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What is the Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

The cost to refinish hardwood floors is far less expensive than installing new flooring. Hardwood floors are known to last longer due to their long-term durability. With an older house that uses hardwood flooring, you can still see its beauty and feel the high quality of its old flooring. However, even with extreme durability, hardwood is still known to be affected by eventual wear and tear as time passes.

As the floor ages, some damage may occur to your floor and you start to find solutions to restore it back to its original beauty. Given the chance, you may even choose to change the colour of your flooring by adding some stains as you wish. You actually have options to fix this debacle. Rather than spending to remove the flooring and install a new one, you can choose to just refinish your hardwood flooring as long as it is doable.

How Much Will It Cost To Refinish Hardwood Floors?

If you wish to have your flooring refinished, you can directly contact us so that we can gather all the information needed for the work to be done so we can give you a proper quotation. There are multiple factors that need to be factored in to compute the total cost of a refinishing project.

Expert personnel would need to first evaluate the work area that needs refinishing, and the number of repairs needed to be done, before coming up with an exact quotation. However, to get a rough idea of the estimates for refinishing, we can consider the average costs in the current market.  As an example, let us assume the following variables:

  • Area to be refinished: 1 Room
  • The severity of the damage: Basic flooring damages without floor panel replacement

For this scenario, it’s easy to compute the total cost to refinish the flooring of 1 room. With an area of 200 square feet, you just have to multiply the average labour cost per square foot. of CAD 3.85 to the total area to be covered.

The estimated cost for the project amounts to CAD 770. However, if work becomes more complex upon evaluation, the average labour per square foot would also increase. As the work becomes more complex, the refinishing team may need to use more tools and refinishing may take more time, especially in areas like your stairs wherein it takes more detailed and precise work.

area to be refinished

What Determines The Cost of Refinishing Hardwood

The cost of refinishing hardwood floors will depend on the following:


Costs for refinishing hardwood floors depend on staining, ranging from $1.50 to $3.00 per square foot. Therefore, stain quality, as well as labour costs in the house location, may have a significant impact on final costs.

House Dimensions

Hardwood floor refinishing costs get more expensive with an increase in the installation. Hardwood floor refinishing typically costs between $3 and $8 per square foot, with an additional $2 to $4 per square foot for dustless refinishing.


The cost of refinishing hardwood floors will rise if you need more labour hours. Average labour prices range from $3.50 to $8.00 per square foot. Several factors determine the cost of labour. These include the sanding level required, floor condition, and the homeowner’s location and accessibility. The location issue is why homeowners should enlist floor refinishing services close to them.


The cost of refinishing hardwood floors depends on how many materials you need. You’ll need a drum sander, sanding belt, floor prep and repair tools, vacuums, plastic sheeting, stain, and topcoat for refinishing hardwood floors. Depending on the area size you’re refinishing, the stain and finish coat you’ll need will increase.

Therefore, homeowners should expect to pay between $50 and $80 per day, or $100 and $200 per week, to rent a drum sander. Cleaning and painting equipment will cost around $275. Varnishes and stains can cost up to $360 per gallon.

These expenses will influence the overall project cost estimate when hiring a professional to refinish hardwood floors.

Cleaning And Setting Up The Room

Costs for hardwood floor refinishing also depend on initial preparation expenses. Before refinishing, you’ll need to repair hardwood floors and have new wood planks installed if necessary. Alongside, you’ll need to clean the space before refinishing can start.

The cost depends on the amount of prep work which will vary depending on how worn the hardwood floors are. Floors with severe damage, including deep scratches and gouges, stains, fading, or water damage, will require additional prep work and restoration. And these factors will likely spike materials and labour costs.


Hardwood floor sanding may cost anything from $0.50 to $3 per square foot. Belt sanders are used around the edges, while massive drum sanders are used in the centre. And it takes multiple sanding passes to get a flawless finish on hardwood floors.

Implementing a Covering or Ending

The cost of refinishing hardwood floors also depends on the outermost top layer. The last stage in finishing hardwood floors is applying a topcoat after they’ve been stripped, sanded, and stained.

Polyurethane is sprayed or brushed on in even coatings. Prices range from $20 to $40 per gallon for oil-based coatings. On the other hand, the price per gallon for water-based paint is $25 to $50.

What is Hardwood Floor Refinishing?

As time passes by, you should regularly check the status of your hardwood flooring. There are times when you can apply quick fixes to your flooring especially when there are minimal marks that can be fixed with deep cleaning. For those problems that cannot be fixed with deep cleaning, depending on the severity of the damages, your flooring may still be saved through the process of refinishing.

