What To Consider Before You Try for Your Wood Floors Refinishing

A room with hardwood floors being refinished.

Hardwood flooring adds elegance to any home. It gives that rustic and romantic ambiance people will love for generations. But, the years might be grueling for your wood floors.

Hardwood flooring is subjected to wear and tear. The good news is, you need to restore your wood’s luster by refinishing it. But it takes more than applying specialized hardwood floor polish! Before you call a contractor to have your floorboards refinished, do consider a few things.

When should you refinish hardwood floors?

Inspect the floor to see it needs refinishing or changing. Does it have surface blemishes or extensive sagging and loose nails? If there's minimal damage, then, your floors are best refinished.

  • If it’s dirty, worn, and surface-scratched. It’s not just about using a hardwood floor mop. If the floors are in the most high-traffic areas of your home, then, you need to make some repairs. If you ignore damage, your floors could become saggy or cracked. Massive damages can mean replacing the flooring, and that can cost a lot.
  • If you’re selling your house.Refinishing floorboards can increase the market value of your home? It’s true! Buyers will not like damaged floors and are willing to pay a premium for properties with good flooring.
  • If you want a different floor stain. Though it’s not crucial, some homeowners, however, would prefer to alter the tints of the boards. That would mean screening and sand the floors to its natural color. Be careful, nevertheless. The planks might become extremely thin to carry any refinishing touches in the future.

Things to consider before you hire contractors to refinish floors

Don’t make a call yet to your local contractor just yet. You must first assess the floorboards, costs, and work to be accomplished. Here are some practical tips for you to observe.

  1. Inspect the floor. Look for holes between the planks and nails that are coming out. If you see any, chances are, you’ll need a replacement. If you have light scratches, blemishes, and little cracks, then, you can have the floors refinished. If there are small holes, and you don’t want to bother renovating the floors, then, dabbing hardwood floor filler will do the trick.

  2. Finding the ideal flooring contractor. Research local contractors and check their references, previous works, and experiences. Ask them who’s doing the task of removing the furniture or cleaning the debris. It’s necessary to keep contact with them for you to explain your concern. Hiring professional contractors perform the task well than any amateur DIYers.

  3. See if going DIY is feasible. Think you can do the job for yourself? You get to save some money and have complete control of refinishing your floors. But while you can sand the wood, apply stain, and coat your flooring with hardwood floor polish, it is actually time-consuming. Also, you’d also have to learn about the kind of tools and materials you’ll have to use.
  4. Comparing different hardwood finishes. There are various kinds of floor finishes you need to know about. These include wax, acid-cured, oil-based, or aluminum oxide. Get to know more about the different finishes and whether and determine whether or not they’d work on your floors.

  5. Cost of the project. How much can you spend on the project? You need materials like sandpaper, nail set, hammer, and hardwood floor filler. A lot of factors determine the overall cost of the project. This includes the condition of the floorboards, dimensions of the working area, and extra enhancements. According to Home Advisor, the lowest range averages around $589, with the highest at $3,500.

  6. Days required for the job. A project lasts three to five days, depending on how big the area needs to be done. For rooms with limited spaces, sometimes, it can be just a day or two.

  7. Weather. Is it bad idea to do renovations during the rainy season? The cold and moist could dampen the floors and cause warping. Temperature can change the particles of wood. Also, the dust and debris would accumulate inside the room if you can’t keep the doors and windows open due to bad weather, making the project hazardous. A hardwood floor mop wouldn’t help you with that. Not to mention, it’ll take the coatings days to dry.

How to refinish hardwood floors

If you do decide to refinish hardwood floors, here are the essential steps:

What you’ll need:

  • Wood putty and knife
  • Sander
  • Brushes
  • Plastic and tapes
  • Old rags
  • Dust mask and coveralls
  • Wood stains, varnishes, coating, or and finishing
  • Vacuum
  • Hammer


  1. Prepare the room. Remove furniture, curtains, and accessories from the working area. Seal doorways and cover the walls with plastic and tapes. Clean the area with a hardwood floor mop.

  2. Remove nails and fill holes. If there is any nail falling out of the boards, then, use a hammer to remove or pound it down. Apply hardwood floor filler like putty to even the surface.

  3. Sand the floor. Cover your face with a mask and start sanding the floor. You can rent a drum or elliptical sander at your local hardware store for $30 to $70 a day. Sweep the dust and vacuum leftover debris in the room. You can use a damp cloth to wipe the surface.

  4. Apply wood stain. Coat the floor with your desired wood stain and spread it two or three times after each coat dries. Keep the room well ventilated for quicker drying of the stain. You can skip this process if you’re happy with the color of your wooden floors.

  5. Use finishing or coating.Whether you’re using water or oil-based hardwood floor polish, coat the floor three times but make sure you let the floor get dry before reapplying.

Other options than refinishing hardwood floors

You have choices other than refinishing floorboards if there are other issues. For example, you need to change the planks if the damage is caused by water leakage. Wood refinishing is also not good enough if you have problems with structural integrity or wood density.

You can also screen the floorboards if it’s just a small area of the floor. Screening involves sanding and sealing that specific section only. Thus, you don’t have to fix up the whole floor for it.

You want your floors to be spotless, durable, tough, and timeless. Always invest in hardwood care and maintenance to ensure your floor’s beauty and longevity.