How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Content of the material

  1. Cost for refinishing hardwood flooring Westchester County
  2. Video
  3. Hardwood Floor Restoration
  4. Refinishing Parquet Floor Patterns Can Be Complicated
  5. How Often Should You Refinish Hardwood Floors?
  6. 8 Best Laundry Room Flooring Options ( 3 to Skip)
  7. Our Conclusion
  8. Types of Hardwood Floors
  9. Oak
  10. Cherry Wood
  11. Parquet
  12. Engineered Hardwood
  13. Pine
  14. Maple
  15. Mahogany
  16. Refinishing vs. Replacing Hardwood Floors
  17. There’s Water Damage, or Structural Integrity Has Been Compromised
  18. The Boards Are Too Thin
  19. You’re Upgrading Your Floors
  20. Solid Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring
  21. Hardwood Refinishing Cost per Square Foot
  22. Questions to Ask Before Refinishing Hardwood Floors
  23. Signs That Your Hardwood Floors Need Refinishing
  24. What is hardwood floor refinishing?
  25. How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors?
  26. How often should you refinish hardwood floors?
  27. How many times can you refinish a hardwood floor?
  28. Should hardwood floors feel rough after refinishing?
  29. Can you refinish hardwood floors without sanding?
  30. Can you refinish prefinished floors?
  31. Will hardwood floor refinishing get rid of pet urine stains?
  32. Do you have to remove baseboards to refinish hardwood floors?
  33. Does Lowe’s or Home Depot refinish hardwood floors?
  34. Do you tip floor refinishers?
  35. How to care for newly refinished hardwood floors?
  36. Cost to refinish wood floors by type
  37. Cost to refinish engineered hardwood
  38. Cost to refinish oak or pine floors
  39. Cost to refinish parquet floors
  40. Cost to refinish bamboo floors
  41. Can you refinish Bruce hardwood floors?
  42. Can you refinish Pergo or laminate floors?
  43. A Warning Before You Begin

Cost for refinishing hardwood flooring Westchester County


There are many factors that impact the cost for refinishing hardwood floors, but generally, in Westchester County NY, the price will range from around $2.00-5.00 per square foot, assuming that there is a decent square footage (at least 300 square feet).  Numbers can vary based on whether it’s natural vs a stain, type of polyurethane, # of coats of poly, standard vs. dustless, species of wood (and whether conditioner is needed), type of wood layout (e.g. solid vs. parquet vs. herringbone).

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of page.

I often caution homeowners from trying to guestimate their cost based purely on square footage as they will often underestimate the total cost, as they may not factor in “extras” such as steps, repair, carpet rip up and moving furniture.  It’s generally best to get a real estimate from a professional who can both properly measure your area and advise you on type of poly to use and whether repair or any extras are needed.  Different companies charge different amounts on items – some may charge more for sanding but less for rip up, so it’s important to get the total cost.  I’m always happy to give my customers multiple estimates, even if there are some items that they would like to attempt to do themselves (e.g carpet rip up, move furniture, etc).

I do want to caution that prices can vary based on the square footage, especially when it is low.  Companies will charge you a minimum, simply because they need to make 3 trips to your house regardless of whether you have 3 sq ft to sand or 300 sq ft.  So assume that for most places, you will probably spend between $600 and $750 for small spaces.

Video

Hardwood Floor Restoration

If floor refinishing costs seem too daunting, and your floor only has minor dings or scratches, you may be able to restore them, instead, for much less money. You can begin with a deep cleaning. By simply removing the dust and dirt, you may find your wood floors look as good as new. That’s because dirt does more than make the floor look dingy; it can leave behind scratches on your floor’s surface. Deep cleaning is a fairly simple, straightforward process.

  • Sweep the floors with a soft-bristled brush and vacuum thoroughly.
  • Apply a concentrated cleaner with a microfiber cloth, created specifically for wood floors.
  • For a deeper clean, consider having your floors professionally cleaned.

