What is the cost to refinish hardwood floors?

Hardwood floors offer an air of sophistication to any living area and can be seamlessly integrated into any home style. However, after time, everything loses its initial sheen and luster, including hardwood floors. Due to continuous traffic, hardwood floors begin to develop scratches and dings. However, the advantage of hardwood floors is that they can be refinished. Following refinishing, the hardwood begins to look fresh and polished. So how much does it actually cost to refinish hardwood floors? 

According to HomeAdvisor, the average per foot cost to refinish a hardwood floor is between $3-$8. The national average cost to refinish hardwood floors is $1757. However, it ranges from $1074 to $2485 for different states. 

The cost to refinish hardwood floors actually changes due to a variety of factors like labor costs, material, and type of wood flooring. So let’s get to ascertain the true costs of hardwood floor refinishing in detail!

How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors?

When you get your hardwood floor refinished, it involves various processes, and all these processes have different costs. Sometimes, we only want to have basic hardwood refinishing, so its cost is altogether different from high-end refinishing. 

The average, minimum and maximum cost to refinish hardwood floors:

National Average Cost$1757
Minimum Cost of Refinishing$300
Maximum Cost of Refinishing$8000
Average Range$1074 to $2485

Cost breakdown for various factors:

1) Area of Room or Home

The project’s cost will rise in direct proportion to the size of floor space. Generally, the cost per foot will be $3 to $5. For 15*15 rooms, the cost will be between $675 to $1125. 

2) Location

It is possible for the cost of refinishing hardwood floors to vary based on where you live. The whole cost of living, including labor, will be much greater if you reside in a city with a high cost of living.

3) Labor Cost

Typically, labor expenses range between $2 and $5 per square foot. The cost of labor is determined by the amount of prep work required, the accessibility of the region, the amount of sanding required, and the geographic location of your property.

4) Cost of Material

Drum sanders, sanding belts, vacuums, plastic sheeting, stains, and topcoats are all necessities for refinishing hardwood floors. Their cost can range between $600-$1000. 

5) Preparation Cost

Hardwood floor restoration preparation includes repairs, new wood board installation, and thorough cleaning. Floors with substantial damage such as deep scratches and gouges, stains, fading, or water damage will need additional prep work and restoration, which will raise material and labor prices.

6) Sanding

Sanding hardwood floors costs between $.50 and $3 per square foot on average. The majority of the space is sanded using big drum sanders, while the perimeter is sanded with belt sanders.

7) Staining

The price per square foot for staining hardwood flooring ranges from $1 to $3. A gallon of low-end stains costs around $30, whereas a gallon of high-end stains can cost up to $100.

8) Coating or Finishing

After preparing, sanding, and staining the hardwood floors, the next step is to apply a finish. Polyurethane based on water or oil is sprayed in even coatings. The cost of an oil-based coating is between $20 and $40 per gallon. Water-based coatings range in price from $25 to $50 per gallon.

9) Additional Costs

Additional costs and concerns must be taken into account when planning for a hardwood floor restoration. The state of the floor, repairs, carpet removal, furniture relocation, cleaning, and traditional vs. dustless refinishing are a few of the things needed to be considered.

All these factors result in the cost to refinish hardwood floors reaching $1200 to $2400 on average.

What is the cost to refinish hardwood floors of different types?

There are different kinds of hardwood floors like Oak, Cherry Wood, Parquet Engineered Hardwood etc. The usual cost of different hardwood floors does not vary much, but little difference comes because there is special care needed during sanding and staining. So let’s have a look at the cost of refinishing hardwood floors of different types:

Engineered Wood

Engineered hardwood floor refinishing costs an average of $2 to $6 per square foot. Engineered flooring has a strong hardwood wear layer on top of a plywood subfloor. Based on the thickness of the wear layer, you can sand and refinish engineered flooring up to five times.


The cost of refinishing parquet flooring ranges from $2 to $6 per square foot, depending on the style of refinishing and whether or not any repairs are required. Professional sanding of parquet flooring is needed since the wood grain runs in many directions.

Oak, Cherry & Pine

It costs between $1.50 and $5.00 per square foot to refinish oak, cherry, or pine floors without staining. Floors made of oak are the most popular type of wood used. Because pine is a softer wood than oak, it must be sanded with particular care to avoid leaving grooves or chatter marks.

