Refinished Hardwood Floors Before and After

By Cezar

Hardwood floor refinishing can make a remarkable impact on the look of your home. Many people underestimate how different their homes can be made to feel with just this one improvement. The best way to prove it is to show it, and that’s what this page is designed to do.

Read to see how much of a difference hardwood floor refinishing can make to your home. We’ll share some before and after tips to help you along.

Planning and Preparation for Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors

Before you hire a professional or prepare to do hardwood floor refinishing yourself, take time to figure out exactly what you what. Choosing the right color of stain, for instance, is about more than just how it will look on your floor — it’s about how it will coordinate with the overall design of the entire room.

You’ll also need to plan out time that you can’t easily access the spaces that are being worked on. There will also be the possibility of dusty air (though this can mitigated with the right equipment and care), so that should be planned for. You’ll have to seal up the room you’re working on to prevent the sanding dust from getting into the whole house.

Also, if you have any other rooms that you intend to renovate in the future, think about how working on your current job might affect them. If you’re seeking a whole-house aesthetic, you want to make sure to take the bigger picture into consideration.

Choosing a Stain

This can be one of the most maddening parts of the process because it’s such a critical choice, yet it feels like there’s no way to be certain of how a stain will actually look applied to your hardwood. There are ways to get a good idea, though.

A flooring professional will be able to give you advice, and they will have samples that you can bring into your room to get a good feel for how it will look. There is also some software out there than allows you see digital replications.

Some general considerations to keep in mind when choosing floor stain include:

  • Keep your objectives in mind: If you’re staying in your home for the foreseeable future, stain the hardwood with whatever color you prefer. If you’re selling the home, then opting for a color with generalized appeal might be the best approach.
  • Think about your home as a whole: Consider how this one room will affect the house in its entirety.
  • Coordinate with the room design: Consider how the stain will complement the furniture you have or intend to buy.
  • Remember lighting: Most rooms experience a variety of lighting. When looking at your floor, consider how it will look under all types of light and remember that the lighting that you’re under now won’t always be the lighting it’s under.
  • Know the type of hardwood: Before undertaking floor refinishing, determine what type of wood your floor is made of. Some wood doesn’t do well with stain at all, while other types of wood work best with certain stains.

Once you have decided upon the stain you want to use, you can order the product and get to work (or hire someone else to get to work).

Apply Finish to the Hardwood Floors

Stain and finish are often confused as being the same thing, but they aren’t. Stain colors your hardwood floors while finish protects them. You can finish without stain, but staining without finish makes little sense. The stain is primarily for aesthetics. Finish is for function.

Applying finish is the last step hardwood floor refinishing. You’ll generally need to wait 24 hours to walk on hardwood that’s been finished. Then you’ll wait an addition 48 (for 72 total) to place the furniture back on it. Factor this time into your planning.

How Much Does It Cost to Refinish Hardwood Floors

The cost to refinish hardwood floors is going to depend on your regional cost of living and other local factors, but there are some general guidelines that can give us at least a rough idea of the costs we can expect.

  • The cost for hardwood floor refinishing generally falls into the range of $3 to $6 for each square foot of flooring.

There are some things that you can do to save on the cost to refinish hardwood floors without doing it entirely by yourself. For instance, you can handle the painting and staining of the shoe molding yourself, or perhaps even install it yourself if you have the tools and know how. Little things like that can shave some of the cost off.


You can make a significant difference to the look of your home by refinishing your hardwood floors. If you have the time, desire, tools, and confidence, you can even do the work yourself.

Because the job is so intensive and so important to a home, many people choose to use a professional to do it. It is feasible to do it yourself, however. Either way, your entire house will feel different when the work is done. Few other home projects can have so great an impact.

There is no “one size fits all” solution here! Each wood floor and its condition are unique. We will provide you with the best and most cost-efficient solution for your floors.

Get a Free In-Home Consultation & Estimation from one of our flooring experts

As a general rule, professionally refinished hardwood floors last 5 times longer vs DIY.