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Is it Cheaper to Sand and Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors make a statement in the house. That is why people see to it that these floors are maintained as it wears through time. There are different ways to make your floors look alive by either refinishing or replacing the hardwood floors. These processes are different and depend on several factors. Both ways require skills and a good workaround budget to make your home as cozy as before. Having hardwood floors not only spice up the design of your home, these also serve a functional purpose. Whether you refinish or replace your old hardwood floors, the cost varies according to the labor, materials and equipment used along the process.

Factors to Consider When Refinishing or Replacing Hardwood Floors

Age and condition of hardwood floors

Replacing or refinishing hardwood floors depends on the age or how long it’s been in place at home. If your hardwood floors have been set for decades already, refinishing will be a tough job. The floors may have been refinished many times already or the cracks in between the planks may be too large. For century old hardwood floors, one of the best options is to replace them with the preferred type of wood.

Budget expenses

When it comes to deciding on what to do with your old hardwood floors, the cost is one of the most important things to consider. If you are sold out on replacing all your hardwood floors at home, it is a must to check on the cost of the new wood floor as well as its installation cost. Aside from that, you need to spend on hauling services to take out the old wood floors you have. Some decide on installing the new wood floors themselves, but this is quite risky because wood floor installation requires special skills and tools.

If you choose to refinish those old hardwood floors, you can actually do it yourself, but will be requiring more time, some skills and refinishing tools and supplies. Refinishing hardwood floors will come out cheaper as compared to completely overhauling your floors at home.


Replacing old hardwood floors can take up less time as compared to refinishing them. Hardwood floor replacement would only need a professional to take out the old floors and install the new ones without taking a couple of days. If you choose to refinish the old hardwood floors, it will require around 4 to 5 days to finish the entire project. It can also be very challenging because it is easier to finish the procedure if no one occupies the house while refinishing. An added cost when it comes to refinishing the floors would be to find a home rental for the family to stay.

Appearance of hardwood floors

The beauty of your hardwood floors depend on your ultimate goal. If you only need to brighten and improve the appearance of your hardwood floors, refinishing them would be great. If you need to change the species of the wood or certain aspect of your wood floors, replacing is the only option. To restore the beauty of your hardwood floors, refinishing is the key. To pull-off an entirely new look, go for wood floor replacement.

Cost of Replacing Hardwood Floors

Cost of Replacing Hardwood Floors

If you are prepared to shell-out more for replacing those hardwood floors, the cost depends on the total area of the project. The average cost of replacing hardwood floors would be around $4,500 to $30,000 for a 1500 square feet place of wood flooring. This mainly depends on the type of hardwood such as exotic ones which are considered the best in the industry. These are cabreuva and tigerwood which can cost over $20 for every square foot.

Middle tier types such as maple may cost from around $8-$15 per square foot and the cheaper ones include cherry, oak or pine cost around $3-$10 for every square foot. Given these costs, you may now check with the total area to install the wood floor of choice. This will also depend on the design and layout of the floors inside the home. Another thing to consider is the appropriate type of wood floor to the temperature changes in your location. There are some varieties which may crack and damage after a couple of years. Thus, it is always best to have professionals to examine your area before purchasing the new wood floors.

Cost of Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Old hardwood floors at home may be a waste to replace and refinishing might just be the key to make them look better. To refinish hardwood floors, prepare to spend around $1,000 – $2500 for the project. This is an average computation if the cost for materials and labor is at $3 – $8 per square foot. Basically, 80% of the expenses come from the labor of refinishing the floors. So if you want to save a lot, you can do it yourself, provided that you have the proper training and equipment for the entire project. Other factors to consider are the size of the floor area, prep work, location of your house, sanding, coating/finishing, and staining process. In some homes, there may also be a need for repairs, cleaning, moving all the furniture or removal of carpets.

Sanding and Refinishing Hardwood Floors is Cost-Effective

If your beautiful hardwood floors are hard to let-go, the most cost-effective solution would be to have them refinished. There is a significant difference in the cost of replacing hardwood floors and refinishing them. Depending on the need and preference, refinishing practically has low costs as it is mainly concentrated on the labor.

Hardwood is better compared to other wooden floors because these are long-lasting, natural and a sign of quality in a house. Through time, these may acquire stains and damages. And having professionals take care of your old hardwood floors is the best thing to do. To bring life back to your hardwood floors, consider having them refinished rather than replacing them. Contact Three Trees Flooring at (416) 665-2624 to learn more about hardwood flooring and find out different ways of preserving their natural and exquisite beauty.

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