Refinishing Parquet Floor Patterns Can Be Complicated

Special wood floor designs like herringbone or chevron parquet require some additional care when refinishing, whereas wide-plank wood flooring is a bit more forgiving.

When wood grains are running in different directions, it’s easier to accidentally ruin your floors while sanding. The good news: the cost for a professional refinish won’t increase for most wood floor patterns. But if you were set on a DIY project and your house has parquet flooring… you may be playing with fire.

How Often Should You Refinish Hardwood Floors?

The biggest factor that contributes to how often you should refinish your floors is the frequency of use. The more traffic on the floor, the faster it will start to wear off, and the color will start fading. There isn’t a specific rule about how often you should refinish your hardwood floors, as it also depends on the finish you will use. Some finishes last for three to five years and require reapplying afterward, while others can last for longer.

To know when the floor will need refinishing, keep an eye on a few warning signs. If you notice that the flooring is not as shiny as before, you can start planning for the refinishing. After a few years of using it, the floor will have scratches, dents, and holes from items that may have fallen or things that were moved across the floor surface. One or two scratches are no big deal, but after a while, if the floor starts losing its look because of them, it’s time to refinish it and bring it back to its old shine.

8 Best Laundry Room Flooring Options ( 3 to Skip)

This post may contain references or links to products from one or more partners of our parent company and/or subsidiaries of our parent company. For more information, visit this page. May 5, 2022 Want to give your laundry room an upgrade and looking for the best laundry room flooring? You’re in the right place! Laundry rooms […]

Our Conclusion

Though some homeowners may feel comfortable attempting it themselves, most of the time, refinishing hardwood floors is a job for professionals. It can be expensive, but it will make your valuable hardwood floors shine like new. Plus, you’ll likely only need to refinish your hardwood flooring once per decade to keep it looking its best and lasting its longest.

Types of Hardwood Floors

The type of hardwood floor doesn’t affect the overall cost of floor refinishing; the process, tools, materials, and how long the refinishing takes won’t change due to the wood type. Some hardwoods may need special care when sanding, but the overall process is the same. The cost to refinish hardwood floors ranges from $3 to $8 per square foot.

Oak

The cost to refinish oak flooring is between $3 and $5 per square foot. Oak is also a very common flooring hardwood, and contractors will have experience with refinishing this material. Oak is durable and can withstand a lot of foot traffic, so there’s little to no need for extra care when refinishing this type of flooring.

Cherry Wood

Cherry hardwood floors cost between $3 and $5 per square foot to refinish. They are one of the most common types of hardwood floors, and the process is similar to refinishing oak floors: sanding, cleaning, staining, and sealing. Cherry has a naturally smoother texture than other types of wood, so it refinishes particularly well. Cherry wood flooring has a distinctive color and deepens in color and patina over time, so you may want to choose a stain option that highlights rather than detracts from the wood’s natural qualities.

Parquet

Refinishing parquet flooring also runs from $3 to $5 per square foot. It’s recommended to hire a professional to refinish this style of flooring since the wood grain runs in different directions, and it can damage easily. If your parquet floors have an intense sheen or orange tint that you find dated or unappealing, refinishing is an excellent way to update the floors and make them look more modern.

Engineered Hardwood

Expect to pay around $3 to $5 to refinish engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood consists of a thin layer of real wood on top of plywood. Because of this, it takes a professional to properly sand engineered hardwood since only a thin layer can be sanded off. Any sanding mistakes resulting from a DIY project will ruin the flooring. Engineered hardwood may only be able to be refinished one to three times before the veneer becomes too thin.

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Pine

The cost to refinish pine flooring ranges from $4 to $7 per square foot. Since pine is a softer wood that dents and scratches more easily, the contractor needs to be careful with the sanding process and vary the grit depending on the condition of the floor, which means a slightly higher price. Pine also absorbs stain differently than other types of wood, so be careful when choosing a stain color and steer away from dark stains.

Maple

Maple floor refinishing costs can average between $6 and $8 per square foot. Since maple is a durable, higher-end material, it takes more effort to sand and more time for the stain to sink into the wood. Staining maple a darker color makes it more susceptible to visible stains as compared to a lighter color.

