COST CALCULATOR

How Much Does It Cost To Refinish A Hardwood Floor?

Typical range:Β $1,239-$1,500

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How much does hardwood floor refinishing cost?

For your project in zip code 20149 with these options, the cost to refinish a hardwood floor starts at $4.13-$5.00 per square foot. Your actual price will depend on job size, conditions, finish options you choose.

Hardwood floors are one of the most classically sophisticated flooring options. Not only do they have timeless historical significance in decorating, but they're also a great way to bring a natural look to your home. The intricacies of the wood grains and wide range of finishing options make them as popular today as they were in previous generations.

Unfortunately, over time, hardwood floors can become scuffed, scratched, and damaged. When that happens, there are two main options, replacing the hardwood floors in the home or restoring them to their original splendor with a refinishing process. Help determine which route makes the best choice for your home by getting a thorough view of how the refinishing process works and how much it will cost to restore your hardwood floors or to replace them all together.

Cost Calculator
Calculations are dependent on where you live
Square Feet

Standard ServicesQuantityLowHigh
What you can expect
Range per square foot:$4.13$5.00
Range for this type of project:$1,239$1,500
Estimate: $1,369
Floor Refinishing Cost
320
square feet
$141$163
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Cost of residential-grade, two-component waterborne polymer finish made with urethane and acrylic in gloss or satin. Anti-yellowing compounds ensure long-lasting, natural protection. Rate is inclusive of local delivery, as well as standard excess for perfect coverage and occasional touch-ups.
Floor Refinishing Labor, Basic
15
hours
$951$1,153
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Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete project. Surface will be prepared via debris removal, spot priming, and patching (up to 1 hour and 2 defects per 100 SF). Two-pass machine sanding will remove existing finish layer, and two coats of polyurethane finish will be applied. Fee is inclusive of all aspects of the project, such as thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of installation site, and meticulous cleanup.
Floor Refinishing Job Supplies
320
square feet
$105$119
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Requisite supplies for the job, including manufacturer-recommended underlayment, fasteners, adhesives, and surface sealants.
Floor Refinishing Equipment Allowance
1
job
$42$65
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Daily rental of specialty equipment for maximum quality and efficiency. These include 2+ HP, 1800-RPM drum-style floor sander; and 1 HP, 2800-RPM wood floor edger. Consumable equipment elements not included.
Standard services
Floor Refinishing Cost
$141 -$163
arrow_drop_down
320
square feet
Cost of residential-grade, two-component waterborne polymer finish made with urethane and acrylic in gloss or satin. Anti-yellowing compounds ensure long-lasting, natural protection. Rate is inclusive of local delivery, as well as standard excess for perfect coverage and occasional touch-ups.
Floor Refinishing Labor, Basic
$951 -$1,153
arrow_drop_down
15
hours
Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete project. Surface will be prepared via debris removal, spot priming, and patching (up to 1 hour and 2 defects per 100 SF). Two-pass machine sanding will remove existing finish layer, and two coats of polyurethane finish will be applied. Fee is inclusive of all aspects of the project, such as thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of installation site, and meticulous cleanup.
Floor Refinishing Job Supplies
$105 -$119
arrow_drop_down
320
square feet
Requisite supplies for the job, including manufacturer-recommended underlayment, fasteners, adhesives, and surface sealants.
Floor Refinishing Equipment Allowance
$42 -$65
arrow_drop_down
1
job
Daily rental of specialty equipment for maximum quality and efficiency. These include 2+ HP, 1800-RPM drum-style floor sander; and 1 HP, 2800-RPM wood floor edger. Consumable equipment elements not included.
Optional Services
What you can expect
Range per square foot:
$4 - $5
Range for this type of project:
$1,239 - $1,500
Estimate:
$1,369
Cost Comparison
YOUR ESTIMATE
$1,369

NATIONAL AVERAGE RANGE
$1,219 -$1,475
YOUR ESTIMATE

Refinish a Hardwood Floor: national average cost

The national average materials cost to refinish a hardwood floor is $0.47 per square foot, with a range between $0.43 to $0.50. The total price for labor and materials per square foot is $4.49, coming in between $4.06 to $4.92. A typical 300 square foot project costs $1,347.42, with a range of $1,219.34 to $1,475.50. Your actual price will depend on your location, job size, conditions and finish options you choose.
cost to refinish a hardwood floor
National Avg. Materials Cost per square foot$0.47
National Avg. Cost (labor and materials) for 300 square foot$1,347.42
National Cost Range (labor and materials) for 300 square foot$1,219.34 - $1,475.50

Hardwood floor refinishing process

Because hardwood flooring comes in thick planks of natural wood, they can be sanded down and refinished when they get scratched or damaged over time. In the lifetime of the hardwood flooring, they can even be refinished a couple of times before the integrity of the wood is compromised. Hardwood floor refinishing is a multi-step process that requires specific equipment, so it's always best to leave it to the professionals.

