Refinishing Hardwood Floors- What to Expect

We Hired Someone to Refinish Our Hardwood Floors

The blog has been quiet for a couple of days because we are tackling some major projects, starting with hardwood floor refinishing.

Our main floor is hardwood including both the front entrance foyer and the kitchen.  We purchased our home four years ago and the floors were horribly damaged.  The previous owner deducted the cost of new floors from the purchase price and we decided to live with it for awhile.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors


Choosing the Colour

Turns out our floors aren’t veneer but a good quality 3/4 inch solid maple. Although our floors are extremely worn, the sanding process only takes 1/16 of an inch off the top. This was great news and at $2.90 a square foot a quarter of the cost of putting in new floors of the same quality.  On  Uptown Hardwood’s   recommendation we skipped staining and left the wood colour natural.   It allows the grain to show and keeps the room light and airy.

The Preparation

We had to move all the furniture off  the main floor.   Including the fridge and stove (which we decided to clean in the process).  I won’t whine about moving the china cabinet and all the dishes inside it.  Okay maybe I whined a little.

We could either remove the baseboards or leave them and paint them after the floors were done.  We choose to leave the baseboard attached and repaint them afterwards.

You need to remove all the closet doors.

When we put in the basement gyproc you could write your name inside the entertainment on the top floor. Gyproc dust was EVERYWHERE and it took a couple of months and a furnace/vent cleaning to get rid of the problem.

This time we prepared for dust as much as possible by:

Removing the drapes and artwork.

Covering the main  floor light fixtures.

Refinishing your hardwood

For the front hall closet we took everything out and stored it upstairs.

Hardwood floor refinishing

Moving everything in the pantry would be a nightmare so we opted to cover the items instead.  Dust wouldn’t hurt the sealed items but what a  horrible chore it  is to dust everything.   We started by cutting plastic bags to fold in and around the pantry boxes etc. Unfortunately we ran out of bags so I finished by tucking the whole shelves behind two large dollar store table cloths.

Stuffing the heat vents with rags.

Preparing for Refinishing Hardware floors.

Finally we sealed the opening to the upstairs  floors with tarps and closed the door to the basement in the lower foyer.a

The Refinishing

Uptown hardware sanded all the floors with three different grades of sandpaper. This was our first glimpse at the natural wood underneath all that damage.

refinished hardwood

After sanding they added a fill coat and a sealer coat.  They left the first two coats overnight to cure.

Returning the next day the refinisher applied two coats of an extra durable product called Moisture Cure polyurethane.   Unlike regular polyurethane it only comes in a glossy finish. but that is the finish I wanted. The Moisture Cure is much more durable and less likely to scratch than regular floor polyurethane.    It cost $150 dollars more but is well worth it as this is our dog’s home too.

Don’t Stay Home During the Process

We were able to come an go while they were sanding the floors, but we  didn’t hang around.  If you want to stay home during this process its noisy but not too bad. Once the refinisher start applying the coatings don’t be in the house.  The fumes are incredibly strong even with the masks they wear.  We spent two nights in a nearby hotel while the house aired out.

Letting the Floors Cure and Harden

We were told that its alright to walk on the floors after twenty four hours and put the furniture back with scratch guards after 48 hours.   The poly takes a week to fully cure.

Hubs is the only one who walking on the floors in the first 48 hours.   Were not going to place the furniture back for a week.   Were living between the top floor and the garage this week.

refinishing hardwood floors

We are so excited with our new floors, we love them.    We did not ask for or receive a discount or payment from Uptown Hardware Flooring in Edmonton, but I highly recommend them.    They were honest and our floors look wonderful without having to replace the wood.

Now that all the furniture is stored were painting ceilings and walls this week.


  1. Austin Hart says:

    Thank you for providing such detailed information and guidelines.

