When should you refinish?
- You’ve got an old, damaged hardwood floor. Maybe the finish is worn off and you need to sand down the floorboards to expose their natural beauty again. Maybe your floors have been damaged by water or are otherwise unsightly. Or maybe you just want a whole new look for your home!
- You want to change up the color of your hardwood floors with refinishing, so if they were originally stained dark and now there’s too much contrast between them and other elements in the room (such as painted walls), then refinishing might be necessary to get rid of these stark contrasts while still keeping that delicious wood grain beneath the paint intact. This is especially true if there’s any chance that sunlight will hit those painted walls throughout most hours of daylight (like in an East-facing window). The sun can bleach out stains over time—even light ones—so changing up their hue would probably require stripping them first anyway before re-staining them darker than before in order to restore some semblance of continuity between floors and walls alike; otherwise they’ll just look mismatched going forward!
What is hardwood floor refinishing?
Refinishing is a process that covers the floor in an additional layer of finish and then removes excess material. Sanding is a step to remove the top layers of finish and reveal the natural wood color underneath. Waxing adds a protective coating to your floor without removing any finish whatsoever. Staining is similar to sanding, but it uses pigment instead of removing old varnish layers; this technique produces very different results from refinishing because staining can only go down to bare wood and cannot reveal deeper hues like you’d get from stripping or refinishing. Coating can be thought of as an alternative form of waxing—it applies something like polyurethane onto your floor’s surface instead of stripping away existing finishes first—but in practice it works much differently than either sanding or staining.
How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors?
The cost to refinish your hardwood floors will vary depending on the size of the room, the type of wood and its finish. In general, you can expect to pay between $2 and $10 per square foot for this type of work. For example, if you want to refinish your hardwood floors in a one-bedroom apartment that measures 500 square feet (approximately 45′ x 15′), expect to spend between $1,500 and $7,500—not including any additional costs like moving furniture out of the way or removing old trim work.
How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors?
The length of time it takes to refinish hardwood floors depends on a few factors. If you have a large room, it will take longer than if it is small. The condition of the floor matters too: a bad finish can take longer to strip than an original floor in good condition. The type of finish you choose will also affect how long the process takes—you’ll have to wait for different times when applying oil-based or water-based finishes.
As you can see, there are many variables that affect how long refinishing your hardwood floors will take! You may be able to do this job yourself but if not, hiring professionals is always an option as well.
When should you replace your wood floor instead of refinishing?
There are a few instances when it would be better to replace your wood floor instead of refinishing it.
- If your wood floor is damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced, you’ll want to consider using Faux Hardwood Flooring instead of real hardwood.
- If there’s more than one year’s worth of stains on your hardwood floors, or if you’re noticing that a stain isn’t coming out even after being cleaned several times, it might be best for you to start from scratch with brand new floors. This can also apply if you haven’t been able to get rid of the stain in question no matter what techniques you try (and trust us: we’ve tried almost everything).
- If the original finish has worn off and exposed raw wood underneath due to years of wear and tear or heavy foot traffic over time, this could indicate damage beyond repair.
Takeaway: Refinishing your wood floors can be a better choice than replacing them.
You’ve just finished a remodel and the hardwood floors are looking old. You have three options: refinish, replace or hire a pro to sand the floor down and re-coat it. Hardwood floor refinishing is less expensive than replacing your wood floors, especially if you can do it yourself in an afternoon or two. If you’re short on time, refinishing your existing wooden floors will be quicker than hiring someone else to do it for you—and it won’t cost nearly as much as ripping up old wood and installing a new one!