The cost of refinishing a hardwood floor is generally less than the cost of replacing it, and can restore the floor’s shine and beauty. However, the exact cost depends on several factors. Although hardwood floors can be refinished multiple times, laminate and engineered hardwood floors are typically not able to be refinished. Hardwood floors are a durable and elegant addition to any home decor. Over time, heavy foot traffic can cause the floor to become dull and discolored, but refinishing can bring it back to life.
To rephrase, the typical expense of restoring wooden floors falls between $1,150 and $2,500, but the final cost may depend on various factors if your floor is of superior quality. The average price per square foot for refinishing wooden floors is approximately $3 to $8, and it varies based on the overall area that requires refinishing and the intricacy of the job. For example, the cost per square foot to refinish one room may be higher than refinishing an entire house for homeowners.
Hardwood floors are a popular and attractive feature in modern homes, but over time they can become worn out and dull due to daily wear and tear. Homeowners who want to restore their hardwood floors to their former glory may be wondering about the cost of refinishing them. The typical cost range for refinishing hardwood floors, as reported by HomeAdvisor and Angi, is between $1,081 and $2,553, with the average cost being $1,817 nationwide. This translates to a cost of $3 to $8 per square foot, which includes both materials and labor. Labor costs make up about 80 percent of the overall cost, and the total cost may vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the refinishing process, the type of wood flooring, the labor costs, and the time required to complete the job. FREE ESTIMATE
Factors in Calculating the Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors
Homeowners can keep their expenses in check by considering various factors when calculating the cost of refinishing their hardwood floors. The answer to the question “What is the cost of refinishing hardwood floors?” may vary from the national average, depending on the size of the floor area, location, and the cost of labor and materials. Other factors that can impact the cost include preparation work, sanding, staining, coating, and finishing. By taking all of these factors into account, homeowners can estimate the total cost of refinishing their hardwood floors and stay within their budget. FREE ESTIMATE
The cost of refinishing hardwood floors is affected by the size of the room or home where the floors are located. The national average price for refinishing hardwood floors is between $3 to $8 per square foot, while the cost for dustless refinishing ranges between $5 to $8 per square foot. This means that the cost to refinish a 10-foot by 10-foot bedroom would fall between $300 and $500, while a 16-foot by 16-foot living room would cost between $800 and $1,300. For larger areas like a 25-foot by 25-foot open living space, the cost would be around $1,750 to $2,900. However, the cost can increase for more complex projects.
The cost of labor for wood floor refinishing usually falls between $3 to $8 per square foot, depending on the extent of prep work needed, accessibility of the area, amount of sanding required, and location of the property. Homeowners can search for “floor refinishing near me” to obtain local labor prices.
Materials required for wood floor refinishing include a drum sander, sanding belt, various tools for prep or repair work, vacuums, plastic sheeting, stain, and topcoat. Larger areas will require more stain and topcoat than smaller ones. Material costs can add up quickly; renting a drum sander can cost between $50 to $80 a day, and tools for cleaning and painting can cost around $275 in total. Stains and varnishes are typically sold by the gallon, with some of the most expensive varnishes costing up to $360 per gallon. When hiring a professional to refinish the hardwood floors, these material costs are usually included in the total project amount quoted. However, homeowners who attempt to refinish their floors themselves may find that their material costs alone exceed $1,000.
When calculating the cost of refinishing wooden floors, it is essential to consider several factors to avoid overspending. These factors include the cost of materials, such as top coat, stain, plastic sheeting, vacuums, sanding belt, and drum sander, which will vary based on the size of the area to be refinished. The labor costs for installing wooden floors typically range from $2 to $5 per square foot, depending on factors like the preparation work required, location, sanding, and accessibility. The location of your home can also influence the total labor cost, with urban areas typically having higher costs.
Other factors to consider include the level of preparation work required, such as cleaning, board replacement, and repairs, which can increase the material and labor costs. Sanding and staining costs typically range from $.50 to $3 and $1 to $3 per square foot, respectively, depending on the type and quality of the materials used. Finally, coating costs will depend on the type of coating used, with water-based coatings costing between $25 and $50 per gallon and water or oil-based polyurethane costing between $20 and $40 per gallon.
