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How Much Does It Cost To Refinish Hardwood Floors [Answered]

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Refinishing old hardwood floors is a great way to return their former glory. Not only does it give the flooring a new look but also strengthens it. Rather than facing the hassle of replacing refinishing it is a more economical choice.

How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors?

The cost of refinishing a hardwood floor by professionals is $1,750 – $6,500. For DIY refinishing of a hardwood floor, the cost is $629 – $1,350. The cost mainly depends on the size of the flooring area. The larger the floor is, the higher the cost would be.

That was the sneak peek. To know more details of the content read our piece till the end. We’ve provided the total cost calculation for you.

What’s the wait for? Let’s jump right in!

Refinishing Hardwood Floor Cost Calculator

Refinishing hardwood floors can be done in two ways. You can either hire a professional or do it by yourself. 

But for both cases, you need a total cost calculation beforehand. For your ease of use, we’ve added a cost calculator for both methods. Hopefully, this comes to your help.

This is the cost calculator for hardwood floor refinishing by contractors:

Size Of The Area Size Of The Area Size Of The Area Size Of The Area 
Aspects500 sq. ft.1,000 sq. ft.1,500 sq. ft.2,000 sq. ft.
Sanding Cost$250-$1,500$500-$3,000$750-$4,500$1,000-$6,000
Restaining Cost$500-$1,500$1,000-$3,000$1,500-$4,500$2,000-$6,000
Refinishing & Coating Cost$1,000-$3,500$2,000-$7,000$3,000-$10,500$4,000-$14,000
Total Cost$1,750-$6,500$3,500-$13,000$5,250-$19,500$7,000-$26,000

This is the cost calculator for DIY hardwood floor refinishing:

Size Of The Area Size Of The Area Size Of The Area Size Of The Area 
Size Of The Area 500 sq. ft.1,000 sq. ft.1,500 sq. ft.2,000 sq. ft.
Store-bought materials $323-$737$323-$737$323-$737$323-$737
Floor sander$120-$210$120-$210$120-$210$120-$210
Edger $74-$92$74-$92$74-$92$74-$92
Belt Sander$32-$78$32-$78$32-$78$32-$78
Satin $50-$150$100-$300$150-$450$200-$600
Refinishing Material$30-$90$45-$135$75-$225$105-$315
Total$629-$1,350$694-$1,552$774-$1,792$854-$2,032

Still, confused with the cost calculation? Move on to our next sections then. We’ve broken down the total cost into separate parts and shown the calculations.

Refinishing Hardwood Floor by Hiring Professional Cost Breakdown

The hardwood floor refinishing project comes with a few steps. Of course, the cost for those steps is counted separately. 

But the most important cost factor here is the size of the area. The bigger the area is the more you’ll have to pay. That’s why it’s important that you know how this fee is being calculated.

To help you understand the total calculation we’ve broken it down into small parts. Hopefully, this helps you to calculate the cost factors of your floor area.

Important Things to Remember before Calculating the Cost

Floor refinishing jobs are mostly done by hiring contractors. You can hire a local contractor for refinishing your hardwood flooring. 

But don’t just choose any contractor you find at the moment. Do a bit of research on their services. It’s best to compare at least 3 contractors at the same time.

Check their insurance policy and business license first. Take a look at the customer review on them as well. Good contractors should have plenty of satisfied customers. 

Explain your project in detail to the contractor. Make sure they know what you’re expecting from the project.

Finally, do the total fee comparison and choose the contractor for the job. The average cost for refinishing a hardwood floor is $1,750 – $6,500.

Keep in mind that every contractor may have different methods of estimation. That’s why calculate the total cost beforehand to avoid overpaying. 

Don’t make the payment all at once. Instead, make a payment policy for the job. All clear? 

Let’s check out the cost for each factor now!

Sanding Cost

The first step to refinish your hardwood floor is sanding. You’ll firstly have to remove the old finishing. It’s done by sanding the surface of the hardwood floor.

Sanding removes the stains and dirt on the floor’s surface. For the refinishing project, the sanding is done in three steps.