Mahogany

Expect to pay between $6 and $8 per square foot to refinish mahogany floors. Mahogany flooring needs more time for sanding to avoid damage to the darker wood color. It’s recommended to hire a professional to refinish mahogany flooring so it won’t be damaged. Mahogany flooring gets darker over time as it’s exposed to sunlight, so it may be more difficult to change the color of older mahogany flooring.

Refinishing vs. Replacing Hardwood Floors

Refinishing hardwood floors is more cost-effective than replacing them. On average, it costs about $2,000 to $7,000 to replace hardwood flooring (two to three times more than to refinish). It’s a more sustainable and environmentally friendly choice to refinish and take care of the hardwood floors you already have instead of replacing them. If the flooring cannot be refinished, then there’s no choice but to replace it. Here are some reasons replacement would be needed.

There’s Water Damage, or Structural Integrity Has Been Compromised

Extreme water damage due to flooding or burst pipes will compromise the structural integrity of the hardwood floor and the subflooring underneath. Or if your home has been the victim of a termite infestation, the flooring may be unstable or too damaged to be refinished. If the flooring is unsafe, repairs and replacement will be needed.

The Boards Are Too Thin

Older hardwood floors may have been previously sanded and refinished, or newer engineered hardwood floors may not have enough veneer left. There are only so many times a floor can be refinished before the boards are too thin. If this is the case, replacement is the only option.

You’re Upgrading Your Floors

Refinishing is mainly a cosmetic upgrade. If you’re looking to upgrade less expensive wood floors to something with more durability and better resale value, replacement is the way to go. Replacing the floors also provides the opportunity to add a new subflooring or fix constantly squeaking floorboards.

Solid Hardwood vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring comes in two varieties: solid hardwood, which consists of the same wood from top to bottom, and engineered hardwood, a laminated product in which a relatively thin layer of solid hardwood is bonded over a layer of less expensive sheet material, usually plywood or some form of particleboard.

Engineered hardwood can still be sanded, but you’ll need to take care not to grind down through the surface layer into the core. Generally, you’ll be able to refinish engineered hardwood only once or twice before the core layers are exposed. By contrast, you can refinish most solid hardwood floors several times over the course of their life. However, eventually, even solid hardwood is going to wear down to the point where it’s too thin to be sanded again safely.

Hardwood Refinishing Cost per Square Foot

The average cost homeowners typically pay to refinish hardwood flooring is between $3 and $8 per sq.ft. This cost includes both the materials and labor needed to complete the project. Around 80% of the cost is attributed to labor. The exact cost depends on the time needed to complete the refinishing process and the size of the surface that requires refinishing.

Square FootageAverage Cost100 sq.ft.$300 - $800150

Square FootageAverage Cost
100 sq.ft.$300 – $800
150 sq.ft.$450 – $1,200
200 sq.ft.$600 – $1,600
300 sq.ft.$900 – $2,400
375 sq.ft.$1,125 – $3,000

Compare quotes from hardwood floor refinishing companies near me

Questions to Ask Before Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Are There Parts of My Floor That Are Too Damaged to Refinish?

If refinishing won’t fix certain parts of your floor, you’ll want to know that up front. Ask your contractor to point out the spots that are concerning.

How Extensive Are My Necessary Repairs?

Different problems, such as scratches or holes, co

Different problems, such as scratches or holes, cost different amounts to repair. Have your contractor create an itemized list of all your repairs so that you can understand the total cost of fixes before refinishing.

What Kind of Stain Is Best for My Floors?

Before launching into any big home improvement project, you need to know what options best suit your specific house and style. Which works better for your home: An oil-based poly with a satin finish? An espresso-colored stain? A natural look and feel?

Do some research of your own, but also talk to a refinishing expert to understand all of your choices.

How Long Will the Refinishing Project Take?

