Refinishing hardwood floors is really hard if you're going to do it correctly. It's far more complicated than running a vacuum cleaner and just moving your furniture around. That's because refinishing wood floors creates an incredible amount of fine dust (see below) that gets into everything nearby.
Now that we've moved all the furniture and wrapped all the rooms in plastic, it's time to get the sanding equipment out. Some homeowners might want to do the sanding themselves but it's not recommended. It takes time to learn how to use the equipment properly and what you can rent will never produce the results of professional equipment (costing $5,000 to 10,000 per sander) used by pros.
Until you've watched the entire process, you have no idea how complicated the process gets to refinish a few floors. There are several different sanders, i.e. there's a special one for working along the edge of the room where there is baseboard trim. Stairs and railings have a lot of handwork because the sanders can't get between the spindles. Just knowing which sander to use for each part of the job is a skill few homeowners have and if you only do this once or twice in your lifetime, does it make sense to do the research to get it right the first time?
Steps to Refinishing Wood Floors
- Step 1: Moving the furniture.
- Step 2: Wrapping fixtures, walls/doors and open doorways with plastic to avoid wood dust.
- Step 3: Skilled sanding to remove enough, but not too much of the wood (this article).
- Step 4: Now it's time to apply multiple coats of polyurethane to the floors, and some floors require staining first.
- Step 5: Cleaning up and putting furniture back (we think you get this one without photos).