You must use different grit sandpaper for all three steps. We recommend you use these sandpapers-

120 To 3000 Assorted Grit Sandpaper for Wood Furniture FinishingCheck Current Price
3M General Purpose Sandpaper SheetsCheck Current Price

The cost for sanding is $0.50 to $3.00 per sq. ft.

Here’s a table showing the estimated sanding cost for different area sizes:

Size Of The Area Sanding Cost
500 sq. ft.$250-$1,500
1,000 sq. ft.$500-$3,000
1,500 sq. ft.$750-$4,500
2,000 sq. ft.$1,000-$6,000

Staining Cost

After sanding is completed the next step is staining the hardwood floor. Old hardwood floors lose their color over time and get dull.

The wood also becomes paler after you sand them thoroughly. That’s why staining is a very important part of the project.

The average cost for staining the hardwood floor is $1-$3 per sq. ft. This rate covers both the product cost and the labor fee. 

When we say average it means the stain product is going to be ordinary. If you prefer an expensive stain then the total cost will increase a lot.

The table below shows the cost for staining hardwood floors for different area sizes:

Size Of The Area Staining Cost
500 sq. ft.$500-$1,500
1,000 sq. ft.$1,000-$3,000
1,500 sq. ft.$1,500-$4,500
2,000 sq. ft.$2,000-$6,000

Refinishing Cost

After sanding and staining the floor it’s finally ready to be refinished. There are many types of finishing materials available on the market. 

You can buy from any of them to your choice. But make sure the finishing product you’re picking is compatible with your hardwood.

Here are some of the most popular types of refinishing these days:

Types Of FinishingCost Per sq. ft.Cost For 500 sq. ft.Cost For 1,000 sq. ft.Cost For 1,500 sq. ft.Cost For 2,000 sq. ft.
Polyurethane $2-$3$1,000-$1,500$2,000-$3,000$3,000-$4,500$4,000-$6,000
Oil Wood$3-$5$1,500-$2,500$3,000-$5,000$4,500-$7,500$6,000-$10,000
Unfinished Hardwood$2-$6$1,000-$3,000$2,000-$6,000$3,000-$9,000$4,000-$12,000
Factory $3-$10$1,500-$5,000$3,000-$10,000$4,500-$15,000$6,000-$20,000
Surface $5-$10$2,500-$5,000$5,000-$10,000$7,500-$15,000$10,000-$20,000
Penetrating $10-$12$5,000-$6,000$10,000-$12,000$15,000-$18,000$20,000-$24,000

You can decide from any of these types of refinishing. But share your thoughts with your contractor first. Because they would know which type of refinishing will be suitable for your floor.

The average cost for refinishing is $2 to $7 per sq. ft.

The table below shows the refinishing cost for different area sizes:

Size Of The Area Refinishing Cost
500 sq. ft.$1,000-$3,500
1,000 sq. ft.$2,000-$7,000
1,500 sq. ft.$3,000-$10,500
2,000 sq. ft.$4,000-$14,000

Just calculate the total cost for sanding, staining, and refinishing. Then you’ll get the total cost for the hardwood floor refinishing project.

Cost for Refinishing Hardwood Floor By Yourself (DIY)

We’ve talked about the hardwood floor refinishing project cost from hiring professionals. Let’s talk about the project cost now if you do it by yourself.

DIY Refinishing Hardwood Floor Cost Breakdown

For DIY refinishing you’d need to make a detailed plan first. Leaving the project to a contractor is easy. Because then you won’t have to think of every little detail. But, when you’re doing it by yourself, there’s a lot to deal with.

You’d firstly need all the equipment for the refinishing project. You’d also need to know how much of the finishing material you’ll be needing.

Now, don’t worry. It might be sounding quite complex by now. But we can help you overcome it. 

These cost breakdown sections might hold all the answers for you.

Rental Equipment

To conduct the refinishing you’ll be needing many tools and equipment. Some of these tools are expensive, heavy, and complex to use.

For example floor sander, edger, and belt sander. All these types of equipment are needed for sanding the hardwood floor.

