Hardwood Floor Refinishing: How Long Does It take?

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If you’re considering hardwood floor refinishingone of the first questions that may come to your mind is how long the process will take. The answer depends on a few factors, including the size of your space and whether or not any repairs need to be made.

In this blog post, we will delve into the typical hardwood floor refinishing process which involves sanding down the top layer of wood, and applying a new coat of stain or finish for a fresh look.

This article provides some excellent insights on what homeowners should expect when undertaking this kind of renovation and why planning is crucial in these projects.

We will also discuss possible hardwood floor repairs if there are any damaged boards in your flooring that could possibly add an extra day or two onto the overall timeline depending on how extensive the damage is.

Lastly, to ensure that your newly refinished floors stay looking great for years to come, proper cleaning and maintenance are key. We will discuss regular sweeping and mopping that can help prevent scratches and keep dirt from building up over time.

Table Of Contents:

Planning for Hardwood Floor Refinishing

When it comes to hardwood floor refinishing, a little foresight goes a long way. Planning is essential for hardwood floor refinishing, not just in terms of area but also about the type of polyurethane employed and how that will affect the duration of the job.

The Importance of Planning in Hardwood Floor Refinishing Projects

Proper planning can make or break your hardwood flooring refinishing project. It allows you to anticipate potential challenges and devise strategies to overcome them ahead of time. For instance, you may need to vacate your home during the process due to dust and fumes from sanding and finishing materials. 

Factors Affecting Hardwood Floor Refinishing Project Duration

  • Type of Polyurethane: The choice between oil-based or water-based polyurethanes can significantly impact how long the job takes due to differences in drying times.
  • Floor Size: Naturally, larger areas will take longer than smaller ones.
  • Sanding Requirements: A deep sanding job would require more time compared with light scuff-sand before recoating existing finishes.

Careful planning is essential for any successful hardwood floor refinishing project. By understanding key elements like choosing an appropriate polyurethane type and considering other influential factors such as room size and current state.

Choosing Your Polyurethane Type

When it comes to refinishing your hardwood floors, the type of polyurethane you choose can significantly impact the project’s duration. Oil and water-based polyurethanes are the two primary kinds of polyurethane utilized for floor finishing. Both have their pros and cons to consider.

Understanding Oil and Water Based Polyurethanes

Oil-based polyurethanes, boasting a durable finish and deep sheen, take longer to dry than their water-based counterparts; however, this increased drying time can extend the overall project timeline.

On the other hand, water-based polyurethanes dry faster but may not provide as deep a sheen or level of protection as oil-based products.

Time Implications of Different Types

The drying times for these two types vary greatly; an oil-based coat typically takes 24 hours to dry while a water-based one requires only about 4-6 hours.

Therefore, if you’re using an oil-based product on your hardwood floors, be prepared for a long wait before walking on them again or adding another layer.

Beyond just drying times there is also consideration of how many layers each type needs for optimal results. This tends to be around three layers with sanding between each one (which adds even more time.). So when planning out your flooring refinish job keep all these factors in mind.

  • Analyze your specific requirements before deciding on the right type of polyurethane for your wood floor refinishing project.
  • If you want quick results without compromising too much on quality – go with water-based.
  • If longevity & richer look is what matters most – opt for oil-based despite its long drying time.

Recommended Coats for Hardwood Flooring

If you’re planning to refinish your solid wood flooring, it’s crucial to understand the number of coats required and how each additional layer can impact the project timeline. Whether you’re doing a DIY job or hiring professionals like us at Sandless in Seattle, this knowledge will help ensure a smooth process.

How many coats are needed?

The optimal results on hardwood floors typically require two coats of oil-based polyurethane plus an initial lacquer sealer coat. This combination provides excellent durability and gives your floor that beautiful glossy finish we all love.

Depending on the real wood and its condition, it may be necessary to apply more layers than two coats of oil-based polyurethane plus an initial lacquer sealer coat for optimal results.

Additional time considerations per extra coating

It’s important to remember that each extra coat adds another day to the overall timeframe due to drying times. For instance, if you decide on three layers instead of two (not including sealer), expect your project duration to increase by at least one day.

This extended timeline doesn’t just apply during application but also while waiting for the floor surface to fully cure before moving furniture back into place or walking on it without socks. It’s worth noting that different types of polyurethanes have varying curing times, so always check manufacturer instructions.

In summary, while adding more coatings may enhance longevity and aesthetic appeal, they do extend project timelines considerably due to longer drying periods between applications and after completion. Therefore, make sure you factor these aspects into your refinishing plans.

Natural Sanding Job Timing

Considering a hardwood floor refinishing project? Natural sanding might be the way to go. It’s quick, efficient, and perfect for smaller spaces.

What is Natural Sanding?

Natural sanding is a method that involves using a specialized machine to remove the top layer of your wood floors, revealing fresh and undamaged wood underneath. It’s a great way to restore the beauty of your floors without resorting to more invasive methods like full-scale refinishing.

Estimating Timing Based on Square Footage

The duration of a natural sanding job largely depends on the size of your space. For areas between 100 – 1,500 sq ft., completion within one day is quite achievable with this method. Of course, larger areas may require additional time.

Here’s a rough estimate:

  • A room measuring around 100 sq ft could take approximately two hours.
  • A medium-sized living area (around 500 sq ft) might need about half a day.
  • Larger spaces exceeding 1,000 sq ft would likely extend into a full day’s work or more depending on their complexity and condition.