Refinishing involves sanding your flooring as needed. If there has been cosmetic damage to the flooring, it needs to be repaired first before the application of new layers of coating and staining to the flooring. This process usually takes a lot of time and we recommend having professionals do this for you.

what is hardwood floor refinishing

Process of Refinishing Your Hardwood Flooring

Prior to implementing the refinishing process, your flooring needs to be evaluated first. For severe cases of damage to the flooring, these are cases wherein refinishing is not an option anymore. Below is a list of issues that will invalidate refinishing as an option for your flooring:

  • When the flooring has incurred severe damages that include chipping, the formation of unpleasant-looking stains, or termite ingestion of the wooden planks, it is not advisable to have your floor refinished. It would not be cost-efficient to both spend money and time trying to revive your flooring in these cases. Outright replacement of the damaged planks would be the better option.
  • If there are structural damages that have occurred under the wooden planks, which have also caused damage to the planks themselves, this will force you to remove the planks on top of the affected area and a replacement may be the only option for you.
  • When gaps between the wooden planks appear that cause the flooring to wiggle and move around, refinishing will not be a practical option anymore. Trying to refinish your flooring would just only make it worse and can cause a mess.
  • Since it is possible to refinish your flooring multiple times over a span of how many years, after doing the process repeatedly throughout the years, there will come a time wherein sanding the wooden planks would eventually reach the point of revealing the nails and grooves. By this time, the current hardwood floor planks have reached their limit and your only option is a replacement.

For issues that can still be fixed without replacement, to save money, you can opt to have your flooring refinished. The process will take some time to finish and having professionals do this for you, is still going to be the smartest choice. There are two types of refinishing, based on the level of damage on your flooring. The first type is simply buffing. This can be done when the scratches and signs of wear and tear have only affected the surface finish of your flooring. This also means that there are no damages inside the wooden planks.

The process in itself is simple as you will use a buffing tool instead of a sanding tool. The point of this process is to fully restore the topcoat of your flooring. However, if the damage has reached beneath the surface of you the wooden planks, then you would need to undergo a different process. This involves the basic steps in refinishing which involve sanding, patching, staining, and application of the top coating.

A drum sander and sandpaper with progressive grits will be used to sand any coatings until you reach the level wherein it is all bare wood. The next step is to fill any cracks with wood filler that matches the colour of your choice. Then you can add the stain and let it dry out thoroughly. The last step involves adding the layers of coating that you would prefer.

Advantages of Hardwood Refinishing

Though it has been said that a refinishing process will take some time to finish, you also need to see the value of saving your current hardwood flooring. Refinishing your flooring has its advantages which are listed as follows:

Less Expensive Than Replacing an Entire Floor

Refinishing costs less than replacing your flooring with new hardwood planks. Replacement of hardwood flooring is said to cost at least 5 times as compared to going through the tedious process of refinishing.

Hardwood Floor Life Will Be Extended

With the durability and longevity of hardwood flooring, hardwood planks can handle multiple refinishing efforts. As long as the damages incurred are not considered severe enough for replacement, you can have your flooring refinished. In addition, the life of your hardwood flooring will extend a few more years after it has been refinished. As long as the process was done properly, your flooring may not be refinished again for more than 5-10 years.

Good As New

When your floor is refinished, it will look like it is almost new again. All the gritty surfaces and scratches that have formed over time will completely disappear bringing back the beauty of your hardwood flooring.

Prevention of Decay Formation

As your wooden floor ages, refinishing it will keep unwanted pests from living in your flooring. Refinishing can prevent the formation of decay or craters that termites and other insects might infest. This helps keep your house safe from these critters.

prevention of decay formation

The Cost of Refinishing Hardwood Flooring is Worth It

Why replace wood flooring when it can still be saved at a cheaper price? This should be your mindset when it comes to the maintenance of your house. Even the most durable thing will eventually get affected by wear and tear. When it comes to your hardwood floor, you should make sure to keep it well maintained because it will be there to continue serving you for so many years. When you see some signs of damage, you can nip the problem at its bud before it becomes a greater problem and costlier.

By refinishing wood flooring, you will be able to restore its durability and prolong its life. Even though you have the option to refinish your flooring by yourself, you must remember that having a professional who is an expert in this line of work can carry out the task faster and with better results. These professionals have accumulated so much knowledge that they know every bit of the process and they are experts in using the tools needed in refinishing hardwood floors.

By opting to hire professionals to do the job, there will be fewer chances of having back jobs since they know the possible errors and problems that may come up which they need to avoid.

In addition, refinishing is a messy job. During sanding, the area will be full of dust. So why risk yourself breathing in dust particles and getting sick instead of having professionals do it?

For us to help you save money and revive your beautiful hardwood flooring, do not hesitate to contact us so our experts can get in touch with you at the soonest possible time.

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