This answer will depend on the weather conditions in your area, the number of coats needed, and whether or not color will be added. Typically, each refinishing coat takes at least a few hours, if not a day or two.

Is This Contractor Bonded and Insured?

It doesn’t matter how low the cost of refinishing hardwood floors is if the contractor doesn’t have the right certifications. When a contractor is “bonded,” you’re financially protected if the job is done poorly or left unfinished. Their insurance covers any liability claims that may arise when they’re working in your home.

What Is the Required Deposit Upfront?

Although a hardwood floor refinishing cost estimate is helpful, it’s not effective if it doesn’t include fees like a required deposit. Ask for those before committing to a contractor.

What Are the Total Cost of Furniture, Old Flooring, and Debris Removal?

The costs of furniture removal and cleanup are a big part of your entire refinishing price. Ensure you have these fees listed out before you agree to start any refinishing project.

Signs That Your Hardwood Floors Need Refinishing

When properly protected, hardwood floors only need refinishing every seven to 10 years.  You’ll strip off a thin layer of wood each time you refinish, so you shouldn’t do it too often. Consider refinishing your hardwood floors if you notice the following signs: 

  • You can see multiple dents, scratches, or gouges.
  • Water soaks into the wood, turning it gray or black.
  • The stain is fading, particularly in areas exposed to sunlight.
  • The finish looks dull in high-traffic areas.
  • The boards are warping or separating.

What is hardwood floor refinishing?

Hardwood floor refinishing involves sanding the surface layer to remove the old finish and any scratches, dings, or minor discoloration. After sanding, contractors may add a stain to change the wood color, then apply a clear finish to seal and protect the floor.

How long does it take to refinish hardwood floors?

Hardwood floor refinishing takes 2 to 6 days, depending on the home’s size, layout, finish type, and stain selected. Most contractors sand and refinish 400 to 1,000 square feet per day, not including drying and curing time for the finish.

After the refinishing process:

  • Wait 24 hours before walking on the floor in socks. Don’t walk on the floor with bare feet or shoes for at least 7 days.
  • Wait 4 to 5 days before moving furniture into the room.
  • Wait 3 to 4 weeks before placing area rugs on the floor.

How often should you refinish hardwood floors?

Hardwood floors should be refinished every 7 to 10 years, depending on thickness, species, and age. Finishing is recommended when hardwood floors have scratches, dings, scuffs, stains, discoloration, fading, or other damage.

How many times can you refinish a hardwood floor?

Solid hardwood floors may be refinished 4 to 10 times, depending on thickness and age. Homes built before the 1920s often have thinner wood flooring. Screening and recoating is a better option for floors that are too thin to sand.

Should hardwood floors feel rough after refinishing?

Hardwood floors should not feel rough after refinishing if the contractor sanded the floor with three passes using the proper sandpaper grits, buffed the floor smooth, and added at least two coats of finish.

Can you refinish hardwood floors without sanding?

You cannot properly refinish hardwood floors without sanding. Sanding removes the old finish, scratches, dings, and discoloration. For floors with a dull sheen and only minor scuffing, consider screening and recoating instead.

Can you refinish prefinished floors?

Prefinished floors are solid hardwood and can be sanded and refinished like other hardwood floorings.

Will hardwood floor refinishing get rid of pet urine stains?

Refinishing will not get rid of pet urine stains or odors because the ammonia penetrates the wood too deeply, and sanding removes less than 2mm of wood from the surface. Urine-stained planks must be removed and replaced, or homeowners may select a dark wood stain to cover the pet stains.

Do you have to remove baseboards to refinish hardwood floors?

Removing the baseboards to refinish hardwood floors is optional but protects the trim from being nicked by the sanding equipment. When leaving baseboards or shoe moldings in place, cover them with a layer of tape-backed foam to avoid scuffing the trim.

Does Lowe’s or Home Depot refinish hardwood floors?

Home Depot offers N-Hance hardwood floor resurfacing, which uses a screening and recoating technique instead of sanding, followed by a UV-light treatment to cure the finish quickly. N-Hance works best for floors with minimal scratches or dings.

