture and cleaning?
  • How long will the refinishing take?
  • Do you offer a warranty?
  • Are you insured and bonded?
  • Do you have any payment plan options?
  • How will you protect my home from all the dust?
  • How soon can I walk on the floor after it’s refinished?
  • What kind of stain and coating are best for my flooring?
  • How do you handle damage that happens during the job?


Deciding on the right way to refinish hardwood floors while keeping the cost down can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about the cost to refinish wood floors to help guide homeowners in their decisions.

Q. How long does refinishing hardwood floors take?

It takes approximately 5 hours per 100 square feet of flooring. The flooring condition and the intricacy of the layout also affect how much time it will take.

Q. How much does it cost to refinish 1,000 square feet of hardwood flooring?

The cost to refinish 1,000 square feet of hardwood flooring averages between $3,000 and $8,000.

Q. Should I refinish or replace my hardwood floor?

On average, new flooring installation costs 50 percent more than hardwood floor refinishing. However, not all flooring can be refinished. Homeowners are advised to consult a professional to determine whether their floor can be refinished or whether it needs to be completely replaced.

Q. How often should I refinish my hardwood floor?

Hardwood floors start showing their age around 10 years after installation. It’s recommended that homeowners refinish their floors every 7 to 10 years, depending on the extent of the damage. Hardwood flooring can be refinished between 4 and 10 times, depending on the thickness of the wood. A flooring professional can advise homeowners on the best course of action for their floors.

Q. Does refinishing floors produce a lot of dust?

Yes. Once the project begins, homeowners are advised to be prepared for a lot of dust. Many contractors offer dustless refinishing with a machine that vacuums up the dust as the floor is refinished. It will take care of most of the dust, but no refinishing process is entirely dust-free. Dustless refinishing also comes with a higher cost than traditional refinishing.

Q. What is the best way to clean hardwood floors?

The best way to clean hardwood floors day to day is to sweep regularly and mop with a cloth pad. For deep stains, homeowners will need to scrub with steel wool and mineral spirits, then buff with wax. Homeowners who have a lot of hardwood flooring throughout their home might want to invest in one of the best hardwood floor cleaner machines to help keep their floors looking newer for longer.

Q. What are some signs I need to refinish my hardwood floors?

Scratches, stains, discoloration, warping, and splintering are all indications that hardwood floors are in need of refinishing.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor (1 and 2), Thumbtack, HomeGuide, Fixr

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How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors? (14)


How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors? (15)


How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors? ›

Flooring pros usually charge $3–$8 per square foot, so a single bedroom could cost $300–$800, while a whole home will range from $2,400–$6,000. These costs vary based on the following factors: Size: The more square footage that needs refinishing, the more it will cost.

Is it cheaper to refinish or replace hardwood floors? ›

Generally speaking, it is almost always less expensive to refinish your hardwood floors than to replace them. That's because replacing them involves paying for additional wood, the installation itself, as well as labor costs for tearing up and hauling away the existing hardwood.

How long does it take to refinish 1000 square feet of hardwood floors? ›

Most wood floor refinishing projects are done on 1000-1500 sq ft with one day. For large areas, the workforce can be increased to reduce elapsed time. The weather conditions also affect how long it will take for the polyurethane to dry up.

Is it cheaper to refinish hardwood floors or replace with laminate? ›

The truth is, it is almost always cheaper to refinish your floor than to replace it. When replacing, you must consider the cost of the new wood as well as the installation, plus the cost to haul your old wood floors away.

Is refinishing hardwood floors worth it? ›

Refinishing wood floors is a great way to extend the life of your flooring and is cheaper and more environmentally safe than a full replacement. If you're tired of the current look of your floors and want an update, you can refinish your floors to get an entirely new look with much less effort and inconvenience to you.

What is the difference between resurface and refinish floors? ›

Floor resurfacing involves applying a new layer of material on top of your existing flooring, while refinishing involves sanding down the surface of your floors and applying a new stain or finish.

What is the cheapest way to refinish floors? ›

Applying a Revitalizer. Applying a revitalizer gloss is the simplest and cheapest way to refinish hardwood floors. This approach works best on floors that only have surface-level scratches and other minor wear and tear issues. You can get the job done without the need for equipment rentals or hard-to-find materials.

