Gorgeous wood floor by Atlas Wood Floors of Germantown,MD

How much does it cost to refinish a hardwood floor?

Cost will vary considerably depending on the wood floor type, condition,type of finish desired, and other factors.

Regardless if the floor is red oak, pecan, walnut, birch, pine or cherry,  a rich gleaming hardwood floor is hard not to love.

It is the most stunning flooring available, the most durable, healthy and long living, however,  like any natural material it needs periodic maintenance beyond vacuuming and cleaning.

Eventually, scratches and the old finish need to be sanded out and the floors refinished to a like new condition.

Never try to do this yourself. Always hire a seasoned professional at Atlas Wood Floors Inc to sand and refinish your precious hardwood floors. A well cared for hardwood floor can last 160 years. There’s no other flooring, apart from stone, that will serve you this well.


Approximate Costs of refinishing hardwood floors

Contact Atlas Wood Floors Inc for a FREE ESTIMATE


Often the refinisher will need to uncover the hardwood floor first. Hardwood floors are often found under carpet, or several decades of old linoleum  and tile.

Carpet Removal and Disposal : averages about $1.00 per sq.ft.
Removing other flooring varies in cost.
Hardwood in the kitchen often becomes water damaged without the proper sealer/finish and needs to be replaced. This may be only a few boards or several.

Sanding : Many floors simply need to be sanded in preparation for the finish. Sand/stain/finish ranges from 2.50 to 5.00 per sq. ft depending on the specifics of the job  according to the RSMeans Contractor’s Pricing Guide.


Refinishing: Once the floor has been prepped and is clean, sanded  smooth, and ready for the finish the refinisher will stain the wood and apply two or three coats of sealer to protect and add shine.

One of the great things about having a hardwood floor is that even when it eventually wears down and starts to show signs of age, you have the option of refinishing the material to completely revitalize it. This involves sanding down the surface past any finish or blemishes and then re-applying color treatments and seal. The finished product will look like a completely new hardwood floor and can be achieved for a fraction of the price of a new installation.


Average Price To Refinish Hardwood Floors

$2.50 per sq ft – $5.00 per sq ft
Average Price For New Hardwood Flooring Materials
Starts at $8.00 per sq ft and goes up from there.
The price of a refinishing project is determined by the materials, the equipment used, and the size of the job.

Labor Costs

There are four major labor parts of a hardwood refinishing project that need to be accounted for in any estimate.

1. Preparation Work

This involves getting the floor ready to be refinished and will consist of things like repairing damaged areas, cleaning it thoroughly, and then ensuring that the surface is completely dry and free of any particles before proceeding.

2. Sanding

This is where you actually grind the material using a sanding machine, in order to take the hardwood floors surface down below the level where any blemishes or treatments have penetrated.

3. Staining

Once the floor has been sanded down, it will be like brand new, untreated material. At this point, various stain, or color treatments can be applied in order to decorate its surface.

4. Finish

When the surface of the floor is sanded away, it loses any protective coatings which may have been placed in the past. This leaves the floor vulnerable to stains and water penetration. In order to protect it, one or more finishing coats need to be applied, creating an invisible layer of protection over the hardwood.


Factors That Affect The Price Of A Refinishing Project


Size Of The Floor:

Generally, smaller rooms are going to be more expensive to refinish per square foot. This is because the equipment used to sand down a hardwood floor is usually quite large, and it is not easy to get it into or maneuver it through tight areas. Some small bathrooms, powder rooms, and laundry rooms may actually be too small to refinish at all without the help of a specialist with the necessary equipment.



Sometimes you will be able to find companies offering hardwood refinishing services at extremely low prices. Unfortunately, you usually get exactly what you pay for, and bargain basement offers may lead to shoddy work or jobs that take longer than they should. Repairs to these mistakes can end up costing more than the original project.

Moving Furniture:

The room will need to be completely cleared of any furniture or furnishings before starting the project. This is generally not included in the estimate of a project, and if the contractors have to take care of this themselves they may charge a premium for the service.

Another thing to consider is that if space is at a premium, you may end up having to move all of your furniture to one side of the room or house before starting the project. Then you will have to wait for the sanding, staining, and finishing tasks to all are complete and dry. At that point, you will have to move all of the furniture over to the finished side and start over again. This can not only prolong the project but can also inflate the cost.


Refinishing a hardwood floor can be a messy process, and most of the time the contractor will not even offer the option of paying them for cleanup afterward. Because of this, you may need to factor in the cost of a cleaning service when determining the total expense.


If a floor is damaged beyond a certain point, refinishing it won’t be effective. In this case, the floor will need to be repaired before it can be refinished so that the final look ends up being consistent across the entire room.

Removing Carpet and Other Floor Surfaces:

Often there will be a hardwood floor lurking just beneath the surface of other materials such as carpet, cork, or vinyl tile. When these floor coverings start to wear with age, you will have the choice of replacing them or ripping them up, and refinish the hardwood below. If this is the case, make sure that you get an estimate for the removal of old flooring in addition to any other expenses.


Cost Of Refinishing Hardwood Stairs and Rails

Average: $40 – $75 per stair – Generally, a staircase will drive the cost of a refinishing project up by about 50%. This is because they are very small surfaces, that require skilled, time-consuming, detail work in order to get them properly re-finished. One way to save money on a refinishing project is to just repaint the balusters and rails and let them contrast with the look of the newly refinished hardwood.



Trying To Save By Refinishing Your own Hardwood Floors

Refinishing hardwood can be undertaken by someone with some experience handling power tools and performing DIY projects. The machinery used to do the sanding can often be rented from your local hardware store, along with the purchase of sanding pads, for about $300 – $400 in total. You will also have to purchase stains, finish, and any brushes or sprayers that will be required to apply them.

Remember that it will take a professional about 5 hours total to refinish 100 square feet of flooring, so factor in the time commitment when deciding whether to do this project yourself.

If you have little experience refinishing hardwood floors, and a nice finish is important to you, leave it to the professionals at Atlas Wood Floors Inc, because costly mistakes are bound to occur if you don’t know what you’re doing.