  2. It looks like the preparation was tons of work for you. But, the end result is gorgeous. It’s so nice that your floors were solid maple. They look great, now. Thank you for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

  3. What a beautiful makeover Leanna! I love the light color and can’t wait to see the room all finished!

  4. It looks beautiful! Great tips! Seems like quite an undertaking with all the dust and moving everything, but well worth it I’m sure.

  5. Wow, what a stunning transformation! I love the color you chose too. Perfection!

  6. The floors are gorgeous! Love the color you chose. Thanks for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty.

  7. Wow, that turned out beautifully! Thank you for sharing at ‪#BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty‬.

  8. That floor is just gorgeous. I certainly do hear you on the length and difficulty of some of these projects. I am in a similar loop with my kitchen.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Elise: So true eh. Kitchens and bathrooms are the worst, they take just so much work. I look forward to seeing your kitchen update.

  9. Your floors turned out gorgeous! You’ll be soo glad that you went with no stain and a lighter color. The laminate in our rental is dark and it shows everything!! I’m constantly sweeping or vacuuming. That said, we have laminate throughout and I love having no carpet. 🙂

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Funny you mention that. Our upstairs is all carpet and I love it for the warmth but the stairs are such a pain to keep clean especially with the big puppy, he travels up and down all day.

      Thank you for commenting on the colour because I thought it was a bit of a risk not to stain them. I love how light they are now though so I am glad we left them natural.

  10. I LOVE hardwood floors. Yours are gorgeous!
    Thanks for sharing #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty.
    PS – I would have whined about moving the china cabinet and all of its contents as well!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      I have always loved all things glass, especially stemware. I was scared to break most of it so I took them upstairs 3 at a time. Good for the leg muscles or so someone told me lol

  11. Your floors look fabulous, Leanna! I’ll keep this company in mind should I hear of anyone locally who wants to refinish their wood floors. Don’t work too hard painting this week – it’s so beautiful outside.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thanks Marie. Its just so gorgeous outdoors finally. I feel so energized when the sun shines.

  12. That’s a brilliant way to cover your pantry Leanna! And the finished product is beautiful, congrats!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Randi. I still cringe when I think about the gyproc dusting. It took me days to wash everything off, it literally got everywhere.

      The clear finish was a bit of a risk but I really like how light they are now. Thanks for commenting.

  13. How beautiful Leanna. I’m so glad you could save the original floors, they look stunning after all that sanding. We’re planning on doing our wooden floor upstairs ourselves sometime soon, so your tips are going to come in real handy.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Great stuff Michelle. Just be really careful with the fumes. Leaving the windows open just isn’t enough to ensure its safe. I am so glad to have them done finally. Was well worth the wait.

  14. Leanna those floors look amazing. I need to do this sometime soon with my son’s apartment. The floors look horrible and I am really dreading it. Haha!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      It took me four years to convince Hubs as we thought it could be 10K. Given the work the products and all the different sanders and supplies you need I think its better to hire someone as long as they are honest.

      Thanks I am glad to hear you like them Mary.

  15. This came at just the perfect time. One of the rooms in my house is in need of a redo and I was wondering, dreading, exactly what that entailed. Not too bad and your floors are amazing!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thanks Jax, the only thing is the fumes. No way could you sleep the first night with them in the house. They are so strong.

      Thanks for the comment. I love the clear finish but its good to know others agree.

  16. Leanna – the floors look gorgeous! It sounds like there was an extensive amount of work involved, but apparently it will be well worth it. Years of beautiful floors, without a lot of maintenance. I am sure this post will be helpful to others with wood floors.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      I was shocked he only needed to take off 1/16 to 1/32 of an inch of the wood to fix them. I think its important to know that because refinishing is so much cheaper than replacing. The refinisher said our floors could be done 6 more times no problem.

  17. The floors look wonderful. It was worth the inconvenience to you and now you get to paint. But it will look lovely when it is all done.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Debra: It is just so great that we didn’t need to replace them, and I can take pictures without worrying about what the floor looks like. So worth it. Thanks or commenting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.