How long should you stay out of house after refinishing floors? ›

It's recommended that you stay out of your home for at least 8 hours after applying a water-based polyurethane finish, though usually, you can walk on it much sooner. For a single-component water-based finish, full cure time is usually 7-14 days.

How long do you have to stay off hardwood floors after refinishing? ›

How long do I have to wait to use my room after my floors are refinished? We recommend waiting 6 hours before walking on your new floors in socks. After 24 hours you can walk through with shoes on. Allow 48 hours before setting furniture and returning pets.

Do you have to remove baseboards to refinish hardwood floors? ›

Let's get started.As a general rule, we recommend leaving your base and shoe on when having your floors refinished, especially if it is painted. Depending on how the painters prepped your base, you can actually cause more damage to the base and walls by removing it.

Can you refinish wood floors one room at a time? ›

Today, we're going to help Paula out with a DIY question about refinishing hardwood floors. Her basic question is this: Can you refinish hardwood floors one room at a time? Well, the short answer is YES!

What are the cons of refinishing hardwood floors? ›


- Dust, dust, dust. While many companies claim to have excellent dust mitigation systems that really do limit the amount of dust that will inevitably collect in every nook and cranny of your home, no system is 100% dust free. - Smell. Staining floors is stinky and toxic.

Does refinishing hardwood floors increase home value? ›

Refinishing hardwood floors increases your home's value tenfold. It could very well be one of the best decisions you can make for yourself. If you want to sell your home, then consider refinishing the hardwood floors or installing new ones.

Do you need 2 or 3 coats of refinishing hardwood floors? ›

We recommend at least 2 coats of oil based polyurethane + a lacquer sealer coat as a minimum for hardwood flooring. Extra coats = extra protection, but only one coat of oil based polyurethane may be applied per day, as it needs 24 hours to dry before applying another coat.

How much wood is removed when sanding hardwood floors? ›

Each sanding removes around 1/32 of an inch of your floor's surface. Most solid hardwood planks are thick enough to be refinished up to ten times.

What is the difference between refinishing and sanding hardwood floors? ›

Unlike refinishing hardwood floors, where the old boards are stripped, sanded, and re-finished, hardwood floor resurfacing can be done with a single pass of the sanding machine. The sanding process removes the top layers of wood, revealing the fresh wood below. Then a finish is applied to protect the wood.

Can I stay in my house while floors are refinished? ›

Whether it's to repair the damage, to change the stain, or just as part of your regular maintenance process, you might find yourself needing to renew your floor's finish. Before it's time to sand the floors, many homeowners ask: “Can I stay in my house while my floors are refinished?” The answer is usually yes.

Why is refinishing wood floors so expensive? ›

Size: The more square footage that needs refinishing, the more it will cost. Materials: Some wood types need more care and take more time to refinish than others. Labor: Up to 80% of the final project cost can go to labor. Coating or finishing: Different treatments and topcoats will add to the total.

How long does it take to resurface floors? ›

Depending on the product used, and the current weather conditions, each coat could take either hours or days. Figure at least two days for the “sand and poly” job or three to seven days for a full refinishing project, plus at least one day if you're adding color.

Is it worth refinishing floors yourself? ›

If you only have some minor scratches and dings or a dull finish, you might be able to simply buff and add a new coat of varnish. But, even if your floors need a complete makeover, refinishing hardwood is a very manageable and rewarding do-it-yourself job that can save a lot of money.

Does refinishing floors add value? ›

In fact, you can expect to recover 100% of the cost you spent on refinishing them. In addition, according to NAR, nearly 54% of home buyers report they are willing to pay more for a home with finished hardwood floors.

Can you sleep in house after polyurethane? ›

It's not recommended that you sleep in the house after apply water based polyurethane. You should wait at least 24 hours before you sleep in the home. Usually it takes water-based polyurethane 1-2 hours to become semi-dry, and 14 days after application it should be completely cured.

Which is better water based or oil based polyurethane? ›

Oil based used to be unquestionably more durable. Today though, water based polyurethane has evolved with better formulations that are equally durable as oil based polyurethane. High quality water based polyurethanes is considered by many homeowners & flooring professionals to be equally durable.

