A few weeks ago I purchased a small home that was built in 1971. There was carpeting and linoleum throughout the house. I wanted to replace all that, so when I ripped up the carpet, I was pleasantly surprised to find hardwood floors underneath.
I am on an extremely tight remodeling budget and I pretty much refuse to pay anyone to do anything around the house (especially when you take a close look at some of the people you hire to fix things for you), so I refinished the hardwood floors myself.
The hardwood floors were in pretty decent shape except for a couple of stains. I bought an orbital sander at Lowes for $39, Minwax wood stain, wood putty, and Minwax polyurethane.
First I removed all the carpet tack strips and staples. Next, I filled in the bigger nail holes with some wood putty (mine was a walnut color). After sanding down the floors with 80 sandpaper grit, I smoothed them out with a 120 grit. Next up, sweeping and vacuuming the floors. Then it was time to stain them (once again I used a walnut color). Two coats of sealer later, we had beautiful hardwood floors.
Refinishing the floors was a lot of work and I couldn’t feel my knees for at least a few days after, but it was well worth it. If you have the money, you might want to hire someone to do it for you. On the other hand, if you want something you can be proud of at the end, you might want to do what I did.