What to Expect When Refinishing Hardwood Floors

When it comes time to refinish and resurface your hardwood floors, you may wonder what you are getting yourself into.

At Hatcher’s Floors, we like to keep our customers aware of the entire process from start to finish, which is why we crafted up this guide on what to expect during the hardwood floor refinishing process.

Hardwood floors are recommended to be refinished every ten years, or every two to five years for heavily trafficked rooms in your home. Ultimately, refinishing your hardwood floors is up to your discretion, but maintaining your hardwood floors will save you money in the long-run and prevent complete replacement in some cases.

The hardwood floor refinishing process includes sanding down the existing floor to remove the top coat and finish, then staining and refinishing your floors to repair them to like-new condition.

Sanding Down Hardwood Floors

There are at least five steps in the sanding process:

  • Rough Sanding
  • Fine Sanding
  • Edging (around walls, etc.)
  • Hand scraping (or hand sanding)
  • Buffing with a fiber disc

Our expert team uses three machines in the sanding process: a full-size professional rotary-drum sander, an edger, and a commercial-sized buffing machine. The sander requires a 220-volt power supply and the others run on regular household current.

Sanding Does: Smooth out irregularities between boards, eliminate surface roughness such as minor scratches, and prepare the wood for application of the finish.

Sanding Does Not: Always remove deep scratches and gouges. (Boards can be replaced if necessary). Neither can sanding remove all deep, heavy discoloring, such as pet urine or old water damage stains, and it can’t always even out “cupping” the curled-edge effect of water damage. We will do our best to give you the highest quality floor possible and to discuss any potential problems ahead of time-we know you don’t like surprises.

Staining: Choosing the Right Stain for Your Hardwood Floors

If you decide to use stain when refinishing or resurfacing hardwood floors in Virginia, you can choose from several different colors ranging from near-white to dark walnut. We can provide stain charts, and we can spot stain a small area for you to look at. (If you find that you don’t like a color, we’ll remove it and you can choose another.) The stain is applied and allowed to dry thoroughly. Then the first coat of finish is applied. The floor is buffed smooth and vacuumed before the final coat of finish is applied. Pastel or white stains and bleach are more expensive to apply.

Finishing Your Hardwood Floors

The two most common hardwood floor finishes are polyurethane and water-based finish.

POLYURETHANE, our standard high-quality finish, penetrates the wood and adds an appearance of depth and richness to your floor. It is a durable finish, available in satin or gloss. Polyurethane will darken slightly in color over the years, developing a rich amber shade.

WATER-BASED: Hatcher’s Floors uses only top quality water-based finishes like DuraSeal, Basic Coatings and Bona. These finishes vary in depth, UV protection, and ambering qualities. Upon arriving to your home for your free hardwood flooring estimate, we will go over the types of finishes and help you choose the right look for your home.

DRYING TIME ranges from eight to twelve hours for polyurethane, and from two to four hours with water-based finish. This means that you can walk lightly across your hardwood floors without damaging the surface.

However, CURING TIME is usually seven days for Pacific Strong, and approximately one month for polyurethane. During this time be careful in moving heavy furniture, we recommend that you wait at least one week to put rugs back down.

How Much Does Refinishing Hardwood Floors Cost?

Giving your hardwood floors a facelift is not cheap and prices vary per square foot. Many homeowners are left wondering – just how much should I expect to pay to refinish my floors? Should I hire professionals or attempt to do it myself?  Should I choose a sealant such as polyurethane or stain them?

Here at Hatcher’s Floors, we don’t want to leave you in the dark. When refinishing hardwood floors in Virginia, you can expect any estimator to analyze the type of wood, its current condition, and square footage.

For some ballpark estimates:

  • To completely refinish a hardwood floor—including sanding down the top layer to bare wood, then applying several coats of new finish like polyurethane— $1.50 to $4 per square foot.
  • If your floor is slightly worn but otherwise in good condition, you could get by on just recoating the flooring without sanding. This will typically cost $1 per square foot.
  • For a custom refinish job involving sanding the hardwood flooring, and applying stains or water-based finishes, you may be quoted anywhere from $3.75 to $5 per square foot.

The cost of labor is a major variable in hardwood floor refinishing in Virginia. No one beats Hatcher’s Floors when it comes to affordable and flawless hardwood refinishing.

What to Look for in a Flooring Company

Hardwood flooring companies in Virginia are a dime a dozen. You can turn any corner and find a “hardwood flooring company”, but not every company is alike. You get what you pay for when hiring a hardwood refinishing professional. Anyone can rev up a sander can remove the top coats of a floor, but only an experienced refinisher can control the sanding process to create a smooth, even surface. And applying stain without drips and lines between brushstrokes takes skill.

When you are ready to resurface or restain your hardwood floors, our local experts have over 30 years of experience and specialize in hardwood floor refinishing in Virginia and the metro DC area. Get a Quote today!