How messy is refinishing floors? ›

Refinishing = Sanding

No matter how careful your installer is that will mean creating plenty of dust. There's no way to avoid it completely but you can take some measures to help minimize the mess.

When can you put rugs on refinished wood floors? ›

No area rugs for 7 days. Oil polyurethane – Furniture after minimum 3 days. No area rugs for 14 days. Hardwax Oil finish – Furniture can go back onto the floors in 36 hours.

How often should hardwood floors be redone? ›

With regular wear and tear, the finish on your hardwood floor should last about 7-10 years. Floors in high-traffic areas or that are exposed to a lot of sunlight may need to be refinished more often. So if we do some quick math, your hardwood floors will last up to 60 years with being refinished every ten years!

When can I walk with shoes on refinished hardwood floors? ›

We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours before you walk on your floors– and 48 hours is even better. Start with socks only and keep pets off the floors for a few days. Wait at least two days for water-based finishes and four days for oil-based finishes before carefully putting furniture and back into the room.

What is the final step in refinishing hardwood floors? ›

The final step is to apply a protective finishing coat to your flooring. Use large bristle brushes to apply the finish with the grain, and keep the room well ventilated. Drying time will vary depending on humidity and can take 24 hours or more to dry completely.

How do you fill a gap between baseboard and hardwood floors? ›

Use Caulk to Fill the Gap

You will want to line the floor with blue painter's tape to minimize cleanup. You'll want to use a paintable latex silicone caulk to fill the gap. Once the caulk is dried, paint the caulk to match the baseboards.

How long does it take to refinish a wood floor? ›

You should expect refinishing your hardwood flooring to take a minimum of three days. For water-based finishes, it can take about two days to refinish hardwood floors fully. Expect that each coat of water-based polyurethane will take between two to four hours to dry.

What color wood floor makes a room look bigger? ›

You may be surprised to learn that dark wood flooring can help to make your room look bigger too. Darker flooring offers an inviting feel and opens up a space. Whether you choose rich colours or softer dark colours, they both have their advantages when it comes to expanding the appearance of a room.

Can you refinish wood floors without moving all furniture? ›

Because it's impossible to refinish a floor with furniture in the rooms, it is necessary to move all furniture items from the areas to be completed.

What happens if you put furniture on refinished floors too soon? ›

Your furniture can have sharp edges. If you move your furniture back too early, these edges can cause irreversible damage to your new hardwood flooring in Decatur, impacting both its longevity and aesthetic appeal. To prevent this from happening, wait at least 48 hours before moving your furniture back.

Why do people cover hardwood floor? ›

Covering Your Hardwood Floors Keeps You Safe

Hardwood doesn't offer much in the way of traction. Though beautiful, hardwood's smooth surface can make people, pets, and even furniture prone to slipping and sliding.

Should I polish or refinish hardwood floors? ›

Whether or not you should polish your floors, however, depends on their finish. Those with a protective surface—a waterproof barrier such as urethane, for example—will benefit from polish, but floors with penetrating finishes like tung oil or unsealed wood require wax instead of polish.

What color hardwood floors for resale value? ›

When it comes to overall popularity and resale value, dark stained hardwood flooring is the most superb option. Espresso, antique brown, and dark walnut are some of the best dark stains for wood. Because they don't have a yellow or orange tint, these darker colours frequently allow more colour combinations.

What flooring adds the most value to a home? ›

You may have already guessed it, but the floor with the highest resale value is hardwood. Since hardwood is always in demand, it is an easy choice to up level your home.

Does replacing carpet with hardwood increase value? ›

There's no consensus on an exact percentage, but many experts have said it's between 3% and 5%. So replacing carpet with hardwood flooring can definitely make a difference in your selling price. In fact, one study found that 54% of home buyers said they'd be willing to pay more—up to $2,080—for hardwood floors.

What is the best season to refinish hardwood floors? ›

There really isn't a “best” time to refinish hardwood floors. As long as the temperature in your home is consistent (between 65-75 degrees preferred) during the refinishing job and throughout the floor's cure time, you can refinish your floors.

What is the most popular sheen for hardwood floors? ›

The satin sheen is the most popular finish for hardwood floors. This hardwood floor sheen has about 40% luster and is easy to keep clean. This level of sheen disperses light and doesn't show all of the imperfections or dirt.

