What is the average cost to refinish hardwood floors? – Forbes Advisor


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Hardwood floors add a touch of elegance to any living space and can blend effortlessly into any home decor. But they take a ton of traffic on a daily basis, and over time your beautiful hardwoods can become dull, discolored, and quite weathered. If this is the case with your floors, it might be time to consider refinishing them.

This process, which is much cheaper than replacing and reinstalling hardwood floors, involves sanding down the first layer of wood, then varnishing and sealing it so you can enjoy your hardwood flooring for many more years to come. beloved ground.

It is important to note that the refinishing process only applies to actual hardwood floors. Engineered and laminate floors are not great candidates for refinishing, which is why they have a much shorter lifespan than real hardwood floors. While real wood floors can be refinished many times, engineered floors can only withstand the refinishing process once or twice. And laminate flooring cannot be refinished at all.

How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors?

Maybe it’s not in your budget to replace your hardwood floors after years of damage. But you’ll be happy to know that refinishing your floors can restore their surface for a fraction of the cost. The average cost to refinish a hardwood floor is approximately $1,850, with a range of $1,150 and $2,500. Of course, this price can vary depending on many different factors, from the type of finish you prefer to the square footage of your flooring.

One interesting thing to note about the cost of refinishing hardwood floors is that if you have very small spaces, like closets or powder rooms, your price might actually go up rather than down. Indeed, sanding equipment is often bulky and it will be more difficult for your professional bodybuilders to work in a small space.

Here is a breakdown of the cost of refinishing hardwood floors per square foot:

How do professionals refinish hardwood floors?

Although refinishing hardwood floors is not an inherently difficult process, it is tedious and takes time and effort to get it right. So when you consider how much it costs to refinish hardwood floors, most of what you’re paying for is quality work done correctly. Below, we’ll take a look at the process used by refinishing professionals.

The Hardwood Floor Finishing Process

Below, we’ll outline the steps your professional will take to restore your floors to a beautiful shine. These are the same steps you would take if you chose to do this job on your own.


Before your floors can be refinished, they will need to be thoroughly cleaned and prepared. Contractors will clean and dry your floors, paying particular attention to any protruding nails or other objects that might interfere with the finishing process. If you have a shoe molding, it will likely be removed during this step.


Next, your contractor will use a large sander to sand the top layer of your floor, in preparation for finishing. Most owners find this part of the process the most cumbersome, simply because it’s noisy and messy. you can expect a thin layer of dust to cover all surfaces in your home during this step. When sanding, it is essential to tackle every inch of flooring; even all the way to the wall, to ensure an even finish once the process is complete.


Once your flooring has been stripped and sanded, it’s time to apply your chosen stain. This can be done with a brush or a roller, and it’s the easiest part of the process.

Top coating

Finally, a finishing coat will be applied as a protector for your floors. This will seal your floors, preventing minor damage, scuffs and water spots.

How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors yourself?

Looking to save money? The cost of refinishing hardwood floors is between $600 and $1,000 for a DIY process. But know that this is not a simple job for most people. Sanders can be noisy and difficult to control, and improper use can quickly destroy wooden floors.

If this happens, you will have to pay a lot more to replace your flooring. But if you’re relatively do-it-yourself, here are the expenses you can expect if you’re wondering how much does hardwood floor refinishing cost?

  • Floor sander: Can be rented for less than $100 per day.
  • Belt sander: Can be rented for approx. $60 to $100 per day. This should be used if you are remodeling a room that cannot support a floor grinder (like a powder room or mudroom).
  • Sandpaper: Both machines require the use of sandpaper, and you will need approximately $100 applies to a medium-sized job.
  • Border: Can be rented for around $37. You will need this tool to get up against walls and into tight 90 degree corners.
  • Task: You will pay between $30 and $45 for your spot for medium finish work.
  • Clear varnish: You’ll be applying polish after the stain, and it’ll have you running between $165 to $360.
  • Supplies : Brushes, rags, mop, dust masks, goggles and knee pads. Be sure to include a buffer in your budget for any of these items that will make the job easier.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What types of situations require replacement rather than refinishing?

Most of the time, refinishing is the right decision when it comes to hardwood floors, simply because of the cost savings. But if your floors have water damage, it’s probably wise to replace them, so you can take a look at the subfloor as well. Damage to the subfloor can cause fundamental problems over time, as well as the growth of mold and mildew in your home. And if you’re looking to switch to eco-friendly wood, you’ll also need to replace your floors.

What are the risks of finishing floors as a DIY project?

Undertaking a finishing process on your own can be an expensive undertaking. That’s because it’s easy for things to go wrong if you’re unprepared or underqualified to tinker with this process. You may run into potential issues like an inconsistent sanding job, not removing enough topcoat before starting your project, filling cracks incorrectly, and having to spend more than you initially thought.

What is patching and how much does it cost?

Covering your floor is a great option if there is little or little damage to your floors and you are simply looking to add a layer of protection to your existing floors. Estimated at $1 to $2 per square foot, this process is quick and easy and does not require the use of a sander. However, note that dents will not be removed as they would with a traditional refinishing process and you cannot change the color of your flooring by recoating it. Nevertheless, recoating is an inexpensive way to restore and extend the life of your floors.


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