How Hardwood Floor Refinishing Works

Refinishing hardwood floors is a labor intensive process that can take several days. However, when it is done correctly, it will make your wood floors look brand new.

Hardwood flooring contractors will use a floor sander to remove the existing finish from your hardwood floors. They will then apply a stain and a varnish.



Its best to have all furniture removed from the area that is being refinished. This helps ensure that nothing gets accidentally scratched during the process. It also allows us to see what your hardwood floors really look like before sanding. Its best to have a few samples of stain colors on hand as well so that you can get a feel for what the wood will look like after sanding.

During the sanding process we use a drum sander followed by an edger. We use different grits of sandpaper with each pass. We also make sure that we clean out all the holes & cracks in the floor. This is where it can take a few days.

Its also important to remove shoe base molding (also called quarter-round) where the floor meets the wall. This can be done with a pry bar while protecting the baseboards from damage. It is a good idea to number or label each piece so that they can be reinstalled correctly later on.


The staining process is the next step in refinishing hardwood floors. Stain is essentially wood dye, and it can be applied in many different shades to suit the look of a room.

If you are concerned about choosing a color that will work for your floor, a contractor can help you select the right stain by wiping samples on the actual flooring after sanding. This will allow you to see what the final product will look like and avoid any surprises down the line.

Before beginning to stain, it is a good idea to protect the surrounding surfaces by applying plastic sheeting and painter’s tape to any vents, baseboards and other trim pieces. It’s also important to test the stain in an inconspicuous area of the room, browse around here.

When the stain is dry, it’s time to apply a polyurethane sealer. This is the protective coating that locks in the new color and helps to prevent future stains.



A topcoat of polyurethane protects the stain and wood from scratches, moisture, dirt and other damage. It can also help darken the color of the stain and enhance its appearance. Polyurethane is available in both water-based and oil-based formulas.

The refinisher should apply the recommended number of coats, allowing each one to dry completely between applications. This process can take a day or more depending on the finish and humidity levels in the room.

Once the floors are refinished, they should be allowed to dry overnight, with furniture moved back in the following day. The floors can be walked on lightly once the finish has dried. If you choose a water-based polyurethane, you can use the floor within seven hours of application. If you prefer an oil-based finish, it can take a week before you can walk on the floor, and you will need to keep windows open. Using an air purifier helps reduce the odor of the polyurethane.


When the staining process is done, it will take a few days for the floors to dry. You’ll want to avoid walking on the hardwood for this period of time. This will allow the floor to fully cure, which means that you’ll be able to safely walk on it again.

Before applying the stain, it’s important to thoroughly clean the floor with a rag and mineral spirits. This will ensure that there is no dust or other particles that could mar the new finish. It’s also a good idea to completely ventilate the room, as there will be strong fumes.


Refinishing is an extremely labor-intensive job that can be very time consuming. But it’s the best way to restore your hardwood floors to their original beauty. If you don’t mind the extra work and expense, refinishing your hardwood floors can be an excellent investment that will last for years to come. Just be sure to do your research and find a reputable contractor.