It is possible to rent a floor sander for around $100 per day, and a belt sander for about $60 to $100 per day for smaller areas such as a closet. Additionally, a medium-sized project would require about $100 for sandpaper and an edger can be rented for $37. For staining, you should expect to pay $30 to $45, and for varnishing, you should expect to spend between $165 to $360. Other expenses such as paintbrushes, knee pads, eye protection, dust masks, mop, and rags will also be necessary. All of these costs must be considered to determine the overall cost of wood floor refinishing. FREE ESTIMATE
Refinishing a wood floor involves sanding the first layer to remove imperfections, staining, and sealing with a top-coat finish for an improved appearance and longer lifespan. The cost of wood floor repair will depend on these factors, making it a complex process.
It is recommended to hire professionals to perform the job rather than attempting it yourself.
In case the hardwood floor is in a reasonably good condition without any significant scratches or cuts, homeowners can consider recoating it instead of sanding. Recoating refers to the application of polyurethane to the floor surface without incurring the additional expense of sanding. The cost of recoating ranges between $1 to $2 per square foot.
The cost of refinishing wood floors can vary depending on where a home is located. If the home is situated in a city with a high cost of living, the labor and materials for the refinishing job will be more expensive. The same applies to different regions of the country where the cost of living can vary significantly. For instance, in Ohio, the cost to refinish hardwood floors is relatively low, ranging from $1,100 to $2,300. In contrast, in South Carolina, the average cost range is much higher, falling between $2,250 and $4,300.
When calculating the cost of refinishing hardwood floors, it’s important to factor in additional costs and considerations. These may include the floor’s condition, repairs, furniture moving, cleaning, and whether traditional or dustless refinishing is preferred. The condition of the floor is particularly important, as floors in poor condition will require more preparation, repair, and sanding time, leading to higher labor costs. For instance, if the floor is scratched or warped, it may require more work. In some cases, deep stains or water damage may necessitate replacing some planks, which can cost anywhere between $6 and $18 per square foot, depending on the material used.
To fix extensively water-damaged floors, subfloor repairs may be necessary, which can cost between $1.30 and $12 per square foot depending on the type of subfloor. If the subfloor is loose and creates squeaks, a contractor can fix it by securing it to the joists. Repairing a plywood subfloor is cheaper at $1.50 per square foot compared to a concrete slab, which can cost $6 to $12 per square foot. If there is carpeting on top of the hardwood floor, extra charges will apply to remove it before refinishing the hardwood. Removing and disposing of carpeting costs between $0.25 and $1 per square foot, and removing it from stairs can cost between $7 and $10 per step. FREE ESTIMATE
The process of preparing a room for hardwood floor refinishing involves repairing and replacing damaged boards, as well as cleaning the floors. The amount of preparation required depends on the condition of the flooring, with more damage requiring more work and increasing material and labor costs. Sanding is typically done using large drum sanders and belt sanders to ensure a smooth finish, with costs ranging from $0.50 to $3 per square foot. Staining the hardwood floors can cost between $1 and $3 per square foot, with prices varying based on the type of stain used and labor costs in the area. Homeowners may choose to do the staining themselves, but inexperienced DIYers may prefer to hire a professional. Each coat of stain needs 24 hours to dry completely before the next layer can be applied.
Furniture Moving and Cleaning Costs
To prepare for hardwood floor refinishing, all furniture must be moved out of the room. Homeowners should ask their contractor whether furniture moving is included in the estimate or if there will be an additional charge. If there is an extra fee, homeowners can save money by moving furniture themselves. Additionally, homeowners should clarify whether the contractor will handle post-project cleaning or if it is their responsibility.
Traditional refinishing methods can create a lot of dust, which can be challenging to clean. Dustless refinishing is a more expensive but cleaner alternative, costing between $5 and $8 per square foot. Dustless refinishing involves using a vacuum attached to the sander to collect most of the dust. This method is particularly beneficial for individuals with allergies or respiratory issues who cannot tolerate excessive dust in their homes.
To refinish oak flooring, it typically costs between $3 and $5 per square foot. Oak is a widely used hardwood for flooring, and many contractors have experience in refinishing it. Due to its durability, there is usually no need for additional care when refinishing oak floors.
