hardwood refinishing cost

The Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In Conclusion

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?

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Jennifer Lester

About Jennifer Lester

Jennifer Lester is a freelance writer, blogger, and home improvement finatic. She loves to write about things that will transform your house into your dream home. Jennifer is a graduate of Texas A&M University. LinkedIn.

18 thoughts on “The Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors”

  1. Avatar

    Fascinating that people are criticizing Jose Pineda for competing on price. Of course, that is what capitalism, the economic system I imagine the posters here believe is “the best,” is designed to do: create competition. The market determines price. If you dislike that, you ought to express your distaste for capitalism.

    Additionally, Jose Pineda did not say he was a “foreign worker” as the comments allege. Indeed, he has better control of standard English than the other posters.

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    I am consistantly under bid , I run a small remodeling business, been at it for 38 years, 14 my own business. It’s easy for them to under bid me I cant live 20 people in a single family dwelling, I would be locked up.

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    It’s interesting you mention refinishing is more cost effective than replacing with new hardwood flooring. What about using some of these great laminate wood floors? They are beautiful and water and scratch resistant.

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      It’s all personal preference, I think they look and feel cheap. the real deal can last 100+ years with proper maintenance It can be resurfaced sanded up to five times. (depending who you have Sand them)
      I would never tear out the real deal for fake flooring sounds like a great way to take value out of your home.

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    Hey, how much would it cost to sand and stain the floor for say 1100 sq ft? And I am planning to hire someone. So expecting a rough estimate for outsourcing.

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      The article says you can expect to spend between $1.50 and $5.00 per square foot. So between $1,650 and $5,500. There, I just did your work for you.

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      $1200, that’s what I would charge. Also depends on the hardwood quality that your floor is in. For example, if it has deep moisture marks from a wet carpet etc… Then it’s gonna take more techniques to take those out.

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        That’s why this country’s middle class is shrinking because people like Jose Pineda charge dirt cheap prices to do a professional trade. Charge more, Jose. If you’re legally operating then you can’t afford to run a business by charging so little.

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          Those are exactly the terms of the current trade war between the US and China, Mexico and others, reflecting the competitive levels of those foreign workers and illustrating the cowboy mentality of Trump’s aggressive responses. I don’t know the business details of Jose Pineda enterprise and his work quality, but his quote is for sanding and staining, apparently not including refinishing the floor? Is Jose – and others charging a decent price and content with that much – really behind the shrinking of our middle class or is the culprit to be found elsewhere?

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            Jimmy Carter blunder, supposed to raise Mexico’s economy to ours , backfired and is bringing ours down. No middle class left , have and havenots

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            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.

            This is just plain stupid. Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors isn’t easy and should not even be ATTEMPTED by the average person.

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      I would expect to pay at least $3.50 a foot for resurface sanding and three coats waterbase or two coats of oil based finish add a dollar a square foot for stain.

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