You must now be worried that you’d have to buy them. Equipment such as these is rarely used in households. As a result, buying them for a one-time project is a total loss. 

That’s why the right choice is to rent them from a local carpenter. You can rent them hourly or daily based.

Pick your sanding equipment based on how you plan on sanding it. There are orbital & drum sanding methods for hardwood floors. Make sure the tool you’re picking is the right equipment for it.

A typical hardwood floor refinishing project takes 4-5 days at max. For sanding the floor you’ll not need more than 2-3 days.

The table below shows the rental cost for sanding equipment for refinishing project: 

ToolsAverage CostRequired Working TimeTotal Cost
Floor Sander$60-$70 per day2-3 days$120-$210
Edger$37-$46 per day2-3 days$74-$92
Belt Sander$16-$26 per day2-3 days$32-$78

After you’re done sanding return them to the store. avoid overpaying If you finish earlier than expected.

Store-Bought Materials

Let’s move on to the materials and tools you’ll have to buy yourself now.

Here’s a list of all the tools and materials you’re gonna need. We’ve included the price range as well:

Tool Or MaterialAverage Cost
Sandpaper for both sanders$30-$70
Knee pads$10-$20
Safety goggles$5-$20
respirator$30-$70
Mop$10-$30
Plastic Sheeting$50-$75
Tape$30-$50
Shop Vacuum$40-$180
Wood filler$5-$15
Claw hammer$20-$30
Hand scraper$20-$35
Nail Set$6-$15
Paintbrush$4-$7
Molding pry bar$10-$20
Painter’s rags $8-$15
Trash bag $15-$25
Others $30-$60
Total$323-$737

The raw material and the equipment cost is about $323-$737. But that’s not all. You still need to buy the stain and refinishing materials.

There are many types of stains available in the market nowadays. But not all are suitable for every hardwood. That’s why before buying make sure that it’s compatible with your hardwood floor. 

If needed take suggestions from a professional regarding this. You wouldn’t want to use an incompatible product and regret it later on.

Once you decide on the stain, calculate the amount needed for your floor area. Stains are usually sold in gallons. Per gallon of stain can cover 200 sq. ft. of areas. The price range per gallon of stain is $20-$60.

Coming to the refinishing material now. It’s pretty important that you pick a good refinishing material for your hardwood floor.

Good refinishing can last many years without any issues. It also strengthens the longevity of hardwood floors.

Polyurethane is such a hardwood floor refinishing product. It’s mostly used for oak, bamboo, maple, and pinewood refinishing.

But it almost goes with all types of hardwood floors. As a result, professionals suggest using polyurethane for hardwood refinishing. 

It’s also cheap and gives a long-term service. It’s literally one of the best hardwood refinishing materials at the present.

As for the amount, per gallon of polyurethane covers 600 sq. ft. of areas. The price range for polyurethane is $30-$90.

Let’s look at the stain and refinishing material cost for different area sizes now:

StainStainRefinishing MaterialRefinishing Material
Size Of The AreaCostRequired amountCostRequired amount
500 sq. ft.$50-$1502.5 gallons$30-$901 gallon 
1,000 sq. ft.$100-$3005 gallons$45-$1351.5 gallons
1,500 sq. ft.$150-$4507.5 gallons $75-$2252.5 gallons
2,000 sq. ft.$200-$60010 gallons$105-$3153.5 gallons 

After applying the refinishing you can use a coat of anti-slip adhesive on it. It is to make the hardwood stairs non-slippery. You can use it on the entire hardwood floor as well. 

But this option is completely optional. If your hardwood floor doesn’t seem slippery after refinishing there’s no need for this.

Now sum up all the costs we’ve listed in the DIY segment. Calculate them for your flooring area and make your own budget plan. 

Important Tips regarding the DIY Project

Floor refinishing is one of the easiest yet complex house renovation projects. To do the refinishing all by yourself you’d need knowledge of carpentership. 

That’s not all. You’ll also be handling various chemicals here. That’s why doing this project by yourself requires prior knowledge.