Cherry wood floors have a similar refinishing process to oak, costing between $3 and $5 per square foot. They are a common hardwood flooring choice and have a naturally smooth texture that makes them easy to refinish. Over time, cherry wood floors deepen in color and develop a patina, so homeowners may want to choose a stain that enhances the wood’s natural beauty. FREE ESTIMATE
Refinishing parquet flooring typically costs between $3 and $5 per square foot. It is recommended to hire a professional for this type of flooring because the wood grain runs in different directions and can be easily damaged. Refinishing parquet flooring is an excellent way to update the floors and make them look more modern, particularly if they have an outdated sheen or orange tint that the homeowner dislikes.
Manufactured hardwood flooring, also known as engineered hardwood, typically requires a professional to refinish at a cost of $3 to $5 per square foot. This type of flooring is composed of a thin layer of real wood on top of plywood, making it tricky to sand without damaging the veneer. DIY sanding attempts can lead to irreversible harm to the flooring. Usually, engineered hardwood can be refinished a maximum of three times before the veneer becomes too thin to sand again.
As for pine flooring, refinishing can cost from $4 to $7 per square foot, as it is softer and more susceptible to dents and scratches. The sanding process must be gentle and tailored to the floor’s condition, leading to slightly higher costs. Moreover, pine wood does not absorb stain uniformly, and darker stains should be avoided.
Lastly, refinishing maple flooring can cost between $6 to $8 per square foot. Maple is a high-quality, long-lasting wood that requires more sanding effort and time for the stain to penetrate. Darker stain colors on maple floors tend to show visible stains more easily than lighter ones.
Refinishing mahogany floors costs between $6 and $8 per square foot, and it requires more sanding time to prevent damage to the darker wood color. To avoid causing damage, it is recommended that homeowners hire a professional to refinish their mahogany floors. As mahogany flooring darkens over time when exposed to sunlight, changing the color of older mahogany flooring may be more challenging.
The cost of refinishing bamboo flooring is usually around $2 to $6 per square foot, which is slightly less than the cost of installing bamboo flooring. It is crucial to sand bamboo flooring at an angle to prevent surface splintering.
Do I Need to Refinish My Hardwood Floors?
Refinishing hardwood floors can remove scratches and dents, revealing the natural warmth and beauty of the wood. If the flooring has been damaged by water or UV rays, a full refinish can restore its shine and protect it from further harm, potentially saving homeowners from the expense of new hardwood floors in the future. Here are some reasons why homeowners might want to consider refinishing their hardwood floors.
If the flooring is covered in visible scratches or dents, it’s likely time for a refinish. Sanding the floor smooth is the best way to bring it back to life. Deeper scratches may require additional repairs, and a professional can ensure that the repairs blend seamlessly with the rest of the floor.
Boards with Gray or Black Stains
Even with regular cleaning, hardwood flooring can suffer water damage if the protective layer has worn off. If enough water seeps in, the affected area will turn gray or black. The extent of the damage depends on the darkness of the wood. Refinishing the floor before the damage becomes severe will ensure the structural integrity of the flooring. Homeowners should keep in mind that if the damage is widespread, some boards may need to be replaced, increasing the overall cost of refinishing.
Cupping is a condition where hardwood planks cave in down the middle, usually due to water damage. It is especially prevalent in regions with high humidity. Sanding can smooth out the planks if cupping is detected early enough.
Walking barefoot on hardwood floors should not be hazardous. However, if splintering has become an issue, the flooring has become too worn, and the exposed wood is damaged. Refinishing the floor’s surface can eliminate the splintered surface and seal it against further damage.
Sunlight shining on a beautiful hardwood floor may be visually appealing, but it can cause damage due to UV rays. Hardwood flooring can fade and discolor when exposed to sunlight. If the floor looks dull and faded, refinishing can help restore the wood’s natural color. Refinishing also provides homeowners with the option to change the floor’s color if they are dissatisfied with the natural hue of the wood. For example, if someone doesn’t like the reddish tone of cherry flooring, they can refinish the floor with a different stain color to create a more neutral look.
