Solid hardwood floors can be made to look new again when they are refinished, and many of floors last 100 years or more.
However, a job poorly done will show the mistakes, so make sure you have good DIY skills and know exactly what you’re doing before you start.
This house repair guide to refinishing hardwood floors is designed to help. If you want a truly professional job, then hiring a contractor that specializes in this work makes the best sense (as much as we support DIY projects).
A single room with hardwood flooring can be refinished in a couple of days; a series of rooms or entire house might take a week or more.
We cover all aspects of the job here with the goal of helping you understand the scope of the work.
Then, you’ll have the knowledge to decide whether to do the work yourself or hire a pro. A list of wood floor refinishing tips point out the issues to be addressed during the work.
Hardwood floor refinishing prices are included for DIY and professional jobs. If you are looking for information about tile, please see our guide, “Repairing Broken Ceramic Tiles” for helpful resources.
Finally, we include a list of DIY resources that give more in-depth instructions including videos.
While not an exhaustive list of steps, these tips will show you what the work entails. We include the tools and supplies needed for refinishing hardwood floors.
You’ll probably have significant rental costs if you do the job yourself, but it’s still a good way to save money.
DIY Floor Repair and Refinishing Costs: If you have to replace wood, expect to pay $3 to $5 per square foot for the material. Beyond that, renting sanders will cost $60 to $80 per day, and plan on one to two days per 1,000 square feet of flooring to sand. The sanding belts and discs you need will cost $50 to $80 per 1,000 square feet of flooring.
Shop vacuums start at about $35. Stain applicators and replacement rollers cost $20 to $35. Stain costs $25 to $35 per gallon, and each gallon covers approximately 200 to 250 square feet. Sealer costs $35 to $40 per gallon, but might not be needed. Read the directions on the stain first; it might include a sealer.
Professional Hardwood Floor Refinishing Cost: If there are not complications with the floor, expect the cost for refinishing to be $2.00 to $3.75 per square foot.
Saving Money on Hardwood Floor Refinishing
If you do the work yourself, borrowing the tools rather than renting them is the best way to cut costs.
When hiring a professional for the work, your best bet to save money is to get several estimates for the work from contractors that know they’re competing. However, always check a few references of the companies to make sure they have good experience. A job done poorly at a cheap price won’t make you happy.
Here are additional resources we think you’ll find helpful as you consider this home renovation project.
The Space Between – This blog includes quite a few pictures of the equipment needed for floor refinishing and lots more.
Trust Superior – This page from a Denver flooring company has a video showing the process of sanding and finishing hardwood floors.
Boyds Hardwood – Here are good sanding tips from another hardwood floor company.