woman using computer while on a refinished hardwood floor

How Much Does Hardwood Floor Refinishing Cost?

Breathing new life into hardwood floors involves costs. Homeowners must consider hardwood floor refinishing expenses. Stripping away years of wear to reveal a floor’s former glory includes factors like the cost to refinish wood floors and the price per square foot. Variables such as wood type and work extent can affect the overall cost. Understanding these factors helps set realistic budgets.

Keep reading to learn what goes into the pricing of this popular home improvement task and whether it makes financial sense for your space.

What is hardwood floor refinishing?

Hardwood floor refinishing is a detailed process. It involves sanding the original wood flooring to remove the existing finish, scratches, and stains. This prepares the floor for a fresh protective layer, including waterproofing and staining.

The initial step is using coarse sandpaper to remove old sealant and surface-level imperfections. As the refinishing progresses, finer sandpaper achieves a smooth, ready-to-finish condition. After sanding, the bare hardwood then receives applications of sealant and finish. These treatments waterproof the wood to prevent damage and renew the floor’s shine and lifespan.

How much does refinishing a hardwood floor cost?

The cost of refinishing a hardwood floor can vary widely depending on factors like the floor’s condition and the type of wood. Typically, homeowners can expect to pay between $3 to $8 per square foot for refinishing. For a standard 200 square foot room, this translates to approximately $600 to $1,600.

Often, the overall price reflects the need for detailed work to restore the wood’s integrity and aesthetics. Additional costs may arise if there are plumbing issues that have contributed to water damage. Addressing the underlying water source before refinishing can add $150 to $400 for minor plumbing repairs, and significantly more for extensive work.

Ensuring the floor is dry and free from damage caused by water is essential. Otherwise, the refinishing may not be as effective or long-lasting. Drying out and repairing water-damaged wood can add another $1 to $3 per square foot, depending on the extent of the damage.

Aside from water-related repairs, the selection of finishes and sealants can also impact the cost of refinishing. High-quality finishes and sealants can range from $0.50 to $2 per square foot. Wood floors demand specific treatments that protect them from future water damage and bring out their natural beauty. Professionals guide homeowners in choosing the type of wood flooring for durability and visual appeal, with costs for professional consultation potentially adding another $50 to $100 to the overall project.

contractor working on floor installation

III. Cost to Refinish Floors by Wood Type

The cost of refinishing hardwood floors can change dramatically depending on the wood type. Each kind of wood, from bamboo to pine, has unique qualities that affect how professionals handle refinishing.

A. Bamboo Flooring

Refinishing bamboo flooring involves careful sanding and preservation due to its unique structure. Costs typically range from $4 to $8 per square foot for refinishing. This includes selecting a finish appropriate for bamboo’s durability and foot traffic in the room.

B. Cherry Wood

Cherry wood requires specialized oil-based wood stains and conditioners to enhance its warm undertones and grain. Refinishing costs are higher, averaging between $4 to $10 per square foot. Applying quality wax as a final protective layer adds to the overall cost, ensuring longevity and highlighting the wood’s richness.

C. Engineered Wood

Refinishing engineered wood floors depends on the thickness of the veneer layer. Costs generally range from $3 to $7 per square foot. Choosing a durable sealant and finish is crucial for areas like kitchens and stairs, where wear and tear are common.

Related Post: Hardwood Floor Care Will Keep Your Hardwood Looking Fantastic

D. Mahogany Flooring

Mahogany’s sensitivity to sanding and finishing techniques requires meticulous treatment. Refinishing costs are higher due to the craftsmanship involved, typically ranging from $5 to $12 per square foot. The choice of finish significantly impacts the ambiance, emphasizing mahogany’s elegance and depth.

E. Maple Wood Floors

Maple wood floors require careful sanding to achieve a smooth surface for varnishing. Costs range from $3 to $8 per square foot, with equipment such as adjustable sanders and efficient vacuums essential for maintaining quality. Applying varnish and polish enhances maple’s natural charm and resilience.

