This Is How Much It Costs to Refinish Hardwood Floors

This Is How Much It Costs to Refinish Hardwood Floors


Do you want to refinish your hardwood floors? Perhaps you’re worried about the cost, especially if plan to refinish a large area.

To refinish hardwood floors effectively, you need a sound budget and a reputable contractor. The cost breaks down to $3 to $8 per square foot. For larger projects, you could spend up to $4,000.

When it comes to national averages, refinishing can cost around $1,700. Typically, the range can stretch from $1,100 to $2,400.

In other cases, however, the cost could be cheaper. For instance, you could pay as low as $600 in some cases. On the high end, you could up to $4,000. Professional jobs will also include labor costs.

Smaller spaces will also cost extra, and a contractor may hire another professional to handle closets or bathrooms. Further, each stage of the refinishing process comes with additional costs.

This article will break down the costs of the refinishing process in full. Let’s explore.

The Cost of Sanding

Before contractors refinish hardwood floors, they must sand it. You can sand it on your own, but you should leave the job in the hands of professionals.

A bad sanding job can ruin your floors permanently. Further, each room can come with its own cost.

  • Example: If you’re sanding a 12 x 14 room, the cost can vary between $80 and $500.

In terms of square footage, the cost stretches from $0.50 to $3.00 each. You should sand your floor regardless of the condition.

Staining the Floors

After the sanding Process, you must stain the floors. You can stain floors on your own, but a professional can do a better job and complete it faster. It can cost between $1 to $3 per square foot to stain the floors. The price of staining breaks down to several factors:

  • Quality staining
  • Labor rates
  • Number of applications

Additionally, several applications are necessary to achieve the desired effect. Additional coats can double or triple the cost. That said, you don’t have to stain your floors if you like your current color.

If you a hire professional, they could sand and stain your floors in a single project. For instance, a typical job would entail:

  • Sanding the hardwood floors
  • Stain application
  • Applying oil-based, water-based, or acid-cured finishes

For all of these tasks, you could pay between $3.75 and $5 per square foot. Overall, the cost could hover between $800 and $1,125.

The Recoating Process

A recoat job can between $1 to $2 for each square foot. The recoating process will spare you the hassle of sanding the floors. It’s also usually cheaper than a typical refinishing job. Also, recoating is a good option for floors that don’t have excessive scratches or marks.

Coating Process

When it comes to coating, you have two types of coating to choose from: water-based or oil-based. The oil-based variety will make your floors an amber color. This cost hovers between $20 to $40 per gallon.

The water-based version will remain clear and preserve the color of your floor. The water alternative can cost between $25 to $50 per gallon.

Cost Variables

Factors that will influence the cost break down as follows:

  • Labor Costs: A contractor may charge hourly for their services. If you choose a general contractor, the rate can hover between $35 and $85 an hour. If you live in a large city, a contractor may charge even more.
  • Floor Size: Large floors can be expensive, but many contractors will offer discounts to reduce the price. In other cases, the project may require a specialist if the floors in a particular area are too small. For instance, hard floors in the bathroom and laundry rooms usually require a specialist.
  • Furniture Removal: A contractor may charge extra if they must remove the furniture. With that, you can save money by removing the furniture yourself. The contractor will also include carpet removal.
  • Repairs: The contractor will also charge extra if they must repair the floor before refinishing the hardwood floors. However, contractors usually plan for floor repairs before refinishing. Ensure that the contractor includes the repairs in the quote.
  • Cleanup Costs: The cleanup costs are usually separate from the original quote. You may have to hire a cleaning crew to take care of the mess. With that, you can ask the contractor to include cleanup expenses in the quote.

Additionally, you may find a contractor offering services at extremely low rates. Consider this a red flag. Cheap prices could mean cheap work. Therefore, find a contractor with a quality reputation.

DIY Floor Refinishing

If you want to learn how to refinish hardwood floors on your own, consider the following steps:

  1. Rent a drum sander. The rental cost is usually around $60 a day.
  2. Purchase sealants and stains, with a cost ranging from $125 to $225.
  3. Remove all items from the floor, including attached units.
  4. Cover all items in your house to prevent staining.

As such, the DIY option is a time-consuming and cumbersome process. Above all, the actual DIY cost depends on the square footage of the floors. Therefore, consider leaving hardwood floor refinishing in the hands of professionals.

Refinish Hardwood Floors the Right Way

To refinish hardwood floors within a timely fashion, establish a budget. Itemize each cost with the contractor to avoid surprises. Overall, the cost of refinishing hardwood floors will cost around $2,000. The price could go up depending on your region, local labor rates, square footage, among other factors.

When it comes to hardwood floor refinishing, consider a professional. A DIY refinish job can cost you more in terms of time and money.

Interested in reading more? Read more on our blog to gain insight into other home improvement topics.

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