How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

How to Refinish Hardwood Floors
How to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floor refinishing is an excellent option for homeowners and business owners who want to revitalize and restore hardwood flooring without the high cost of a whole-floor replacement. Hardwood is durable, hard-wearing and exceptionally receptive to proper refinishing, so when done right, you can save thousands on a professional-looking floor refresh. If you still have a warranty on your hardwood floors, it's essential that you check it before refinishing. In some cases, refinishing hardwood floors can void or compromise the manufacturer's warranty.
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Before you begin refinishing, you always want to make sure your floors are solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood flooring is built in layers and will usually need to be refinished by a professional. Once you've determined that your floors are indeed real hardwood, you can test them to see if refinishing is the right option for you by dropping a bit of water on the surface of the floors. If it absorbs quickly, it's time to refinish. If the water drops bead or take several minutes to soak into the surface, you may only need to polish and clean the floors.

If you've determined that refinishing is the best option or you, it's time to prepare the room. You'll need to get rid of all furniture, rugs and wall hangings to ensure that nothing is damaged in the refinishing process. You'll also need to take off any doors and shoe molding so that you can completely sand and stain the hardwood floors. Lastly, cover air vents, windows, lights, radiators and other permanent architectural elements with plastic to protect them from sanding dust.


You can rent or purchase the proper sander - we recommend a random orbital sander - at your local hardware store. Choose course-grit sandpaper and work along the grain in the center of the room. Slightly overlap the first pass by a couple of inches. Finish by using the same grit sandpaper with a hand sander to cover the edges of the room. Lastly, you should sand corners and get beneath permanent elements using a detail sander. Vacuum and then fill in deep scratches or gauges using a wood filler, such as Dr. Schutz X-Tra Fill Wood Filler. You want to repeat this process using a medium-grit sandpaper for a second pass and a fine-grit sandpaper for the third pass. After you've finished sanding, thoroughly vacuum and mop the floor using a damp microfiber mop.

Staining Hardwood Floors

Now you're ready to apply the stain according to the manufacturer's instructions. We always recommend testing your stain in a small, inconspicuous area and letting it dry completely to ensure that you're happy with the color and quality of the stain. Typically, you will need to apply stain using dry rags or brushes and then apply by wiping away the excess. After you've applied the appropriate number of finish coats and let dry, you'll want to do perform a deep-clean using the hardwood floor cleaner of your choice. You can use a cleaner specific to your flooring manufacturer or trust an industry leader, such as Bona, for a thorough post-refinish clean. If you want personalized advice on which products to choose for floor refinishing, contact us today at 1-877-356-6748.