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Compare DIY vs Hiring a Hardwood Floor Refinishing Company

Hiring Overview

If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll want to hire a professional to refinish your hardwood floors. Hardwood floor refinishing can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing, and hiring a professional greatly reduces the risk of costly mistakes.

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Costs

Most professionals charge anywhere from $3 to $5 per square foot for basic refinishing. For a 15x15 room, that works out to $675 to $1,125. The price varies based on your location and the condition of the floors.

Contractors charge extra for stairs because they are difficult to refinish. Plan on paying as much as $25 to $45 per stair. Most professionals also charge extra for rush jobs, working on the weekends or floors that are in very rough shape.

Professional Hardwood Floor Refinishing Pros

  • Professional look - Professional services are experts in hardwood floor refinishing. The know how to restore the floors to like-new condition. There’s little risk of damage if you go with a professional.
  • Saves time/effort - If you hire a professional, that leaves the weekend free to do other things. A professional service can even move the furniture, saving you the burden of lugging heavy items out of the room.

Professional Hardwood Floor Refinishing Cons

  • More expensive - Hiring a professional is considerably more expensive than doing the job yourself. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth the additional cost.

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DIY Overview

Over time, even the highest-quality hardwood floors show signs of wear and tear. Scratches and scuffs start to appear and high-traffic areas look dull and worn. Refinishing your floors can make tired hardwoods look new again.

There are many steps to the process. First, the floor needs to be cleaned and prepped, then you need to sand off the original finish using a drum sander. The next step in vacuuming the floor and tacking it with a microfiber cloth to remove all dust. When it comes time to apply the finish, use a paint brush to stain around the trim and then apply the rest of the stain with a roller.

DIY Floor Refinishing Costs

Budget about $200 for supplies. You’ll have to rent a drum sander from a local hardware or home improvement store. Then there’s the cost of stain, rollers and cloths.

Pros of DIY Floor Refinishing

  • Saves money - As with all DIY projects, you’ll save a significant amount of money by doing the work yourself.

Cons of DIY Floor Refinishing

  • Time consuming - It usually takes the better part of a day to sand the floors and apply the finish. Then you have to wait several hours before re-coating and about a week before you can put the furniture back.
  • Can be difficult - The project is achievable for an experienced do-it-yourselfer, but it’s not easy. Using the drum sander can be especially tricky; it takes some getting used to and you run the risk of gouging the floors if you leave the sander in one place for too long.

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