How Much Does it Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

How Much Does it Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors

When it comes to maintaining the beauty and longevity of your hardwood floors, refinishing is an essential process that can make a significant difference in their appearance and durability. However, the cost of refinishing hardwood floors can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the type of hardwood, the size of the area to be refinished, and the level of expertise of the professional doing the work.

In this article, we will delve into the costs associated with refinishing hardwood floors, providing you with a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Type of Hardwood

The type of hardwood you have in your home plays a significant role in determining the cost of refinishing. Different types of hardwood have different prices due to factors such as the rarity of the wood, the difficulty of working with it, and the demand for it. Here are some examples of the costs associated with refinishing different types of hardwood:

Type of HardwoodCost per Square Foot
Oak$3.50 – $5.00
Maple$4.00 – $6.00
Walnut$4.50 – $6.50
Exotic Woods$5.00 – $8.00
Engineered Hardwood$3.50 – $5.00

Size of the Area to be Refinished

The larger the area to be refinished, the higher the cost. This is because the process of refinishing requires a significant amount of time, labor, and materials. Here are some examples of the costs associated with refinishing different sizes of hardwood floors:

Size of the AreaCost
Small Room (less than 100 sq. ft.)$350 – $500
Medium Room (100-200 sq. ft.)$700 – $1,200
Large Room (200-400 sq. ft.)$1,400 – $2,400
Entire House$5,000 – $10,000

Level of Expertise

The level of expertise of the professional doing the refinishing work can also impact the cost. A professional with more experience and a higher level of expertise may charge more for their services. Here are some examples of the costs associated with refinishing hardwood floors done by professionals with different levels of expertise:

Level of ExpertiseCost per Square Foot
Beginner$2.50 – $3.50
Intermediate$3.00 – $4.50
Advanced$4.00 – $6.00

Additional Costs

In addition to the cost of refinishing the hardwood floors themselves, there may be additional costs associated with the process. These can include:

  • Materials: The cost of sandpaper, stain, polyurethane, and other materials needed for the refinishing process.
  • Equipment Rental: The cost of renting equipment such as sanders and buffers.
  • Disposal Fees: The cost of disposing of the old finish and any debris generated during the refinishing process.
  • Permits: The cost of obtaining any necessary permits for the refinishing work.

Read more: How to Install Hardwood Floors Like a Pro

The Refinishing Process

Step 1: Preparation

The first step in the refinishing process is to prepare the floor for refinishing. This includes removing any furniture, rugs, and other obstructions from the floor, as well as covering any walls, baseboards, and other areas that you don’t want to refinish.

This step is essential to ensure that the refinishing process is efficient and effective and that the final result is a clean, uniform surface.

Step 2: Sanding

The second step is to sand the floor to remove the old finish and any imperfections in the wood. This is typically done with a drum sander or an orbital sander, which can be rented from a hardware store or home improvement center.

The sanding process can be time-consuming and physically demanding, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to take breaks as needed.

Step 3: Staining

The third step is to apply a stain to the floor to enhance its color and appearance. This can be done with a water-based stain or an oil-based stain, depending on your personal preference and the type of hardwood you have.

The staining process can be tricky, as it requires careful application and attention to detail to ensure an even, consistent finish.

Step 4: Polyurethane

The fourth step is to apply a polyurethane finish to the floor to protect it from scratches and spills. This can be done with a water-based polyurethane or an oil-based polyurethane, depending on your personal preference and the type of hardwood you have.

The polyurethane finish should be applied in thin, even coats to ensure a smooth, durable surface.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

The final step is to apply a second coat of polyurethane and remove any excess material from the floor.

This step is important to ensure that the floor is smooth, even, and free of any imperfections. Once the final coat of polyurethane has dried, the floor can be enjoyed for years to come.


Refinishing hardwood floors is a process that requires careful planning and execution to achieve the best results. By understanding the costs associated with refinishing, you can make an informed decision about whether to do the work yourself or hire a professional.

Additionally, by following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your hardwood floors are refinished to the highest standards of quality and appearance and that they continue to add beauty and value to your home for years to come.

MKE Bathroom Remodeling offers expert hardwood flooring installation and refinishing services in Milwaukee, WI. They provide a wide range of hardwood species, including domestic and exotic varieties, and can help you select the ideal option that complements your interior design. Their team of professionals ensures a seamless and high-quality hardwood flooring project.


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