Do you have hardwood floors in your home? Are they old and tired looking?
Even so, take heart. You can restore them to their beautiful glory days.
These days hardwood flooring is expensive, so you are already ahead of the game if you have hardwoods in your home.
While there is some cost involved (as we will discuss below), you can have stunning, high-quality floors again. And for less than it would cost to replace them with new flooring.
So, how much exactly would it cost to refinish your hardwood floors? That depends on a few factors.
But first, let’s look at why you might want to keep these beautiful floors.
Benefits of Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors
If you want new floors and are debating whether to refinish your existing hardwood floors or replace them entirely, then consider your budget. The benefit of refinishing your existing floors is that you will save a significant amount of money.
Even if you hire someone to refinish them for you, it is still less than installing new hardwood.
However, if you have no plans to replace your floors and are just curious about whether to spruce them up, then there are also benefits to refinishing them. Your home will have a new, lively feel to it with fresh floors.
And if you are considering putting your home on the market anytime soon, then nice hardwood floors will certainly add value to the price of your home.
However, before you call up a contractor, or head to the home improvement store for supplies, there are a few factors think about.
Things to Consider
First, you’ll need to check the thickness of your hardwoods. If you are in an older home, these floors may have been refinished multiple times already.
And at some point, they could become too thin to sand down and refinish again. It is best to have at least ¾’ thickness or more before you start.
Also, keep in mind that humidity can impact the rate that your stain and finish dry. The more humid the environment, the longer it takes.
So, if you live somewhere with a lot of humidity, it might be best to wait until the weather cools down and becomes drier.
Finally, it will be messy.
Dust will be everywhere. And the smell of stains and finishes will impact the air quality in your home throughout the project.
You may want to consider moving your family to a hotel or staying with friends or relatives while the floors are being refinished.
DIY Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors
If you are on a tight budget or enjoy doing home improvement projects, then you can save significantly by refinishing the floors yourself. This is a relatively easy project – especially if you are a do-it-yourselfer.
You can rent the sanding equipment and buy sanding pads from your local home improvement or hardware store. This generally costs between $300 and $400.
Additionally, you’ll need to buy your stain, finish, and brushes or sprayers to apply these products to your floor.
Wood stain is not expensive – it generally costs under $10 per quart. And each quart can cover around 275 square feet.
Finish is a little costlier, but getting a good finish is important because it is what helps to protect your floors so that you don’t have to refinish them again anytime soon. It prevents scratches, stains, etc.
The price for finish generally ranges between $50 and $90 and covers about 700 square feet. (But keep in mind you will have to apply several coats to your floor).
So, if you were to refinish your hardwood floors yourself, it would likely cost less than $500 for 275 square feet of space.
Cost to Have Your Floors Refinished
DIY projects are not for everyone. But even if you choose to pay someone to refinish your floors, it still comes out less expensive than replacing them with new ones.
So, what does it cost to have your floors refinished? On average, you can expect to pay between $1.50 and $5.00 per square foot.
This may sound like a broad price range, however, there are several factors that can impact your overall cost to have your hardwoods professionally refinished.
The labor costs will include the amount of time required to prep the area, plus the cost of sanding, staining, and refinishing the floors.
The size of the space also impacts the price.
This may surprise you, but sometimes smaller spaces end of costing more than larger spaces, particularly in tight areas like bathrooms or laundry rooms where the sanding equipment cannot fit.
If you have old flooring such as carpet that needs removing, or furniture that must be moved to another room, you can expect a charge for these services as well.
Refinishing a staircase can also increase the cost of project – sometimes by as much as 50 percent. This project generally costs anywhere from $40 to $75 per stair.
Finally, you may incur a trip charge if you do not live in or near a major metropolitan area.
So, is it worth it to refinish your floors rather than replace them? In most cases, yes.
The average cost to install new hardwoods is around $8 per square foot, which is $3 more than the high-end cost to refinish your floors.
Refinished floors will give your home a great boost of new life, it may even feel like a new home – all with one simple change.
Sure, it will be messy and smelly. And you may even have to leave your home for a few days.
But you will get to return to a beautiful, brand-new feeling space – and for much less than if you replaced your floors.
Plus, you can feel good about recycling your old flooring. It is the “green” thing to do.
And if your ultimate goal is to sell your home, newly refinished floors will increase the overall value and potentially your list price.
Why are you thinking about updating your old floors?