Can Wood Floors Be Refinished?

Dec 24, 2023

If your solid hardwood floors look tired from years of wear, you may wonder – can wood floors be refinished to look new again? The short answer is yes, absolutely! Refinishing reclaims beauty, erases flaws, and protects timber boards for decades more foot traffic.

As 25-year veterans handling floor sanding and refinishing projects across the UK for homes and businesses, we field many questions about wood renewal from clients seeking cost-effective floor facelifts. Read on for a deep dive into everything homeowners need to know regarding refinishing eligibility, processes, costs and results!

What is Refinishing Exactly?


Refinishing means removing a wood floor’s top layer of worn and damaged finish coating via sanding, in order to reveal the raw wood underneath before applying new protective sealant coats. This renews and enhances flooring durability, appearance and stain resistance.

It contrasts with screening – a lighter buffing of just the most superficial coating scratches to restore some sheen temporarily without stripping back to raw wood.

Why Refinish?

Over their lifespan, wood floors endure noticeable scratching, scuffing, clouding, staining and lustre-dulling from heavy foot traffic. Sunlight also slowly alters finish tones undetected. Refinishing fixes these issues to extend flooring lifespans 2-3 times over.

Home sale appeal also motivates refinishing to maximize values. Surveys report up to 80% of buyers prefer wood flooring over carpeting or vinyl. Renewing an existing asset often costs less than full replacement too.

What Floors Qualify for Refinishing?

Inspecting current floor condition determines which boards still retain adequate structural and aesthetic integrity for sanding refinement work. Our technicians evaluate:

Wood Species & Grade – Oak, maple, ash and pine most commonly get refinished thanks to thick top layer “wear layer” depth. But any hardwood containing salvageable sub-surface wood can undergo sanding. We rescue specialty woods like mahogany and walnut too!

Prior Sandings – Quality hardwood floors withstand 2-3 refinishings typically before getting “too thin” structurally. We make this maximum use call gauging remaining depth versus potential plank instability or breakage risk during machines passes.

Damage Level – Localized light stains and scratches generally sand out successfully. But extensive moisture damage, traffic wear patterns, gaps or cupping may necessitate full replacements.

Get in touch for site visits to determine what solutions suit your unique floor!

When to Call for Professional Floor Sanding Services

The Wood Floor Refinishing Process Step-By-Step

Our time-tested process complies with strict industry standards for safely restoring worn wooden floors back to pinnacle condition:

1. Prep Work – We remove all furniture, appliances and décor from spaces for full access. Baseboard trims get detached and doorways masked off for dust containment too. Then floors undergo thorough cleaning and debris removal so machines run smoothly across planks without kicking up leftover dirt debris into finish layers.

2. Abrasive Sanding – Using specialized floor sanding machinery with dust capture, our techs make progressive passes with coarse, medium and finally fine grit sandpaper to gently plane away existing finish coat without digging into bare wood underneath. Dust gets fully vacuumed between each round before making micro-adjustments for consistent smoothness. Slow steady movements prevent uneven wavelike “chatter” marks or edge bevel rounding too.

3. Edge Work – Hand scrapers delicately remove existing finish residual inside cracks unavoidable for drum floor sanders to reach against baseboards, thresholds, pillars and under toe kicks. Leaving old finish intact ruins adhesion with new top coating. Meticulous detailing by hand makes the difference!

4. Spot Reconditioning – After removing finishes, we address any weaknesses like old pet stains needing oxalic acid blending, isolated dry rot patches, lingering black water marks or deeply set scratches from moving appliances over decades. This custom artisanal finesse creates flawlessly uniform boards again!

5. Vacuuming – Every last speck of fine airborne dust gets captured to prevent finish clouding or yellowing over time once new coating adheres. Repeated double passes lift any remaining particle residue.

6. Finish Application– Based on homeowner preference, our techs skillfully cut in new stain if desired before applying 2-4 protective clear satin polyurethane coats evenly across floors using professional grade equipment. This seals boards optimally against everyday living! We also offer alternatives like hardwax oils, matte water-based urethanes or lacquers all with unique merits.

And viola! Refreshed resilient floors ready serving your home another 25+ years if maintained properly!

What Does Refinishing Cost?

Hardwood floor refinishing costs average £-££ per square meter (check our pricing here) across the UK depending on these cost drivers:

  • Floor area size
  • Location access fees
  • Furniture/appliance moving
  • Additional subfloor prep needed
  • Sanding only versus sand & finishing full service
  • Stain, filler or damage repair fees if extensive
  • Desired finish product type – oils, waxes, urethanes etc. each vary

As experienced professionals completing over 3,000 local home renovations, offers fair pricing to meet your exact needs. Get in touch for custom quotes from our independent floor technicians in your area!

Even premium refinishing rates around £1500 for fully restoring gorgeous woodwork in a spacious two-bedroom flat remain only 10-30% of full replacement cost. And the whisper-quiet process takes only 1-3 days typically with no demolition dust or dumpster rentals.

hardwood sanding


Hopefully this refinishing primer highlights incredible value restoring existing wood floors versus tearing out to start from scratch. Refinished oak, pine or maple should reward you with another 20-30 years of renewed luxury and convenience improving home functionality and resale appeal.

Don’t resign yourself to perpetual cloudy dullness or damage marks slowly worsening when our world-class technicians can restore gorgeous clarity affordably in less than a week right where you live.