F. Oak Wood Floors

Oak wood, resilient to heavy foot traffic, costs between $3 to $7 per square foot to refinish. Considerations for basement waterproofing may increase costs in humid areas. Oak’s tight grain allows for various finishes, balancing durability with aesthetic versatility.

You might like: 5 Things You Need To Know When Buying Hardwood Flooring

G. Pine Flooring

flooring expert sample staining wood

Refinishing pine flooring involves removing old coats of paint and applying a fresh varnish to enhance its color and grain. Costs typically range from $2 to $5 per square foot, making pine a more cost-effective option for refinishing compared to hardwoods.

IV. Other Factors That Affect Hardwood Floor

Refinishing Costs

Hardwood floor refinishing costs are based on something other than the wood type or finish choice. It also factors labor, floor condition, and the extent of repairs needed.

A. Floor Condition

The condition of a hardwood floor before refinishing can greatly affect the final renovation cost. Floors that show excessive wear need intensive repair work to remove debris and restore the intricacies of the wood’s grain. Homeowners looking to renovate should assess and prepare for a higher cost due to poor-conditioned floors.

B. Labor Costs

The labor expense in hardwood floor refinishing can fluctuate based on the tools required. Experienced professionals might offer a warranty on their work for higher service fees. This reassures homeowners looking for long-term value. Homeowners should consult a flooring expert’s FAQ section for the labor costs and all about their refinishing job.

C. Location

Hardwood floor refinishing costs can vary based on location. Concrete subfloors complicate sanding, and bathrooms need careful sealing around fixtures, increasing costs. Using a vacuum that handles fine dust without harming the wood is crucial, affecting tools, methods, and expenses.

Similar Post: How To Avoid Scratches in Hardwood Flooring

damage flooring with white stains and scratches

V. Is Hardwood Floor Refinishing Worth the Cost?

Deciding whether refinishing is worth the cost often comes down to the condition of the flooring and the value of the home. Refinishing can revive the appearance of engineered wood floors with a plywood base and a natural wood veneer. Yet, it may not be as cost-effective if the layer of hardwood is too thin to sand down without risking damage.

newly refinished hard wood flooring

Refinishing can also address issues beyond aesthetics. A thorough refinishing removes the old coats of finish and any absorbed odors, leaving the hardwood fresh and clean. This can be particularly beneficial in homes with smokers or pets where odors can settle deeply into the wood.

Moreover, refinishing hardwood floors can often remedy mold growth penetrating the surface layer. Professionals can remove the top layer where mold may have set in by stripping away old finishes and sanding the wood. This creates a healthier living environment and prevents further mold spores in the home.

VI. Hiring a Professional for Floor Refinishing

Some homeowners might consider hiring a handyman to save some from the cost to refinish wood floors. Professionals know a more durable and aesthetic wood choice and refinishing techniques. Depending on the type of wood, the right expert will know whether to use tung oil for a soft luster or polyurethane for a high gloss.

A professional floor refinished like Murfreesboro Flooring will arrive with the necessary equipment to tackle the job safely. It includes a respirator to avoid inhaling dust and fumes. They’re trained to manage the refinishing process without damaging the wood or tile in the surrounding areas. This makes the investment in their services worthwhile.

Refinishing hardwood floors requires a level of precision that goes beyond the skills of a typical handyman. Professionals understand the different reactions of wood to stains and sealers. They can apply finishes like tung oil with finesse that enhances the wood’s natural beauty and protection.


Refinishing hardwood floors restores beauty and durability. However, the approximate cost to refinish hardwood floors vary significantly based on wood type, floor condition, and regional labor rates. Proper refinishing can enhance the floor’s appearance, waterproof the wood, and extend its lifespan.

Choosing the right finishes and sealants is key to protecting the floor and bringing out its natural charm. Considering all factors influencing cost ensures homeowners make informed decisions to get the best value from their floor refinishing investment.