Home » How Much Does It Cost To Refinish Hardwood Floors? (Ultimate Guide)

How Much Does It Cost To Refinish Hardwood Floors? (Ultimate Guide)

Hardwood floors look extremely beautiful no matter what type of interior design you have in your home. They are durable, but you will have to refinish them from time to time if you want to make sure that they still look good.

Before you refinish your hardwood floors, you need to know how much you’re going to spend on them.

How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors? Let’s find out the amount of money that you need to spend for the refinishing task and the factors that would affect its price.

How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors offer a modern and welcoming vibe to your home. It is definitely one of the best floorings that you can have, but like many other types of floors, it can look old and dilapidated in just a few years. Kids, pets, and the day-to-day activities that you’re doing can make it dull and uninteresting.

According to HomeAdvisor, you will need between $1,081 to $2,553 to refinish your hardwood floors. The national average cost, on the other hand, is $1,817. You’ll have to pay $3 to $8 per square foot for the materials and labor.

Based on these amounts, around 80% of the refinishing job will come from labor. It makes sense because refinishing hardwood floors require expertise and years of experience. DIY would be cheaper, but you should only do this if you know what to do.

These are averages and the overall cost of refinishing your hardwood floors would depend on several factors.

What are the Factors that Can Affect the Cost?

If you’re on a budget and you need your hardwood floors to be refinished, it is best to know the factors that can affect its price. We listed down some of the things that you should pay attention to when refinishing your hardwood floors.

1. The Size of the Area

The most important factor that most professionals consider when deciding on the cost of hardwood refinishing is the square footage of your hardwood floor. The $3 to $8 range per square foot is just an estimate. The flooring contractor will decide how much they are going to quote per square foot.

As the target area becomes bigger, the overall cost will become lower as well. They will give you a quote for the whole area and you can bargain with them to lower the cost.

A room with 4 feet by 10 feet dimensions would cost around $300 to $600. A room with a 10 x 10 dimension would cost around $300 to $800. A small house with 1,000 square footage can cost $2,000 to $4,000.

Based on these figures, you can see that bigger areas usually have a cheaper cost per square foot. The cost of a small house with 1,000 square footage is only $2 to $4 per square foot (lower than the national average).

Type of Material

2. Type of Material

The type of wood used in your hardwood floor will also dictate the amount of refinishing per square foot. Some types would require extra care because they are very delicate and one wrong move can mess things up.

Among the different types of material, oak and cherry wood are the most durable and they are also the most popular options. Because of this, most of the flooring contractors already have a lot of experience working on these materials. As such, they can finish the project faster.

Some woods can get damaged easily and some woods have a hard time absorbing Wood Stains, which will make the process longer. Basically, these materials would cost more money to refinish since the contractors will have to spend more time doing them.

Engineered wood, bamboo floors, parquet, and pine floors are in the middle while maple and mahogany are the most expensive woods to refinish.

3. Labor Cost

Indeed, a large chunk of the overall cost of refinishing hardwood floors would be for labor. The cost of labor is usually between $3 and $8 per square foot, but there are so many factors that can affect this.

It would depend on the prep work required for the hardwood floor, the accessibility of the area, the sanding required, and the location of your home.

Most professional flooring contractors would quote the price of labor based on the area that they need to refinish. By looking at your hardwood floor, they can already figure out the amount of time it would take to finish it.

According to most professionals, they can refinish 100 square feet of hardwood flooring in about five hours. If we look at the typical cost of labor per square foot, you would pay $60 to $160 per hour to the contractors. This is only for hardwood floors that are easy to refinish.

4. Room Preparation

This is a very important factor in determining the cost of refinishing your hardwood floors. Remember that not all flooring has the same condition. Some floors would still have good condition and the contractors will only do a few repairs to finish the job.

Floors with a lot of damage like staining, deep scratches, fading, and water damage will require more work and repair. Removing dust and dirt will also be a part of their work. This will also increase the overall cost of refinishing since the contractors will spend more time on the prep work.

Basically, the job can be as simple as using sandpaper on the old finish and applying a polyurethane finish on the top layer. This is the simplest thing that contractors can do, but most homeowners would want something extra for their hardwood floors.

You can apply stain or whitewash after sanding the wooden floors. This would be another cost depending on what you want to do. Staining is a bit cheaper and whitewashing is very expensive.

Topcoats also come in different types of finish – water-based polyurethane or oil-based polyurethane. You can also choose a wax finish for your flooring as it gives a unique gloss to the floor. Once all of these are done, buffing is the last process. If you buff the new flooring, it will look shiny and elegant.

As long as your hardwood floors are still in good condition, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on labor and materials.

Geographic Location of your Home

5. Geographic Location of your Home

Always remember that the price of refinishing your wood floor can change depending on the location of your home. If you are in urban areas with a high cost of living, you can expect the labor and materials to be more expensive.

The cost of hardwood floor refinishing in Ohio can start with a minimum amount of $1,100 and up to $2,300. If you’re in South Carolina, it can go up between $2,250 and $4,300.

Do I Really Need to Refinish my Hardwood Floors?

It’s easy to get intimidated by the price of refinishing your hardwood floors. By looking at the cost above, most people would decide not to refinish their hardwood floors. Well, there are a few reasons why it is better to refinish your floor right now instead of waiting for the damage to worsen over time.

This is not the same as laminate flooring since a refinish job is required for hardwood floors every now and then. There are a few signs that you need to check to determine if your wooden floor is due for a refinishing job.

1. Dents and Scratches

If you noticed any visible dents and scratches in your hardwood floor, it’s time to refinish your floors. A floor sander might be required for this kind of job. A gallon of clear varnish can also be used. You can also opt for dustless refinishing as it is better than the traditional method.

Take note that deeper scratches would have to be repaired properly and you need a professional to do this for you. Professionals can guarantee that the repairs will blend on the floor and you won’t even notice any repairs.

2. Gray or Black Stains

Gray or black stains on your hardwood floors would mean that the protective layers have already worn off. If you clean the floor with water, the wood will start absorbing it and this would cause water damage.

Remember that if the wood is extremely dark or there is an intense sheen on the surface, it means that it has a lot of damage. The best thing to do is to refinish the wooden floor immediately. For the floors with extreme damage, a replacement would be needed since refinishing will not fix the problem.

Cupping and Splintering

3. Cupping and Splintering

Cupping and splintering are both signs that you need to refinish your hardwood floors right away. Cupping happens when the wood starts to cave in in the middle of the planks.

Splintering, on the other hand, is the phenomenon where the floor is too worn out already and there are exposed woods everywhere. The best way to prevent these problems from worsening is to refinish your wooden floors. A polisher can help improve the appearance of the wooden floor.

The installation of new wood flooring will also be required if the damage is too severe.

Final Thoughts

The cost of refinishing your hardwood floors can be very intimidating as it is extremely expensive. It’s a type of maintenance that comes with the beauty of hardwood floors. They are beautiful, but you have to be prepared for the maintenance that you need to do to make sure that they stay pretty.

If you have any thoughts about the cost of a refinishing project, you can comment down below to share your story.

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