While most people can agree that hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to any home, it’s not always the most practical. Hardwood floors have a tendency to become scratched, dinged, and worn. But if you have a particularly damaging scratch or dent in your flooring, there are two different ways you can go about fixing it: refinishing or resurfacing.

Hardwood floor resurfacing is a more affordable option when compared to hardwood floor refinishing. Both processes, however, have their benefits and drawbacks, which you should consider before making a decision.

Hardwood Floor Refinishing

In a refinishing process, the existing wood is sanded and a fresh topcoat is applied over it. Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors gives you the chance to completely restore old, damaged flooring. Additionally, it allows you to stain your hardwood flooring to change its appearance.

Flooring made of hardwood can take up to 10 sanding and refinishing jobs over its lifetime. Engineered wood flooring can be refinished once or twice, depending on the thickness of the hardwood surface.
You’ll save money by doing your wood floor refinishing, but mistakes show up big time.


Can you Refinish floors yourself?

Refinishing is no simple DIY job, It’s more time-consuming and more costly. Refinishing requires a lot more than simply adding some polish to the floors. If you can spend $2000-$4000 getting a professional into sanding your floors they are gonna do a better job than you.

Pros and cons of Hardwood Floor Refinishing


  • Refinishing gives you the option of staining your hardwood flooring to change the hue.
  • All you need is a drum sander, stain, and lacquer to rejuvenate your floors.
  • In the end, you’ll still have sturdy wood that will last for years to come.


  • You won’t get a different texture by sanding and refinishing. It’ll just be a different tint.
  • Floor staining is both stinky and toxic. It’s common advice for homeowners to simply move out for a few days until the odor goes away.
  • Sanding makes a lot of dust, and it takes time to settle it.

Hardwood Floor Resurfacing

The procedure of resurfacing is time-consuming and expensive because it not only polishes the top layer but also repairs the wooden planks if necessary. It is not a do-it-yourself project. This work can only be performed by a professional. Because it necessitates the purchase of wood grinding tools, wood, and other specialized tools. The method takes a considerable deal of talent and consideration.


When should hardwood floors be resurfaced?

You may need to resurface your floor if you notice the following signs:

  • It is still unattractive or uneven when the planks are sanded.
  • There is obvious warping or bending of the floorboards.
  • Water damage or decay has affected the planks.
  • Some of the wood pieces have holes in them.
  • The wooden planks have broken or are missing parts.

Pros and cons of Hardwood Floor Resurfacing


  • Resurfacing a floor is a simple method to contribute to long-term sustainability. You can save money by restoring a tarnished hardwood floor rather than replacing it.
  • Any possible safety issues will be addressed by resurfacing damaged flooring before they become a problem.
  • Resurfacing your floor will keep pests out.
  • A way to add years to the life of your flooring.


  • In just about all cases, floor resurfacing takes significantly longer than total refinishing.
  • The floors are not allowed to be touched during the procedure, which may pose problems in everyday living.
  • Sanding is a messy process that produces heaps of dust that swirl in the air and require time to settle.
  • A complete renovation usually comes at a higher expense in terms of materials and labor.


Both hardwood flooring resurfacing and refinishing offer certain advantages and disadvantages over the other. Deciding which is right for your home depends on how you intend to use the floors in the future, and the condition of the wood itself.

If you know how to determine whether you need hardwood floor resurfacing or hardwood refinishing, selecting a team of trained professionals is the best decision you can make.

Read Also: Pine vs Oak Flooring. What are the Differences?

3 thoughts on “Hardwood Floor Resurfacing vs Refinishing”

  1. I really like how you stated that getting a professional to refinish your wooden floor can still retain the sturdy wood for years. This definitely sounds like an easier method than just trying to get this exotic wood of ours replaced since it’s so hard to find. Once I find a hardwood floor refinishing expert in the area, I’ll have them help us out with this for sure.


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