Is your hardwood floor looking a bit worn down? Refinishing the floor is a lot cheaper and easier than replacing it, and many homeowners can even handle this project on their own. However, there are both pros and cons to refinishing your own hardwood in lieu of hiring a professional. Here's a look.
Pro: You'll save money.
You can expect to pay a contractor anywhere from $585 to $3,650 to refinish a hardwood floor, depending on the size of the floor and the type of finish you choose. Refinishing the floor yourself will be much cheaper. You'll probably want to rent a sanding tool so you don't have to scrub away all the old finish by hand, but that only costs $100 or so, at most. Other than that, you just need the new finish, which is sold by the gallon, some cloths and sponges, and a good pair of rubber gloves.
Con: Refinishing a floor takes time.
You'd better set aside your entire weekend. Especially when you are not experienced with refinishing floors, it's a time-consuming project. Sanding down the floor to remove the old finish will take about a day, and applying the finish will take another day if you include the drying time between coats of finish.
Pro: You'll have more scheduling flexibility.
Flooring contractors tend to be busy people. If you contact one now, they may not have an opening for a few weeks or even a few months, so you'll need to wait to get your floor done and then plan around their availability. If you refinish your own floor, you only have to work around your own schedule, and you might be able to get the project done sooner. If you work odd hours, this might be the more feasible choice.
Con: The results may not be as professional.
Most people can finish a hardwood floor to a passable level. It will look nice enough that you won't be embarrassed to show it to your friends or take photos of it. However, it probably won't be HGTV-worthy. If you want absolute perfection, you're better off hiring a hardwood refinishing company that has experience refinishing floors.
If your hardwood floor is looking a bit worse for wear, you could refinish it yourself, or you could call in a professional. Although professional service costs more and requires some patience, you're likely to get a better result and you won't have to sacrifice a weekend.