Bamboo Floor

Bamboo floor refinishing costs between $2 and $6 per square foot, which is less expensive than the cost of installing new bamboo flooring, which ranges from $5 to $10. Engineered and solid bamboo flooring with veneer layers of at least 2 mm thick can be sanded and refinished.


Refinishing a maple floor might cost anything from $6 to $8 per square foot. It takes more time and effort to sand and stain maple since it is a more durable and high-end material. It is more vulnerable to obvious stains when stained in a deeper hue than when stained in a lighter tone.

What is the cost to refinish hardwood floors per square foot?

The cost to refinish hardwood floors per square foot ranges between $2 to $8. It involves various costs like labor, material, and processes. The cost breakdown involves $2-$5 for labor, $0.50-$3 for sanding, $1-$3 for sanding and $1-$2 for finishing. So these all costs make the total cost per foot $2-$8.

If you only want to have sanding and refinishing of the floor, the cost will be $1.50 to $5.00 per foot, including labor.

If you want to sand, stain and refinish the floor, the cost will be $3.00 to $8.00 per foot, including labor. 

If you are getting a screen, buffing and recoating, the cost will be between $1.00 and $2.50.

How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors 1000 square feet?

The cost to refinish hardwood floors 1000 square feet is around $5500. As the average cost of refinishing per square foot is between $2-$8, the cost will be $2000 to $8000. 

Remember that the cost of refinishing stairs is extra than the surface refinished. The 12-14steps stairs actually cost between $300 to $1200. 

If you want to have sanding and refinish, the cost will be between $1500 to $5000.

If you will get screen buffing and recoating, the cost will be $1000 to $2500. 

If you get sanding, staining and refinishing, the cost will be between $3000 to $8000.

How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors yourself?

If you want to refinish the hardwood floor yourself, there will be only material costs, ranging from $600 to $1000. You will not pay for any labor, but you need to rent or buy materials like floor sander, sandpaper, wood filler and many other things. Let’s have a look at the cost breakdown if you DIY hardwood refinishing. 

Tool & MaterialCost
Floor Sander$60-$70 per day
Belt Sander$16-$26 per day
Edger$35-$50per day
Stain$20-$60 per gallon
Varnish$30-$90 per gallon
Shop Vacuum$40-$180
Wood Filler$$5-$15
Hand Scraper$20-$35

Apart from these, there are many miscellaneous supplies that you will need like paintbrushes, mop, dust masks, rags, eye protection and knee pads. So consider them in your budget. The all-over cost will be between $600 to $1000. 

How much does it cost to refinish hardwood floors professionally?

The cost to refinish hardwood floors professionally ranges from $2-$8 on average. When it comes to the total cost of a job, professional jobs cost an average of $1,800, which ranges between $1074 to $2481 for different states. 

When it comes to the overall cost for a 12-foot by 14-foot room, professional work can cost anywhere from $80 to $500, but it’s very uncommon for the price to be considerably lower.

For bigger spaces, the cost can even go up to $7000-$8000, depending on the service you want. 

The cost of sanding and staining labor is a significant factor in determining the average cost of wood floor refinishing, as the cost of professional labor varies significantly by ZIP code.

Is it cheaper to refinish hardwood floors or replace with laminate?

Actually, the cost of refinishing hardwood floors & laminate is somewhat similar. There is not much difference between them. But if we say about the results & long term benefits, then refinishing hardwood floors is better than laminate. In the long run, finishing your existing hardwood floors is more cost-effective—with a little elbow grease and some time on the weekend, or even by hiring a professional. 

While laminate is less expensive, keep in mind that it will need to be replaced multiple times, whereas restored hardwoods will last for years.

So it is better to go for refinishing hardwood floors than to replace them with laminate. 

Bottom Line

Now you have the real cost to refinish hardwood floors. It is up to you whether to go for a professional or DIY. Also, what quality of hardwood refinishing do you want to do. Always remember that hardwood floor refinishing is a worthwhile investment in terms of both time and money, but you don’t want to take the chance of a DIY disaster. So hire a professional and enjoy the beauty of your home.

We hope you found this article helpful & informative. Leave your thoughts & suggestions in the comments!

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