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Everything You Should Know About Refinishing Your Hardwood Floor

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Hardwood floors are a beautiful and durable addition to any home. They look great and can provide a warm feeling every time you walk across them. Unfortunately, once they get old, they can start to look worn out and dated, which is why they require regular maintenance to keep them looking new. 

Hardwood floors are some of the hardest surfaces (pun intended) to refinish. Depending on the type of wood being refinished, they can take several weeks or even months to complete. If you are unaware of how to remodel your floors, then you probably won’t know where to start. The first step is to understand the refinishing technique and your project plan. To help, here are several things to consider before starting your hardwood floor refinishing project.

What is Hardwood Floor Refinishing?

Refinishing your hardwood floor is a simple way to restore its beauty and extend its lifespan. It is a process where the top layer of the wood is removed and replaced by a new finish. Your hardwood floor can be refinished every seven to ten years. Depending on their thickness, the floorboards can be sanded four to six times during their lifetime.  

The refinishing process starts with a thorough cleaning and inspection of your floorboards. If there is damage, it will need to be repaired before the floor can be refinished. After your hardwood is sanded to clear any scratches, buffing is done to even out the surface. Dust and dirt from sanding will then need to be cleaned, and the surface can then be stained with a colour of your choosing. Finally, a protective coat will be applied to keep the woodwork safe from dents and stains.

When Can Hardwood Floors be Refinished? 

Wooden furniture can be finished anytime throughout the year. Please keep in mind that the temperature inside your home should stay between 18°C and 23°C. If you live in a humid environment, you should choose a time during the year when the relative humidity is at its lowest. Alternatively, summer can be a great time to start this project as people may leave the house for extended periods.

Maintaining a Clean Floor

When considering refinishing your floors, make sure they are not dirty. Dirt and mud that enters your home will get trapped in dents and cracks, causing the surface to appear unclean. 

A way to make your floors look new is by deep cleaning them instead of calling professionals or sanding them. First, thoroughly sweep your floors with a soft bristled broom. You should avoid using stiff bristles as they can potentially cause scratches. Then, wash the area with a microfibre cloth and a hardwood floor care product. Remember, when creating your home care routine, to try to clean your wood floors at least three times a week.  

Consider Colour and Staining

Colour is an important factor when you are considering refinishing your hardwood floors. For example, if you have maple floors, staining them a darker color can be an ideal choice. This is because maple is more susceptible to stains that are darker compared to a lighter shade. Alternatively, the color of cherry floors will deepen as they age. Therefore, an ideal stain would be one that highlights the wood’s natural hues rather than masking them.

Types of Finishes

There are three common floor finishes: polyurethane, penetrating oils and sealers, and waxes. It is important to know your current coating before choosing what you would want, as not all are compatible with each other. 


Polyurethane is a standard plastic material or polymer. This seal will usually come in the form of a liquid. After being applied to a surface, it will create a protective, water-resistant layer. If your floors are coated with this, they may look like they are covered with a plastic film. 

Penetrating Oils and Sealers

These finishes include sealants, such as linseed oil that penetrate deeply into the wood pores. A wax might also be applied to floors that use penetrating oils and sealers. Surfaces that have them will not be compatible with polyurethane and must be stripped or treated with the original finish.


Some hardwood floors are only finished with wax or have wax applied over polyurethane or penetrating sealers. You’ll be able to tell if this is on your surface if you can scrape a waxy residue off. Furthermore, waxed floors will appear hazy when wet. 

Factors that Affect the Cost of Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Costs associated with refinishing your floors can be influenced by several factors: 

Size of the Room

Typically, the more square footage there is in a room, the higher the costs. As a result, professionals take into account the amount of time it will take to complete a room. Furthermore, the accessibility of your space can factor into the cost of the project. 

Floor Condition 

It is important to keep in mind that the better the condition of the hardwood floor, the more affordable the project will be. Labour costs will also be determined by the amount of preparation required for your floors, such as replacing wood and cleaning. Floors in a poor state, such as those with visible water damage or missing floorboards, need more time to prepare and renovate. 

Type of Wood

Depending on the type of wood that needs to be refinished, it may require extra care. For example, you should be careful when sanding pine floors since the material is softer. Depending on the floor’s condition, you might also have to adjust the sanding grit. By comparison, maple is a more robust material, which means that it will take longer to sand and stain.  

Signs that Your Hardwood Floors Need Refinishing

Hardwood flooring is an excellent choice for your home. However, it needs regular care and maintenance to keep it looking great. If you notice any of the following problems, it may be time to call a professional:

  • Water damage
  • Visible scratches, dents, or gouges
  • Fading and discoloration from the sun
  • Impossible-to-remove stains
  • Missing boards
  • Splinters on floorboards 

How Long Will it Take to Refinish Hardwood? 

The amount of time it takes to refinish hardwood will depend on the project. Several factors determine the job length, including the number of hours required to complete the renovation, the size of the room, and the type of wood used.

Benefits of Refinishing

Hardwood floors are an investment and have many benefits associated with restoring them. One is bringing back your hardwood’s natural beauty by letting flooring experts fix dents, scratches, and other forms of damage. New floorboards may impress friends and family that come by your home, or those viewing the property if it is to be sold. Renovating your hardwood can eliminate hazards such as loose or splintered floorboards as well. Finally, you’ll save money on repairs because you won’t have to replace damaged flooring. 

Here at Rome Flooring, we offer a wide range of services when it comes to refinishing hardwood floors, from sanding to repolishing. Our professionals are detail-oriented and ensure your floors are given optimal care. If you like to know more about our services or flooring installations, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to provide you with an estimate.