Is it cheaper to sand and refinish hardwood floors or replace? ›

Generally speaking, it is almost always less expensive to refinish your hardwood floors than to replace them. That's because replacing them involves paying for additional wood, the installation itself, as well as labor costs for tearing up and hauling away the existing hardwood.

When should I stop sanding my hardwood floors? ›

You really want to keep sanding until all marks and any shadows are completely removed. You need to sand your floorboards until they look brand new, even if you're staining the boards (unless they're going to be black or painted).

Should I strip or sand hardwood floors? ›

For example if you have a painted finish on your wooden floor then stripping will likely be more effective, however if you want to remove a basic polyurethane finish and you need to do so during the colder months of the year then sanding will be more appropriate.

Is dustless floor sanding really dustless? ›

Although it's called a “dustless” process, in reality it's not completely dust-free. There will always be a small amount of dust created and released into the air during any hardwood floor finishing process.

What should you not do when sanding floors? ›

Tips To Avoid These 5 Hardwood Floor Sanding Mistakes
  1. #1 – Failing to use the correct grit sandpaper. ...
  2. #2 – Not sanding hardwood floors thoroughly. ...
  3. #3 – Sanding floors in the wrong direction. ...
  4. #4 – Wasting time sanding the edges of your floors. ...
  5. #5 – Not changing the sandpaper frequently.
Mar 25, 2021

Can you walk on floors after sanding? ›

Your floor can be walked on with stocking feet in 3-4 hours and furniture can be placed back on the floor (not dragged) in 48 hours. Area rugs can be put down in one week when the finish is fully cured.

Should you clean hardwood floors before sanding? ›

You can leave the baseboards in place unless you're planning to replace them. You need a pristinely clean floor before sanding, so sweep it and then dust mop it to get up all debris and dust. Make any necessary repairs to gouges and cracks in the floor before sanding.

Should you keep original hardwood floors? ›

You Can't Put A Price Tag On Charm

Removing old hardwoods is like throwing away a piece of history—and this decision can't be undone. Hardwood floors can withstand the test of time, and preserving them brings something to the home that no amount of modern manufacturing can replicate.

Can damaged hardwood floors be refinished? ›

Even if your floors are badly damaged, they can usually be refinished. Although, it's essential to understand that some areas may be beyond refinishing due to extreme water damage or deterioration (such may be the case if you're purchasing/renovating an older home).

When should you not refinish hardwood floors? ›

When over 30% of your hardwood floor has received damage, it is more cost-effective to replace the flooring rather than trying to refinish the hardwood. Common severe floor damage comes in the form of warping, chipping, stains, or termite infestation.

How long does refinishing floors last? ›

Typically hardwood floors should be refinished every 8-12 years, but this varies depending on how rough you are with your floors. Some people don't refinish/recoat their floors and are perfectly content leaving them the way they were installed.

How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors in whole house? ›

Figure at least two days for the “sand and poly” job or three to seven days for a full refinishing project, plus at least one day if you're adding color.

How many times can real hardwood floors be refinished? ›

Most solid hardwood planks are thick enough to be refinished up to ten times. Refinishing is essential to caring for your solid hardwood and helps it last longer. However, while solid wood can take multiple refinishing over the decades, we can only refinish engineered hardwood once or twice.

What makes hardwood floors look new? ›

Make hardwood floors look new by buffing. This is almost similar to refinishing. The difference is that refinishing involves clearing the thin wood layer to apply a fresh coat of paint and sealant, and buffing rids, light scratches, and any other material that dulls your floors.

What is the lifespan of hardwood floors? ›

Hardwood. Hardwood flooring can last a lifetime, but the glossy shine of original wood flooring will fade over the course of its life. You'll notice fading after about 25 years. Hardwood floors, if installed properly, can last 100 years.

What brings hardwood floors back to life? ›

Buff and polish it.

Buffing your floor is a great way to breathe new life into it without having to go the whole hog and resand it. In very simple terms, a buffer is a machine with a heavy rotating pad that uses its movement to create a professional looking finish on tired wood flooring.

Can I change the color of my hardwood floors? ›

When you refinish your floors, you can change the color of your flooring. Most hardwood floors can be made darker, lighter, redder, or anywhere in between. If your flooring is solid hardwood, it can be sanded and refinished in a different stain for a different appearance.


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