If you’ve decided that the hardwood flooring in your house needs to be refinished, you have 2 options: you can hire a contractor, or you can do it yourself. Both of these have advantages and disadvantages– this article will help you decide which is right for your existing circumstance.

To identify if your flooring needs to be refinished, drop a teaspoon of water onto the floor and watch exactly what happens. If it beads up, you don’t need to refinish. If slowly soaks in, that means the finish is wearing thin but you are okay for a while.  However, if the water soaks in instantly and leaves a dark area, it’s time to refinish.

Before considering taking a sander to your wood floor, be sure it is actually hardwood and not laminate. This article gives more info on what type of wood flooring can be refinished:

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | DIY Refinish Hardwood Floors

Is Your Floor Even Refinish-able?

Sanding Hardwood Flooring

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Double-check that your type of floor can actually be refinished. Attempting to refinish laminate floors — which aren’t made of wood — could ruin them. And engineered hardwood, which has a layer of hardwood over a plywood core, isn’t a much better candidate. Re-sealing and buffingis a much cheaper and more doable DIY project than refinishing. In fact, if you re-seal and buff floors every few years, you may never have to refinish. But it only works if damage is minimal. Try re-sealing and buffing engineered floors instead. But basically, only floors with real hardwood throughout can tolerate refinishing.

Read the whole post here:  Refinishing Hardwood Floors | DIY Refinish Hardwood Floors

You might find that the majority of the flooring looks fine; however, you have a small location or a high traffic area which needs some work. Spot refinishing can be done, and is less messy and taxing than a full refinishing project. However, you most likely won’t be able to get the stain to match completely with your existing stain.

Something you will have to consider is the cost of repairing your floor. You can undoubtedly do it yourself for less than what you will pay a professional– unless you don’t have or have access to leasing or borrowing sanding equipment– as it will certainly be expensive if you have to actually purchase a belt sander and an orbit sander.

This video runs through the process of refinishing hardwood flooring and provides a list of costs and tools needed to complete a project like this on your own:


As you are choosing whether to do the flooring yourself or to hire a professional, it does not hurt to go ahead and get a couple of quotes from regional contractors. Get suggestions from your neighbors, or the business that installed your flooring in the first place. Having the estimates in hand will assist you to compare monetary issues better, and if you decide to opt for the expert service, you’ll just have to call them back and arrange a date.

How difficult is it to care for hardwood floors? Compared to laminate flooring, hardwood requires quite a bit more maintenance and isn’t as durable, but it does increase the value of your home more than laminate. This post gives tips for keeping your hardwood floors in tip-top shape:

Hardwood Floor Care & Maintenance, Hardwood Do’s & Don’ts | Mohawk Flooring

Bare Feet on Hardwood Floor


  • Keep pets’ nails trimmed and their paws clean. Pets can track in substances that cause scratching and stains.
  • Use a humidifier during heating seasons to help reduce wood shrinkage and humidity between 35% and 55%.
  • Wipe up spills and spots immediately with Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Hardwood & Laminate Flooring Cleaner applied directly to a clean white cloth.
  • Use ice to harden tough substances like wax or chewing gum, and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper or a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the surface and wipe the area clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.

Read more here:  Hardwood Floor Care & Maintenance, Hardwood Do’s & Don’ts | Mohawk Flooring

So, if you’re generally handy and/or wish to save some money, go ahead and do it yourself. On the other hand, if you don’t have a great deal of confidence in your ability, or don’t have the required equipment easily available, picking an area contractor makes more sense.