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How Much does it Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors Yourself

Refinishing your hardwood by yourself after the dents or cracks is an excellent way to save cost. Planning a budget will be the next in line. But an estimate cannot be finalized if you haven’t figured out the answer to- how much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors yourself?

The total estimated cost is $1,684, within a range of $1,074 to $2,400. You should note that these prices may vary depending on the floor to be covered and the condition of the hardwood. It will require more materials for the process to be done.

Before taking the option of refinishing your hardwood floors yourself, you should bear in mind that it takes a lot of work, time, and commitment. You should also have an idea of how it is done and the types of equipment to use. It is always messy and dusty and can cause some health conditions if you are allergic to clouds of dust. If you are up for these responsibilities, then go for it.

Cost Per Square Foot To Refinish Hardwood Floor

Since the question of how much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors yourself has been answered, estimations of the cost per square foot needs to be known—the average cost range from $3.25 to $5.00 per foot square. The per foot square is calculated to get the actual average of the whole flooring in most cases.

If your hardwood floor that is to be covered is small in size, then there might be an increase in cost. This is because there are corners where special care will be taken to get the work done. Because it takes time to complete, the price will increase.

Types of Hardwood Flooring

Refinishing or replacing your hardwood will not be complete if you do not understand the type of hardwood you have. Hardwoods come in two categories which are- Engineering Hardwood and Solid Hardwood. Each of them has its differences.

Solid hardwood consists of the same wood from top to bottom. Engineering hardwood is made with a low budget sheet on the bottom and a solid hardwood bonded on the top.

If you do not know the type of floor, you possess, and how you can determine that, then I will address it. You can quickly check the kind of hardwood flooring you have by pulling up a little plank in a closed room and not an open space. After you have reviewed it, you should be able to determine if you need to call a professional or do it yourself.

Processes of Refinishing Hardwood floors

There are several steps to take when refinishing your wood or calling a professional to do the job. They are carried out in logical arrangements for an effective result. This guide will give you a clear view of things to be done and how it should be done.


The first step to take is to get the floor ready for the refinishing process. The floor should be free from any dust or specks of dirt, thereby cleaned thoroughly. The damaged areas are to be repaired, and the surface of the hardwood should be dry. Deep stains will be taken off before the process will take place. All nails that are sticking out of the wood will be driven down the wood.

Replace broken boards and moldings can be removed as well to enable the sanding process to sand to the edges of the wall. The molding can be replaced when refinishing is done. All these are to ensure that the wood is as smooth as possible before the next step is carried out.


In this process, the hardwood floor is ground down and below the layer where any deformities or specks can be seen in the wood. The equipment used in carrying out this process is a straight, walk-behind power sander equipped with a sanding screen or disc. The edges are ground with an edging sander or belt sander. This sanding process takes time to be completed because it requires total smooth and finer sandpaper.

Using the traditional sanding method might not go as far as removing deep trenches and scratch. After this process is being carried out, the floor will be cleaned up thoroughly and vacuumed.


When the sanding is over, the floor will have this look of fresh untreated wood. This next step of staining has to do with coloring the untreated wood. You might choose to apply the surface finish to the bare wood, or you can stain the wood before applying the surface finish. Either way, you can get the same result depending on the wood species.

The coloring brings out the beauty in the refinishing wood and makes it look brand new. The standard material used for staining the wood is Oil or Water-based wood stain. Apply it with a cloth or staining pads.


This is the final stage for refinishing your wood. A long-lasting and robust topcoat finish is applied to the wood. The topcoat is done with water or oil-based polyurethane. It is used with a finishing pad or a brush or roller. The wood is top-coated up to two or three times.

The polyurethane shades come in different gloss finishes ranging from flat to a high sheen. You can choose anyone that soothes your taste. The final coat will boost the glow and smoothness of the wood. You can decide to change the color of the stain you had before into a darker or lighter shade. You should know that this stain layer takes time to dry up and seal.

Professional Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Refinishing your hardwood can save a whole lot of money but irrespective of that fact, it can be hard to accomplish. There is always a clear difference when the refinishing is done by a professional because it is their area of specialization. Unless of course if you are the rare DIY expert.

Professionals can guarantee you a clean and fast work and, you on the other side will be free from stress. They take care of repairs, moving furniture, refinishing processes, cleaning and removal of the old surface.

The price estimation can vary based on the condition of your wood. In some cases, the wood is being covered in carpets and left for long. This can attract extra pay because it will require processes to get the wood smooth.

The type of wood to be refinished can attract some money too, especially when it does not take in the stain. This process will require lots of coating before the result is achieved. Thick woods are prone to resist dye.

Most professionals price the whole job by calculating the square foot of the wood. But whatever the case may be, a professional will always give the best and make your hardwood shine again. It

Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors VS New Hardwood Flooring Cost

The cost of refinishing hardwood floors is lower than that of replacing a new hardwood. The cost to install is between $4 and $10 per square foot while refinishing is $3.25 to $5 per square foot. The total estimation is $2,200 to $8,100 for installation and $1,684 for refinishing.

Refinishing hardwood can transform it into a new wood with a different color of stain if needed.  It costs little and takes a short period to finish. Solid hardwood can go a long way to retain its original status if refinished.

Installation of a new hardwood can only be considered if the wood has been damaged by water and has gone beyond repair. Both processes have their pros and cons. So it all depends on what you want to achieve, the budget at hand and the type of hardwood. 

How to Refinish Old Wood Floor without Sanding

To save cost, stress, and mess, wood floor refinishing without sanding is adopted by people. Most times, some woods do not tolerate sanding because they might possess thin layers.

The best way to achieve this is through a strategy known as screen and recoat. It mandates a floor buffer to scrape old finish from the wood. After the process, the floor is cleaned and ready for staining.