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Hardwood Refinishing: Everything You Need to Know

Learn all about hardwood refinishing, including the different types of refinishing, the cost, and more!

Hardwood Refinishing: Everything You Need to Know

Hardwood refinishing is a great way to give your floors a new lease on life. Whether you're looking to update the color of your hardwood floors or just want to restore their original luster, refinishing is a cost-effective way to do it. But before you jump in, it's important to know what refinishing entails, what tools and materials you'll need, and how to do it safely. This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about hardwood refinishing.

Hardwood Refinishing

is a great way to bring new life to a tired floor.

With a few coats of new finish, your wood floors can look like they were just installed. But there are a few things to consider before you start a refinishing project. The first step in a hardwood refinishing project is to determine what type of refinishing you need. There are two main types of refinishing—screening and sanding.

Screening is the least expensive and quickest option, but it won't get rid of all the dings and scratches on your floors. Sanding is the most thorough type of refinishing but it is also the most time-consuming and expensive. Once you've determined which type of refinishing you need, you'll need to decide on a finish. There are many types of finishes available, from polyurethane to oil-based.

Each type of finish has its own benefits and drawbacks. Polyurethane is very durable and provides excellent protection against water damage, while oil-based finishes provide a more natural look. The cost of hardwood refinishing varies greatly depending on the size of the room, the type of finish used, and any additional services such as staining or sealing. Generally speaking, hardwood refinishing can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a small room to several thousand dollars for larger rooms. To get started with hardwood refinishing, it's important to hire a professional who has experience with this type of project. Make sure to ask for references and read reviews before hiring anyone.

Additionally, make sure that the professional you hire is familiar with the type of finish you choose. Finally, it's important to take care of your hardwood floors after they've been refinished. Regularly sweeping or vacuuming will help keep dirt and debris off the floor, while applying a wood cleaner or polish every few months can help protect the finish and keep your floors looking their best.

Types Of Finishes

When it comes to refinishing hardwood floors, there are a variety of finishes to choose from. The most popular finishes are polyurethane and oil-based, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

Polyurethane is a synthetic finish that is often used for its durability and shine. It provides a tough layer of protection for the wood and can last for several years without needing to be reapplied. However, it is not as easy to repair if it gets scratched or chipped.


finishes are derived from natural products like linseed and tung oils and provide a more natural look to the wood.

These finishes are often easier to repair if they get damaged, but they may need to be reapplied more often than polyurethane finishes. Ultimately, it depends on what type of finish you prefer and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to do.

Types Of Refinishing

When it comes to hardwood refinishing, there are a few different options to consider. Screening and sanding are the two most popular methods, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.


Screening is the least invasive way to refinish a hardwood floor.

It involves buffing the top coat of the finish with an abrasive pad. This process removes any scratches, dirt, or other imperfections on the surface, giving it a renewed shine and making it look like it was just installed. The main benefit of screening is that it’s less disruptive than sanding, as it doesn’t require removing any of the original finish. However, it also doesn’t penetrate as deeply into the wood as sanding does.


Sanding is a more comprehensive approach to refinishing a hardwood floor.

It involves using a specialized machine to sand down the top coat of finish and expose the bare wood beneath. This allows the new finish to penetrate deeper into the wood, creating a more durable and longer-lasting result. The main drawback of sanding is that it’s more disruptive than screening, as it requires moving furniture and covering other surfaces in the room to protect them from dust. Whichever option you choose, make sure you have a clear understanding of the process, cost, and time involved before starting your project. A professional can help you make an informed decision about which type of refinishing is best for your needs.

Cost Of Refinishing

Hardwood refinishing projects can range in cost depending on the size of the floor, the condition of the floor, the type of finish used, and the amount of labor involved.

Generally, you should expect to pay anywhere from $2 to $5 per square foot for a hardwood refinishing project. The cost may be higher or lower depending on the condition of the floor and the complexity of the job. If your hardwood floors are in particularly bad shape, you may need to invest in additional repairs such as replacing damaged boards or sanding down any gouges or scratches. These extra repairs can significantly increase the cost of a hardwood refinishing project. The type of finish used will also affect the cost. Polyurethane is the most commonly used finish, but there are other options available such as wax, oil, and water-based finishes.

Each type of finish has its own unique properties and costs, so make sure to do your research before making a final decision. Finally, the amount of labor involved in a hardwood refinishing project can affect the cost. If you choose to hire a professional, their rates will vary depending on their experience and the complexity of the job. DIYers should also factor in the cost of materials and tools needed for the project. Overall, hardwood refinishing is a great way to bring new life to a tired floor. However, it’s important to factor in all costs associated with a hardwood refinishing project to make sure you stay within your budget.

Caring For Your Floors

After you've refinished your hardwood floors, you need to take care of them properly to keep them looking great.

Proper maintenance of your hardwood floors will help them last longer and keep them looking beautiful. Here are some tips for taking care of your newly refinished hardwood floors: Vacuum and Sweep RegularlyRegular vacuuming and sweeping will help keep dirt, dust, and debris from settling into the wood and scratching it up. You should vacuum or sweep your floors at least twice a week, but more often if you have pets or a lot of foot traffic in your home.

Use Rugs and Mats

Rugs and mats can help protect your hardwood floors from scratches and dents.

Place rugs or mats in high-traffic areas like hallways and entryways to help protect the wood.

Avoid Moisture

Moisture can cause damage to your hardwood floors, so it's important to avoid getting it on the wood. Make sure to mop up any spills right away, and avoid walking on the floors with wet shoes or clothes.

Use Furniture Pads

Furniture pads can help protect your hardwood floors from scratches and dents caused by heavy furniture.

Make sure to use furniture pads on the feet of chairs, tables, and other furniture that sits on the floor.

Avoid Using Abrasive Cleaners

When cleaning your hardwood floors, avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals. Stick to mild soap and warm water for best results.

Stay On Top Of Repairs

If you notice any signs of damage, such as chips or scratches, make sure to repair them as soon as possible.

This will help keep your hardwood floors looking great for years to come.

Hiring A Professional

When it comes to hardwood refinishing, it's important to hire a professional to ensure the job is done correctly. Professional hardwood refinishing contractors have the expertise and experience to do the job right and help you get the best results for your flooring project. They will also be able to advise you on the best products and techniques to use for your specific flooring type, as well as provide additional services such as staining, sanding, and finishing. When selecting a professional for your hardwood refinishing project, be sure to research their experience and qualifications. Ask for references and check online reviews to ensure that you're selecting a qualified and reputable contractor.

You should also inquire about their fees, turnaround time, and any additional services they may offer. It's important to remember that hardwood refinishing is an investment in your home. As such, it's important to do your due diligence and find a professional who can provide you with quality workmanship and excellent results. Hardwood refinishing is an investment that can be well worth the effort and cost. By understanding the different types of refinishing, finishes, and costs associated with the project, as well as hiring a professional and taking proper care of your floors after they have been refinished, you can ensure your hardwood floors will look beautiful and last for years to come.

Leah Michales
Leah Michales

Evil beer guru. Hipster-friendly internet junkie. Certified pop culture enthusiast. Internet enthusiast. Subtly charming travel scholar.