Refinishing vs. Replacing Hardwood Floors
Homeowners often face a dilemma when it comes to their hardwood floors – should they refinish or replace them? Refinishing the floors is a more affordable option than replacing them, as it can cost two to three times less, typically between $2,000 and $7,000. Additionally, refinishing is a more sustainable and eco-friendly choice since it allows homeowners to preserve and maintain their existing floors. However, if the flooring has extensive damage or cannot be refinished, replacement may be the only option. In such cases, homeowners may need to hire reputable companies like Empire Today or LL Flooring for hardwood flooring installation. Here are some situations where replacing the floors may be necessary.
Presence of Water Damage
When deciding whether to refinish or replace hardwood floors, homeowners should consider several factors. While refinishing is a cost-effective and sustainable option, there are instances when replacement is necessary. For instance, if the flooring has been severely damaged by water, both the hardwood floor and the subflooring will need to be replaced. Thinning boards due to previous refinishing or engineered hardwood floors with insufficient veneer left may also require replacement. Additionally, homeowners planning to renovate their homes and increase resale value may opt for replacement to obtain more durable and attractive flooring options. Replacing the floors also presents an opportunity to fix squeaking floorboards and install new subflooring.
Refinishing Hardwood Floors: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Homeowners may consider refinishing their hardwood floors themselves to save money, but it’s more challenging than it seems, and most people lack the necessary skills. Refinishing hardwood floors can be a messy, time-consuming, and costly project, with an average cost of $500 to $1,000 for DIYers. Renting a drum floor sander alone costs between $50 and $80 per day. Besides the sander, other materials like sandpaper, a belt sander, an edger, nails, stain, topcoat, brushes, rollers, safety gear, a shop vacuum, cleaning supplies, and more will quickly add up. While some homeowners can refinish hardwood floors, they must be aware of the potential cost of sanding and finishing mistakes. A DIY refinishing mistake could cost two to three times the price of hiring a professional to replace the floors.
How to Save Money on the Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors
Discover how to cut costs when refinishing hardwood floors. Refinishing hardwood floors can be quite costly, and expenses can pile up quickly. While finding a low-priced contractor is one way to reduce expenses, you can also save money without sacrificing quality.
Prepare for the project. Clear out all furniture and personal belongings from the room to minimize labor expenses. If the hardwood flooring is under carpeting, you can remove it yourself, which doesn’t require expertise but does require time and effort from the homeowner.
Get multiple quotes. Choosing the cheapest contractor may not always be the best choice. Homeowners can read reviews and ask questions to get the right price for their budget before hiring.
Handle the cleanup. Contractors may charge extra for cleaning up after refinishing. Typically, homeowners can do this themselves with a mop and one of the best hardwood floor cleaners. Homeowners willing to clean, dust, vacuum, and mop up after the project will discover that this is a great way to save money.
Questions to Ask About Refinishing Hardwood Floors
If you’re considering refinishing your hardwood floors, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure effective communication, cost savings, and desirable outcomes. Here are some inquiries to make regarding the cost to refinish hardwood floors:
- Can you provide me with a list of references?
- How long have you been in business?
- Does the estimate include the cost of moving furniture and cleaning?
- What is the expected timeline for the refinishing project?
- Do you offer a warranty?
- Are you insured and bonded?
- Do you have any payment plans available?
- What measures will you take to prevent dust and protect my home?
- How long until I can walk on the floor after refinishing?
- Which stain and coating options are best for my flooring?
- How do you handle damage that may occur during the job?
Here are some frequently asked questions to help homeowners make informed decisions about the cost to refinish hardwood floors:
How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors? Typically, it takes about 5 hours per 100 square feet of flooring, depending on the condition and intricacy of the layout.
What is the cost to refinish 1,000 square feet of hardwood flooring? On average, the cost ranges between $3,000 and $8,000.
Should I refinish or replace my hardwood floor? While new flooring installation costs more than refinishing, not all flooring can be refinished. Consult a professional to determine the best course of action.
How often should I refinish my hardwood floor? Generally, it’s recommended to refinish floors every 7 to 10 years, depending on the extent of damage.
Does refinishing floors produce a lot of dust? Yes, but many contractors offer dustless refinishing at an additional cost.
What is the best way to clean hardwood floors? Regular sweeping and mopping with a cloth pad is ideal. For deep stains, scrub with steel wool and mineral spirits, then buff with wax.
What are the signs that I need to refinish my hardwood floors? Scratches, stains, discoloration, warping, and splintering. FREE ESTIMATE