Lowe’s does not offer hardwood floor refinishing services but rents floor sanders for DIY refinishing.

Do you tip floor refinishers?

Tipping floor refinishers is optional but they always appreciate the gesture. Standard tipping rates for floor refinishers are $10 to $30 per person if their work quality exceeds your expectations. Workers also appreciate being offered access to a bathroom in the home throughout the day.

How to care for newly refinished hardwood floors?

Follow these steps to protect hardwood floors after refinishing:

  • Add felt tabs or pads to the bottom of furniture legs to prevent scratches and scuffing. Change the tabs on chairs and stools every 2 to 3 months.
  • Avoid sliding heavy appliances across the floors.
  • Vacuum or use a dry dust mop regularly to prevent surface grit from scratching the finish.
  • Wipe spills immediately after they occur.
  • Encourage family members not to wear shoes in the home.
  • Avoid cleaning products containing vinegar or ammonia, which dull the finish.

Still have questions? Ask a refinishing pro. View Pros

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Cost to refinish wood floors by type

Refinishing wood floors costs $1,200 to $2,400 for the average home, regardless of wood type. Hardwoods such as pine, bamboo, and parquet require special care while sanding or staining, but the total cost is the same to refinish.

Cost to refinish engineered hardwood

Refinishing engineered hardwood floors costs $2 to $6 per square foot on average. Engineered flooring features a base layer with a solid hardwood wear layer on top. Engineered floors may be sanded and refinished 1 to 5 times, depending on the wear layer’s thickness.

Refinishing engineered hardwood floors
Wear layer thickness Can you refinish? How many times?
Less than 2 mm thick No
2 mm thick Yes 1
3 mm to 4 mm thick Yes 2 – 3
5 mm to 6 mm thick Yes 3 – 5
Acrylic impregnated No
  • Wear layers less than 2 mm thick should not be sanded.
  • Engineered hardwood with acrylic impregnated wear layers cannot be sanded and refinished but may be screened and recoated instead.

Compare quotes to restore your hardwood floors. View Pros

Cost to refinish oak or pine floors

Refinishing oak, cherry, or pine floors costs $1.50 to $5.00 per square foot without staining or $2 to $7 per square foot with staining. Oak is the most common hardwood for flooring. Pine is softer than oak and requires extra care when sanding to prevent grooves or chatter marks in the wood.

Cost to refinish parquet floors

Refinishing parquet floors costs $2 to $6 per square foot, depending on the type of refinishing and if any repairs are needed. Sanding parquet floors requires special care from a professional because the wood grain runs in several directions.

Cost to refinish bamboo floors

Refinishing bamboo floors cost $2 to $6 per square foot, which is cheaper than the cost to install new bamboo flooring at $5 to $10 per square foot. Solid and engineered bamboo floors may be sanded and refinished if the veneer layer is at least 2 mm thick.

Bamboo flooring should be sanded at an angle to the grain on the first pass to reduce the chance of raising splinters.

Can you refinish Bruce hardwood floors?

Bruce hardwood floors may be professionally sanded and refinished 1 to 3 times, depending on the type and thickness. DIY sanding voids the warranty.

Can you refinish Pergo or laminate floors?

Pergo and laminate floors cannot be sanded, refinished, or screened and recoated like solid hardwood. Laminate floors feature a top layer of veneer that is too thin for sanding.

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A Warning Before You Begin

Refinishing a hardwood floor is a very messy and chaotic endeavor. It involves sending sawdust flying indiscriminately into the air, and this dust can cause allergies or asthmatic reactions in people who are sensitive to it. Wear breathing protection, such as a particle mask, when sanding and cleaning up the dust.

Sanding is followed by the application of stains and finishes, which can smell terrible and be toxic to the interior air quality of the space for short periods of time. During application of finishes, wear whatever breathing protection is recommended by the manufacturer, and provide as much ventilation as you can.

With extensive projects, people sometimes opt to leave for a few days while the dust settles and the fumes clear.

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