How Much Does it Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Determining how much it costs to refinish hardwood floors varies based on a number of factors. But the most important ingredient of refinishing is the quality of the job. Indeed, while paying unreasonable costs per square foot is going to be a decisive component, quality should be the endgame.

After all, having to refinish a newly refinished floor is not part of your home improvement dreams.

What’s included in the Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

When preparing an estimate, flooring contractors have to keep several different costs in mind:

  • Material and equipment delivery costs.
  • Preparation for the worksite, including costs to protect existing materials, structures, and components.
  • Job cleanup and debris removal.
  • Labor setup, mobilization time, and hourly charges for hardwood floor refinishing projects.

Among other various fees, the cost to refinish hardwood floors will include sales tax on supplies and materials, general contractor fees for supervising the project, and possibly permit or inspection fees.

Preparing Your Job

There are many steps to refinishing wood floors, and the key to the most successful home improvement options is preparation. Without a doubt, refinishing hardwood is no exception to the rule.

  • All furniture, wall hangings, shoe molding, and window treatments will have to be removed from the room.
  • Light fixtures will need to be covered.
  • Light switches, electrical outlets, and vents will need to be taped.
  • The entire floor will need to be vacuumed to eliminate all dirt and debris.

Sanding Your Floor

Once preparation is finished, your flooring contractor will move on to the sanding process. If sanded properly, your floor will reclaim its vibrant grains, one of the most alluring features of hardwood.

The drum sander is the first tool used when refinishing your floor. Stand-behind drum sanders eliminate materials very quickly, so ventilation is important. An open window with a fan is ideal!

After the main portion of the floor is sanded, contractors will use an edge sander to sand around the walls of the room. From there, it might be necessary to hand-sand or use a detail sander in hard-to-reach areas, such as corners.

When the entire floor is finished, the room will need to be vacuumed and then re-sanded with a smaller grit sandpaper. This process will continue as needed, depending on the project.

Staining Your Hardwood

Before staining your hardwood, be sure that your contractor vacuums and removes all dust from the floor, molding, and walls. You do not want any dust falling onto the floor when the finish is drying.

You have the option of applying a clear sealer to your newly sanded floor or applying a stain – either water- or oil-based. Refinishing products will have their own instructions, and oftentimes a test area will need to be used to make sure the floor is applied effectively. For example, some stains will demand multiple coats with sanding in between.

Ideally, you want to make sure the hardwood is sealed on the same day it is sanded, to prevent any moisture from being absorbed into the floor. It is also critical that the sealer is applied evenly, and with enough to cover the entire surface. Furthermore, excess sealer doesn’t soak into wood – it floods the surface – so if it is not removed, there will be hideous spots on your floor.

Unless you are a home improvement guru, we at Just Around The Corner in St. Louis recommend that you use a professional to administer your hardwood refinishing project. Because if the job is not performed correctly, you could end up with uneven sanding and/or spots from poorly-applied stains or sealers.

Contact us to get a free estimate on your home improvement project. We are always happy to help!

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