Note that these estimates include three coats of water-based polyurethane application after the initial sanding process. The sanding process itself can take several hours depending upon surface conditions and the type/age of existing finish layers being removed.

Here is some further reading regarding how long it takes to refinish hardwood floors in general terms which should provide some useful context when planning out your project schedule.

Remember: every flooring situation is unique, so it’s always best practice to consult with professionals before making any final decisions.

All-Natural Products for Your Hardwood Floors

For hardwood floor refinishing, selecting the right products is essential.

The Benefits of Going All-Natural

All-natural products are perfect for those who care about sustainability and want to avoid harsh chemicals in their homes. Plus, they offer health benefits due to their low VOC content.

But keep in mind, these products require specific preparation steps for optimal results. Before applying finishes, your floors need to be sanded down to grit levels between 100-120. This ensures that the product penetrates deeply into the wood fibers for long-lasting protection.

Drying Times for Finishes

Drying times can vary depending on environmental conditions like humidity and temperature. Typically, after treatment with these natural products, floors need around twelve hours before they can be walked on (with socks). Don’t rush this process – allowing adequate drying time will ensure your newly refinished floor has a beautiful luster that lasts.

In summary: choosing all-natural finishes adds some extra considerations to your project timeline but offers many advantages in terms of aesthetics, durability, and health benefits. Remember these factors when planning your hardwood floor refinishing project.

Post-Floor Refinishing

The journey doesn’t end with the completion of your hardwood floor refinishing project. In fact, it’s just beginning. The beauty and longevity of your newly refinished floors depend heavily on how well you maintain them. No need to fret – with the right info and supplies, looking after your hardwood floors can be easy.

All-natural products offer specially formulated cleaners and maintenance products that ensure compatibility with finishes. These are designed to provide optimal care post-refinishing, helping to prolong the life of your investment.


Regular cleaning is crucial in keeping dirt and grit from scratching or dulling the surface of your wood floors. Sandless in Seattle have specific cleaners that work seamlessly with their respective finishes.

Maintenance Products:

Over time, even well-maintained floors may start showing signs of wear. This is where maintenance products come into play – they help restore shine and repair minor damages while preserving the original finish.

In addition to using these specialized products, there are some general best practices you should follow when caring for newly refinished wood floors:

1. Avoid walking on freshly finished floors until completely dry (usually 12 hours).

2. Sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dust particles that could scratch surfaces over time.

3. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing pads which can damage finishes.

Educating yourself about these best practices will ensure lasting satisfaction from your investment in hardwood floor refinishing.

FAQs about Hardwood Floor Refinishing

What is hardwood floor refinishing?

Hardwood floor refinishing is the process of sanding down the top layer of a hardwood floor to remove scratches, dents, and imperfections. It involves applying a new finish or stain to restore the floor’s appearance and protect it from future damage.

When should I consider refinishing my hardwood floors?

You should consider refinishing your hardwood floors when they show signs of wear, such as visible scratches, dullness, or discoloration. Additionally, if the finish has worn off or you want to change the floor’s color, refinishing is a suitable option.

Can I refinish my hardwood floors myself, or should I hire a professional?

While it’s possible to refinish hardwood floors yourself, it’s generally recommended to hire a professional for the best results. Professional floor refinishers have the expertise, specialized equipment, and knowledge of different wood types to ensure a smooth and durable finish.

Is it necessary to move furniture out of the room before refinishing the hardwood floors?

Yes, it is advisable to remove all furniture and belongings from the room before refinishing the hardwood floors. This allows the refinishing team to work efficiently and ensures that no furniture is damaged during the process.

Will the hardwood floor refinishing process create a lot of dust?

Sanding the hardwood floors during the refinishing process can create dust. However, professional refinishing companies often use advanced dust containment systems to minimize dust and keep the area as clean as possible.

How long do I need to wait before using the refinished hardwood floors?

The drying time can vary depending on the type of finish used. It typically takes around 24 to 48 hours for the finish to dry completely. However, it’s best to consult with the refinishing professional for specific recommendations on when it’s safe to walk on or place furniture back on the floors.

How often should hardwood floors be refinished?

The frequency of refinishing depends on several factors, including the amount of foot traffic, wear and tear, and the quality of the original finish. On average, hardwood floors may need to be refinished every 7 to 10 years, but it’s best to monitor the condition of your floors and consult with professionals for personalized advice.

Is it worth it to refinish hardwood floors?

Yes, refinishing hardwood floors can increase the value of your home and give it a fresh new look.

How long should refinished hardwood floors last?

With proper maintenance, refinished hardwood floors can last up to 10 years or more.

Various Factors Affects The Duration Of Hardwood Floor Refinishing

The duration of hardwood floor refinishing can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the area, the condition of the existing floor, the chosen refinishing method, and the expertise of the professionals involved.

On average, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week to complete the entire process, including sanding, staining, and applying the finish coats.

It is important to note that proper planning and preparation are essential to ensure a successful and efficient refinishing process. While the duration of the project may inconvenience homeowners temporarily, the result is well worth the effort. 

Refinishing hardwood floors not only restores their natural beauty but also adds value and longevity to the overall lifespan of the flooring. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with Sandless in Seattle to receive accurate estimates and plan accordingly to minimize disruption and achieve the desired outcome.

For your hardwood floor refinishing needs, contact Sandless in Seattle today!