DIY refinishing is very popular these days. Because it can save you a couple of thousand very easily.

You’ll see the cost difference if you compare DIY refinishing to professional work. But do remember that hardwood refinishing is not that of a simple project either.

In other words, if you’re not sure what you’re doing then don’t do it. Many people try DIY refinishing and end up gouging the hardwood floor. 

As a result, they pay extra for the repair fee. This increases the refinishing cost by 2-3 times. Surely, you wouldn’t wanna join their league.

Some common mistakes people do when DIY refinishing are:

  • Leaving scratch on the hardwood with a belt sander
  • Failing to remove the old finishing properly
  • Too much sanding of the hardwood 
  • Leaving the cracks of the floor without filling it

It’s best if you refrain from making such mistakes while refinishing. Take all necessary preparations before you start working on the project. 

Pay special attention to the areas where the wood is damaged. Focus on repairing them first rather than trying to refinish them. 

Also, don’t forget to reach out to professionals if something isn’t going your way. It’s better to pay a little more than to hesitate. Sometimes, that little cost can save you from making bigger mistakes.

Is Refinishing Hardwood Cheaper than Replacing?

Looking at all the gouges on the hardwood floor might make you wanna replace it. Some think it’s better to replace the whole thing rather than refinish it. 

But that’s not the case. There are many advantages of refinishing your old hardwood floor. Let’s talk about them:

Budget-Friendly

Hardwood refinishing is a budget-friendly project. Compared to refinishing, replacing them costs 3 to 4 times more. See the cost of 1,000 sq. ft. of hardwood floors. You’d understand why it costs more to replace the hardwood flooring.

Replacing the hardwood floor is a more complex and time-consuming project. You’d have to choose new material and design for the flooring. There will be more factors to pay attention to. That’s why rather than replacing, refinishing is a better option.

Refinishing Comes With Repairing 

Most hardwoods are durable flooring materials. With time the surface may get damaged for various reasons. Scratches, stains, dirt, cracks are the common issues you’d face with old hardwood floors. Once they become quite noticeable you know that it’s time to repair them.

Refinishing is the best way to repair your old hardwood floor. Sanding evens out all the scratches formed over the hardwood surface. It also gets rid of dirt and stains. The cracks are also quite easy to repair if they are not big.

Longevity Of The Hardwood Floor

Refinishing extends the lifetime of hardwood flooring. It works as a seal for the hardwood.

It also protects the hardwood from dirt, water, stains, scratches, and many other issues. Refinishing it once protects the hardwood floor for up to 7-10 years.

Refinishing also gives a completely new look to old hardwood floors. It’s almost hard to distinguish old hardwood from new flooring once you refinish it.

It protects the hardwood from outside harm. Thus, the longevity of the flooring increases. 

Hopefully, this discussion was of use to you.

FAQs

Question: How many times can hardwood floors be refinished?

Answer: Traditional or solid hardwood can be refinished 4-10 times. But it depends on its thickness and age. If the wood is thinner then you can’t refinish them multiple times. Because the refinishing process includes sanding. And sanding thins out the hardwood even more. For such cases, recoating is a better option.

Question: Can refinishing be done without sanding?

Answer: No, because sanding is an important part of hardwood refinishing. The purpose of sanding the hardwood is to remove old scratches, dirt, and discolorations. If you skip this part and directly go to refinishing it won’t be good. Sanding is almost a repair process before refinishing. That’s why it can’t be skipped.

Question: What grit sandpapers are best for refinishing hardwood floors?

Answer: Before refinishing hardwood floors you’ve to sand the surface in three steps. For these steps, you’ve to use three different grit sandpapers. Start with 36 to 40 grit paper for coarse sanding. For medium to fine sanding use 60 to 80 grit sandpaper. Last but not least for a fine and smooth finishing use 100 to 120 grit sandpaper.

Final Words

That was all about how much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors? Have you got the answers you were looking for? 

Hopefully, you did. We tried to provide you with only important information regarding hardwood finishing. As a result, making a refinishing budget plan should be quite easy now.

Until next time! Take care and good luck!