Tag Archives: hardwood floors

3 Years Later – DIY Hardwood Floor Refinish

Three years ago, I decided to refinish our hardwood floors. Myself. It was a ton of work but I don’t regret it one bit. You can read about it  in my original post.

Over the years, I’ve received many emails and comments asking me how the floors are holding up, whether I would do it again, if I’m happy with my decision to skip staining them etc.

So I decided to answer some of the most popular questions I get.

small entryway

How much did it cost to refinish the floors?

I refinished around 650 square feet of flooring. I spent less than $300. My biggest cost were the drum sander rental and sanding belts from Home Depot (around $130 total). That said, DIYing it saved me $2,000+.

Do you regret skipping the stain?

Not at all. Our house measures only 1,050 square feet. I wanted floors that bring light and openness to our small home, which these floors do. I also love our floor’s different color tones.

Hardwood Floor Refinish DIY

small entryway

Are you happy with the satin polyurethane finish? How are the floors holding up?

I love the satin finish because I don’t care much for super shiny floors. I wanted mine to look natural but still have protection. The satin finish gives the floor a sheen without the high gloss. Although I have kids and dogs, the floor barely has any scratches and they don’t bother me at all. The floors are 48 years old and have that lived-in look that I really love. Minor imperfections just add to the character of these floors.

Did you really do ALL the work yourself?

Yep. From beginning to end. As soon as my kids left for Florida, I dove right into the work. Moving all the furniture from the bedrooms into the garage and kitchen was the hardest part. I couldn’t have done it without  furniture sliders.  Would highly recommend them. Refinishing hardwood floors entails lost of dust, a sore back and bruised knees.

I want to do this. Do you have any tips?

The most important tip: Keep moving and go slow with the drum sander! Do a lot of research beforehand and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t.

Hardwood Floor Refinish DIY

Would you do it again?

Absolutely! However, I would prefer refinishing the floors of a vacant house (no more pushing furniture). When you put so much physical work into your house, you can’t help but feel proud. You get very attached to it because you know how much sweat (and even blood) it took to make this house your home.

Removing Urine Stains From Hardwood Floors

Disclaimer: I’m not a flooring specialist but this method worked for me when I refinished the hardwood floors in our home.

Ever since I had published the post about my Hardwood Floors Refinishing Experience, I’ve received lots of questions about how I tackled pet urine stains.

Hardwood floor refinish

This stain was the largest (it’s the only photo I have) and the hardest to remove. Honestly, I didn’t have much hope for it to work on this stain. Additionally, I had two smaller urine stains. My next step would have been to simply replace some of the damaged boards. So I had nothing to lose but to try the hydrogen peroxide method first.

hardwood floors

Here’s the same stain after I sanded. I was able to remove a lot, but not all of it.

removing urine stains from floors

After soaking the stain in peroxide, this was the result. It’s not perfect but good enough for me. Perhaps longer soaking periods would have removed the stain entirely, but I was running out of time and needed to seal the floors. I don’t expect my 47-year-old floors to look perfect, anyway. Besides, this area is covered by a rug.

Also, I did not stain my floors. I assume a dark stain would have covered up whatever urine stain was left, but I wanted my floors as natural looking as possible so I skipped any dark stain and only used a sealer.

removing stains from hardwood floors

This was the area with the two minor urine stains. Nothing is left.

Here’s what I did:

After I sanded the floors, I tried a very simple home remedy. I soaked a clean cloth with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and placed it on the stain. I covered the cloth with plastic wrap. This kept it from drying out. At first, I checked on the stain every hour or so. But because this stain was so dark and large, I left the cloth overnight. For the smaller stains, an hour was enough.

hardwood floor refinish

In conclusion, if you aren’t looking for “perfect” floors, give this method a try. Replacing boards is neither simple nor cheap. My floors are old and full of ‘character’… and that’s what I love most about them.