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.
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 hardwood floors do. I also love our floor’s different color tones.
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 hardwood floors 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.
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.
PaulJune 25, 2018
Hi Sabine. You’ve done an incredible job. When I bought my house, I paid about $4000.00 to have about 1300 square feet refinished. So, I could have saved a lot of $$ if I had seen your hardwood posts. I still have a corner in my dining room that gives about half an inch when I step on it. How much would you charge to redo that? Ha ha!! Thanks for your DIY project posts. I think it may be time for you to consider doing videos.
sabinesJune 26, 2018
Wow, $4,000!? Hearing this, I’m really glad I worked my butt off to get it done myself.
CarlSeptember 29, 2018
Looks good to me you did a nice job now that all my are gone I can finely do mine and I’m gonna look in to that drum sander thanks that might help a lot
sabinesSeptember 30, 2018
Thank you, Carl.
Wes RaspillerNovember 11, 2018
Very nice job on the floors. Thanks for sharing. I’ve used that monster drum sander several times in the past, it does a great job but you do need to be aware of the damage it can do. I’m redoing the pine floors in our 100+ year old home right now. They have been abused, painted and covered with linoleum and wall to wall over the years. Like yours, they won’t be perfect but that’s part of the character of the old houses.
sabinesNovember 11, 2018
Thank you for the kind words. Yes, the drum sander can be a bit intimidating but I’m so glad I went ahead and did it. Love my perfectly imperfect floors. Good luck on your project. Wow, 100+ year old home. So cool!
KimSeptember 21, 2019
THANK YOU! I’m getting ready to tackle mine and So many websites seem to make this far more difficult than it seems it should be (not that it’s easy) and why is it so difficult for folks to believe “yes, they really ARE hardwoods!”
One question – what do you use to maintain your hardwoods?
SabineSeptember 22, 2019
Yes, I agree. It’s not brain surgery… hard labor, attention to detail and patience, are needed. Good luck with the floors… You’ll do great! I sweep the floors daily and mop them once a week. A damp cloth is pretty much all you need. Sometimes I use Murphy Oil wood cleaner. I stay away from Bona.. smells like harsh chemicals.