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Refinishing hardwood flooring is a popular option for restoring the beauty and luster of old or worn-out hardwood floors. It is a cost-effective way to breathe new life into your home’s interior and enhance its overall appeal. However, the cost to refinish hardwood flooring can vary based on several factors. In this article, we will explore the key factors that influence the cost of refinishing hardwood floors and provide a comprehensive overview of the average expenses involved in this process.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Refinishing Hardwood Flooring

Flooring Condition: The initial condition of the hardwood flooring significantly impacts the cost of refinishing. Floors with minor surface scratches and wear will require less intensive work compared to heavily damaged or warped floors.

Floor Size: The total square footage of the area to be refinished is a crucial factor in determining the overall cost. Larger rooms or homes will naturally incur higher expenses.

Type of Hardwood: Different hardwood species have varying levels of hardness and thickness. Softer or thinner hardwoods may require additional sanding and coating, affecting the overall cost.

Extent of Sanding Needed: The depth of sanding required to remove existing stains, scratches, or finishes can influence the cost. More extensive sanding to reveal fresh wood will require more time and effort.

Stain and Finish Choice: Opting for specific stains or finishes may incur additional costs. refinish hardwood flooring  High-quality stains or finishes might be pricier, but they can add durability and beauty to the floors.

Accessibility: If the hardwood flooring is in hard-to-reach areas or requires moving furniture, the labor costs may increase.

Average Cost Breakdown

The cost to refinish hardwood flooring is typically calculated per square foot. On average, the total cost can range from $3 to $8 per square foot. Here is a breakdown of the average expenses involved in the refinishing process:

Sanding: Sanding is a crucial step in removing the old finish and revealing a fresh wood surface. It can cost around $1.50 to $4 per square foot.

Staining: Applying a new stain to the hardwood floor can add depth and color. Staining typically costs between $0.75 to $2 per square foot.

Finishing: The final coating or finishing layer protects the wood and enhances its appearance. The cost for finishing ranges from $1 to $2 per square foot.

Labor Costs: Labor charges are a significant part of the overall cost. On average, professional labor costs can range from $25 to $45 per hour, depending on the complexity of the job.

Additional Costs: Some additional costs may include floor repairs, cleaning, or moving furniture, which can add to the overall expense.

DIY vs. Professional Refinishing

While some homeowners may consider refinishing hardwood floors as a DIY project to save costs, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons. DIY refinishing requires specialized equipment and skills, and mistakes can lead to costly repairs. Hiring a professional ensures quality workmanship and saves time and effort.


The cost to refinish hardwood flooring depends on various factors, including floor condition, size, hardwood type, sanding depth, staining and finishing choices, accessibility, and labor costs. On average, homeowners can expect to spend around $3 to $8 per square foot for refinishing. Whether opting for a DIY approach or hiring professionals, refinishing hardwood flooring is a worthwhile investment that rejuvenates your living space and adds value to your home.

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