You love your hardwood floors. However, as they’ve aged, they’ve become worn out, dull, and even scratched in areas. That’s where hardwood floor refinishing comes in. It can bring your floors back to life and even create a more durable finish in the process.

Wondering what the process entails before you embark on the journey? Here’s what you need to know:

Engineered Hardwood is Different from Solid Hardwood 

If you have engineered hardwood floors, they can only be refinished a few times over the course of their life. This is simply because of the way the product is built. The top layer is hardwood. It’s bonded to a layer of less expensive material underneath, usually particleboard or plywood. Since it’s not solid hardwood and is built in layers, you can only finish it one or two times. 

However, with solid hardwood, you can refinish it 10-12 times over the course of its life. So if you have engineered wood that has already been refinished, call in an expert to take a look at your floors and offer a recommendation. 

You can Either Buff or Refinish Your Hardwood Floors 

If your hardwood floors are looking a little dull and you want to restore their sheen and luster, you might only need to buff them instead of fully refinishing them. This is when the topcoat is buffed through a process known as screening. A water-based or polyurethane finish is then applied. When you have minor wear-and-tear and want to renew the beauty of your floors, buffing can be a good, cost-friendly option. 

However, if your hardwood floors have some damage or discoloration in areas, you’ll want them fully sanded and refinished. This will make them look like new. You can also change the color of the floor with a new stain if you prefer. 

Refinishing can be Messy  

It’s no surprise that refinishing your hardwood floors will be a messy project. However, it will follow a straightforward process. If you use a professional contractor, this should minimize your mess and downtime. Do make sure that cleaning is part of the cost estimate they give you.

The hardwood floor refinishing process typically includes three steps:

  1. Prepping: This involves getting the floors ready by cleaning them, repairing damaged areas, and ensuring the surface is free from dust. This step is key to a beautiful finish. If there are any broken or missing boards, then these will need to be replaced as well. In addition, the baseboard will be removed at this point so the sanding equipment can reach right up to the wall. 
  1. Sanding: This is the process of grinding the wood ever so slightly so that scratches, nicks, discoloration, and other imperfections disappear. Typically, contractors will use a power sander. Edges will be handled using an edging sander or a belt sander. Once the process of sanding is complete, the floor is cleaned again to get rid of any dust left behind.
  1. Staining & Topcoat: Once you select your new stain color, your hardwood floors can be refinished. Afterward, a final topcoat is applied to make your floors as durable and well-protected as possible. The final coat might need to be buffed to ensure the sheen and smoothness are optimal. 

Be Careful if You’re Handling Hardwood Floor Refinishing on Your Own

Saving money is tempting for many homeowners, which is why they try to refinish their own hardwood floors. Unless you know what you’re doing, this could lead to mistakes and even damage that can’t be repaired. 

For instance, when you’re sanding the floors with the drum sander, if you remain in a spot for an instant too long, you can create a divot that’s there for the lifetime of the wood floors. Some other common mistakes include:

  • Not taking enough of the finish off before staining.
  • Not sanding at all to save money.
  • Not using the product correctly, leaving streaks and uneven finish.
  • Not sanding consistently, leaving an uneven pattern behind. 

You Can Get a Price Quote for Hardwood Floor Refinishing for Free

The average cost to refinish wood floors nationally ranges from $1,000 to $2,500. This breaks down to anywhere from $3 to $8 per square foot. The cost for your specific floors, however,  will depend on many factors, including the size of your space, the condition of the floors, the complexity of the work being performed, the availability of materials, and the cost of labor in your particular area.

Another factor to consider is if you’re having a company refinish one room or your whole home. You’ll typically get a price break in terms of the cost per square foot if you’re refinishing your entire home or multiple rooms.  

Moving the furniture can be another cost to consider. If you can’t handle this process on your own, you’ll either need to hire a moving company or ask the contractor to do it. They will typically charge a premium for this service.

Similarly, if you have hardwood floors under carpets, you’ll have to factor in the cost of carpet removal. Again, you can save here by removing the carpet yourself. Otherwise, the contractor will charge extra to remove it.

If you are interested in hiring a professional, rather than doing it on your own, make sure you do some research first. Get a full-price quote that details what’s included – such as cleanup, moving furniture, and/or removing carpeting – and the turnaround time for the project. Also, get references and ask to see before-and-after pictures to confirm their experience. 

Put N-Hance on At the Top of Your List

With N-Hance®, we can refinish your floors beautifully with minimal downtime. Thanks to our Lightspeed® UV technology, we can cure your floors instantly. 

Best of all, we offer our services at a cost you can afford. If your hardwood is severely damaged, we even offer hardwood restoration services. We are your single source for many hardwood floor refinishing solutions. 

If you’d like to find out more about how we can handle your hardwood refinishing project, call your local N-Hance at (855) 642-6230 today to set up a FREE consultation.