Tips To Refinish Hardwood Floors

Your hardwood floors are an important investment in your home. However, caring for them can be a challenge. After years of use, your hardwood flooring can become dull and scratched. But, you can make them look like new again without fully replacing them.

If you like to DIY and have time to patiently take care of your floors, this project could be right for you. Here’s how to refinish your hardwood floors.

 

Costs to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Depending on the type of wood used, care and the installation method, hardwood flooring can last up to 25 years or more. Refinishing damaged hardwood floors will ensure that your floors last a lifetime. The average cost to refinish hardwood floors is $1,455. This cost depends on the area that is being refinished and the amount of wear and tear on the wood. Keep in mind, if you’re doing it yourself, you may need to factor the costs of renting a sander and other materials you may not already own.

 

Refinishing Considerations

When taking on this project, it should not be done hastily. There are many decisions to make that can impact the way your floors look and last. Here are a few questions to consider.

How Much Time is Needed?

Refinishing hardwood floors is a time-intensive project. Many of the materials used will take hours to fully dry, making this project longer than a weekend DIY. If there is carpet or vinyl covering the wood, you’ll need to factor in removal time. Additionally, if you plan on changing the stain of your floor, more time should be factored into applying the new stain.

What Kind of Stain & Polyurethane Should Be Used?

Changing the stain color of your floor is possible, but will require a heavier sanding process. The stain you choose when you’re refinishing can drastically change the look of the room and appearance of the wood. Know what kind of wood your flooring is made of before moving forward. Some woods don’t take to stains as well as others. Oak has the most variation of stain options, while harder woods, like walnut and maple, tend to look best left natural.

Polyurethane comes in two varieties; water-based and oil-based. Water-based is quicker to dry and leaves a clear finish, likely best for a wood you want to naturally show off. Oil-based will give the wood an amber color and takes longer to dry. Remember that floor finish is specific to flooring. Furniture finish will not work here.

What’s the Condition of the Floor?

In some cases, wood flooring must be replaced rather than refinished. Refinishing hardwood floors can only be done a few times, so know how many times the floor has been finished before you sand the boards too thin. Any damaged boards should be repaired and floors with water damage should not be refinished.

Additionally, if you have engineered hardwood floors, leave this to the pros, as the layers of wood could be damaged if not done correctly. This DIY project should only be done if you have solid hardwood floors.