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How Much Does It Cost To Refinish Hardwood Floors? Factors & Price

refinishing hardwood floor

Since ancient times, hardwood floors have been known as a symbol of elegance, hospitality, and rustic ambient. They are also indicators of social status and financial stability in many European countries.

Hardwood flooring uses materials from trees that grow very slowly. People also call it “solid wood” flooring, indicating its incredibly durable structure that can last for many years and withstand heavy foot traffic. The average refinishing costs for hardwood floors are $1,797.

Some of the primary advantages of hardwood over softwood flooring are that it lasts longer, requires less maintenance, has more durable counterparts, and is easier to refinish.

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Scenarios That Require Hardwood Replacement

  1. Structural damage: One of the main layers of the floor structure that often gets neglected is the subfloor. If you notice sagging spots or a musty odor on the hardwood, it usually indicates that the subfloor system is damaged and that you might need quick expertise.
  2. Floor movement: Any floor type undergoes slight movement over a certain period. Hardwood floors expand from the heat in the summer and contract during the winter months. Refinishing would be the best choice in this case unless significant movement occurs.
  3. Severe flooding damage: Warping, stains, termite infestation, and exposure to water are all common types of severe flood damage. Complete replacement is more cost-effective if damage has affected more than 30% of the floor area.
  4. Extreme wear.
damaged and uneven hardwood floor
Image By: Mouaad Jaaidi, Shutterstock

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Costs – 2024

The average refinishing costs for hardwood floors are $1,797, but they usually range from $1,075 to $2,519. The average cost per square foot varies from $3 to $7. For the larger areas, you should expect a lower square foot price. The larger squares are not calculated based on retail prices. For example, you can expect to get an average price of  $5,500 for the 1,000 square feet area.

This table contains the standard dimensions offered in the catalog sales.

Room Size Square Feet Average Cost(USD)
4×10 40 $200–$350
10×10 100 $30–$ 500
12×12 144 $450–$750
16×16 256 $800–$1,300
20×20 400 $1,200–$2,000
24×24 576 $1,750–$2,900

You can also choose to refinish hardwood floors yourself since it can save you a lot of money. For example, you might only pay $500 to $1,000 to refinish the floors. If you are inexperienced in using tools such as a sander for this process, it is highly advisable to hire a professional. You may end up paying two to three times what a pro would have charged.

A sander is one of the tools that are vital for hardwood refinishing. It removes the wood’s old finish and surface layer to eliminate scratches and discoloration. The classic drum sander is heavy and likely to damage your floor beyond repair if you are not sure how to use it properly. However, most people who do not own one can rent them for $60–$70 per day. Modern random orbital sanders took their place since they do not require any experience and are considered the best choice if you go with the DIY approach.

hardwood floors
Image Credit: CapturePB, Shutterstock

Additional Costs To Anticipate

Take into account that refinishing is not always preferable due to risks of hazards and many additional hidden costs that can drastically increase the overall price.

Factors Additional cost(USD)
Dustless refinishing $2–$4 per square foot
Additional coast of finishing $0.50–$1.75 per square foot
Moving furniture $20–$50 per room
Removing wax clean-up $100–$200 per room
Carpet removal and disposal $0.25–$1 per square foot
Refinishing stairs $25–$85 per step
Wire-brush finish $2–$5 per square foot

Choosing the right hardwood floor type is equally important as calculating all the other costs in advance. That is not just because of the price but also the sophistication and interior design. Refinishing procedures can also vary from type to type.

This table shows the costs of refinishing hardwood by the type of wood used as the base in the production process.

Type of hardwood tree Refinishing Cost(USD)
Oak or pine floors $1.50 to $5.00 per square foot
Parquet floors $2 to $6 per square foot
Bamboo floors $2 to $6 per square foot
scraping hardwood floor
Image Credit: Darius Sul, Shutterstock

How Often Should I Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Depending on the hardwood floor’s thickness, it should be refinished every 7 to 10 years.

It is usually twice as cheap to refinish a hardwood floor than to replace it with a new one completely. Even though hardwood floors have a long lifespan, you can refinish them from four to 10 times; after that, a complete replacement is mandatory.

Since hardwood floor refinishing lasts from 2 to 6 days, it is safe to say that the process can be very painstaking and time-consuming. Without any difficulties, a two-person crew can lay and install from 750-1,000 square feet of floor per day. The installation lasts from 1 to 3 days, and after that, it is time for the wood floor products to acclimate. It is estimated that this phase lasts at least 3 days.

We should also mention that you should not move the furniture into the room before the 5th day from finishing the labor passes. Walking on the floor with bare feet or shoes is not preferable for at least one week, while walking with socks is not recommended for 24 hours.

Is Refinishing Hardwood Floors Worth It?

There are a few sandless floor refinishing methods that have proven to be very affordable, and they can all be found in your nearest home improvement store:

Sandless floor refinishing methods:

  • Using a store-bought abrasion kit method utilizes a special chemical that prepares the floor and etches the old layer so that a new one can be upgraded. The kit contains all the necessary materials needed for high-quality floor refinishing. This method will not make your house dirty and messy since it does not involve heavy dusting.
  • Recoating with polyurethane solution is considered almost as good as refinishing job done by professionals. That is not a coincidence, given that polyurethane coats last several years. The only disadvantage is that you would need to rent a buffer that produces dust and is very similar to a sander.
  • Applying a revitalizer gloss is considered the cheapest way of hardwood refinishing. If you stay with this approach, you should frequently apply it on the floor’s surface. Of course, removing significant stretches and wrecks is impossible using this liquid.

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We have all heard the old phrase: “Quality comes up with a price.”  The saying could not be more accurate when we talk about hardwood floors since they are pioneers of quality in their product class. They are so highly valued that it is not rare that people invest in refinishing hardwood floors right before they sell out or rent their living space to increase its overall price. Given those facts, you can be sure that in the long run, investment in refinishing hardwood floors is a decision you will not regret.

See also: How To Sand Hardwood Floors (7 Easy Steps)

Featured Image Credit: vm2002, Shutterstock


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