Step 1: Make any repairs

Initially, you'll have to remove any furniture from the room or rooms being refinished. With all of the furniture off the floors, inspect the floors thoroughly for any loose boards or damaged areas. If repairs are needed, they will be the first step in the process.

Step 2: Sand down the floors

Once the floors are repaired and sound, they must be sanded down. This not only removes the existing finish, but it also helps to remove the top layer of wood that has scratches and imperfections from years of use. Sanding the floors will also help create a smooth and even surface for the flooring.

The sanding itself is one of the most intensive steps in the process, often requiring multiple passes with different grits of sand paper. This work is done with an upright sander the professional will walk behind. Near the edges, they'll do the work by hand with a belt sander or edging sander.

Step 3: Clean the floors

After the floors are sanded down, they will need to be thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned to remove any dust particles prior to staining. This is an incredibly important step because any dust left behind will affect the finish of the floor later.

Step 4: Stain the floors

After sanding, you can expect your floors to look like unfinished wood, much like if you had installed new wood. This unfinished wood acts as the blank slate for the stain of your choice. If you want to draw out the natural beauty of the wood without altering the color, you can choose to a clear oil finish on the wood instead. The professional you hire will rub the stain you select into the wood using a staining pad or soft, lint-free cloth.

Step 5: Seal the floors

After the floors are stained to reach the color you desire, a final topcoat of polyurethane is applied with a roller or a brush. This is typically applied in multiple coats to help keep the floors protected for many years to come. When choosing the top coat that is right for your floor, take note of the fact that different finishes are available, ranging from a matte finish to a high-gloss look. If you want maximum shine, a final buffing after the last coat may be needed.

Average cost to refinish hardwood floors

Now that you understand the process of hardwood floor refinishing, it's time to break down the cost to refinish hardwood floors. The total wood floor installation cost is largely dependent on how many square feet of flooring you need to refinish.

Roughly, you can expect to pay somewhere between $3.25 and $5.00 per square foot. That means when it is all said and done, an average-sized home would fall somewhere around $1,024 and $2,400 for hardwood floor refinishing. Keep in mind, that if stairs are part of that refinishing project, you can expect to pay between $40 and $75 per stair tread because they have to be done by hand, making them more labor-intensive.

If you choose to pass on the professionals and take the job on yourself, you can get that price down to about $1.50 per square foot with sander rentals, stain, topcoat, and additional supplies factored in. If you are an experienced handyman it may be a job you want to take on yourself but if you are a beginner, don't underestimate the amount of time and physical labor that goes into the work. Even a professional contractor will take between 4 and 5 hours for every 100 square feet of flooring they refinish.

Fortunately, we offer a convenient calculator that helps you predict the cost of refinishing hardwood floors in your area.

Factors that affect hardwood flooring cost

The total cost of refinishing hardwood floors will vary from one home to another. There are multiple factors that play into the quote you receive.

  • Total Square Footage of Flooring: One of the biggest factors in the total cost of your hardwood floor refinishing is how many square feet of flooring need to be refinished.
  • The Cost of Labor in Your Area: The hourly cost of labor can vary greatly from one city to another. If you feel like your quote could be too high, call around to additional companies and compare the cost of labor from one company to the next.
  • Level of Experience: The more experience a person has, the more they charge per hour. Of course, the benefit to hiring someone with more experience is they will usually provide exceptional results and be equipped to handle any issues they find with the flooring along the way, even if it does slightly increase flooring installation cost.
  • Flooring Prep: If you have existing flooring, such as carpet over your hardwood that needs to be torn out first, it will cost extra. If you want to keep your costs as low as possible, consider putting in the work to prepare the flooring as much as possible before they come in to do the refinishing.
  • Difficulty of Repairs: Most hardwood floors will have repairs of some sort to get them ready for refinishing but if you have an older home, those repairs could be extensive. There may be sections that need torn out and replaced if there was a leak or water damage. Deep gauges may need filled with wood putty. Transitions from one room to another may need to be matched. The type of repairs needed and difficulty of those repairs will play a major factor in the overall cost of refinishing hardwood floors.
  • Amount of Furniture: If you have a lot of heavy furniture the professionals need to move to gain access to the flooring, they will often add on an extra charge. If you are refinishing a single room or have a storage area available, removing the furniture yourself will help to keep the cost low.

Refinishing vs. replacing hardwood floors

Any time you are considering refinishing hardwood floors, you have to weigh the cost to refinish hardwood floors against the hardwood flooring cost and the hardwood floor installation cost. You'll find that refinishing hardwood floors is a fraction of the cost to ripping them out and replacing them all together. If you have a historical home, you'll also find that today's hardwood flooring is not cut to the same width and depth as hardwood flooring from long ago.

Of course, if your hardwood flooring has been refinished to the point that it isn't thick enough for refinishing or if it is in need of extensive repairs, replacing the hardwood flooring completely may make the most sense for the future integrity of the home and the budget.

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