A Guide to Floor Refinishing – What to do before and after

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If your hardwood floors are looking a little worse for wear, you’re probably considering the magical transformation that comes with floor refinishing. There’s no doubt about it: A proper refinishing job can make your old, scuffed floors look brand new. However, there’s more to it than just handing the job over to professionals. Here’s a detailed guide to what you need to do before and after floor refinishing to ensure a successful project. And if you’re looking for reliable floor refinishing services in Oklahoma City, look no further than Soto Flooring!

Related Article: 5 Benefits of Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors

Before Floor Refinishing

Assess the Condition

Before you start, evaluate the condition of your flooring. Are there deep scratches, discolored patches, or areas where the wood is actually damaged? Knowing this can help you discuss your needs more effectively with your chosen service provider.

refinishing wood floors in OKC

Clear the Space

Remove all furniture, rugs, and other items from the area that need refinishing. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people underestimate how much space the professionals need to work effectively.

Choose the Right Time

Floor refinishing involves several steps, each requiring time to set or dry. Make sure you pick a time frame where you can stay off the floors and possibly out of the house for a few days.

Preparing the Subfloor

Though this is often done by professionals, it’s good to know what it entails. The subfloor needs to be clean, level, and stable to ensure a quality refinishing job.

Consult with Professionals

Consult with wood floor Professionals

Before the sanding and staining begin, consult with your chosen company to understand what finishes basic coatings and stains are best for your home. This final step is crucial for meeting your aesthetic goals and ensuring the longevity of your floors.

During Floor Refinishing

It’s best to stay off the floors and keep pets and children away from the area during the refinishing process. Good floor refinishing services in Oklahoma City will also advise you to keep windows open or have good ventilation to disperse any fumes from stains or finishes.

After Floor Refinishing

Allow Time for Drying

This is crucial. Even if the floor looks smooth and dry, the finish may need additional time to cure properly. Walking on it too soon can result in imperfections that are hard to fix.

Inspect the Floors

Before moving furniture back, carefully inspect the floors to ensure that the floor finish has been applied evenly and that there are no issues that need immediate attention.

Furniture and Area Rugs

finished hardwood floors

Wait at least 48 hours, or as advised by the professionals, before you start moving furniture back into the room. As for area rugs, it’s advisable to wait at least two weeks for the finish to cure fully.


Your newly refinished all-wood floors will look gorgeous, but they still need care. Use furniture pads, sweep regularly, and clean using products recommended for refinished hardwood floors to maintain their beauty.

How much does it cost to sand and refinish hardwood floors yourself?

Equipment and Materials

First up are the costs of the equipment and materials you’ll need. You’ll have to rent or buy a floor sander, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 per day, depending on where you rent it from. Then there’s the cost of sandpaper, stain, and finish, which can range between $50 to $150 or more, depending on the quality and amount you need.

refinishing hardwood floors Oklahoma City

Time and Labor

Don’t forget to factor in the value of your time. Sanding and refinishing a floor is a labor-intensive process that can take several days to complete, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

Unexpected Costs

Accidents happen, and when they do, they can be costly. Whether it’s a sander that gouges the floor, leading to more extensive repairs, or a stain that didn’t come out the way you hoped, requiring you to start over, these unexpected costs can add up quickly.

Quality of Work

The last “hidden cost” is the quality of work. Even with the best intentions, the DIY approach is often noticeably inferior to a professional job. This can affect not just the appearance of the entire floor, but also the longevity of your floors, possibly leading to higher maintenance costs down the line.

How To Tell If Your Hardwood Floor Will Withstand a Refinish

Check the Thickness of the Hardwood

The first thing to look at is the thickness of the top wood grain. Most hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished several times during their life, but each process removes a layer of wood. A hardwood floor should be at least 3/4-inch thick to be refinished. If it’s thinner than that, you might risk damaging the wood floor itself beyond repair.

Examine the Surface for Wear and Tear

Take a close look at the state of your floors. Do they have deep scratches, dents, or gouges? While minor blemishes can often be eliminated through sanding, severe damage might require board replacement, which can be both complicated and costly.

Evaluate Previous Refinishes

If your floors have been refinished multiple times already, they may not withstand another round of grit sandpaper. Excessive sanding can w

ear down the wood to a point where it becomes too thin and fragile for another refinishing.

refinishing hardwood floors

Moisture and Structural Integrity

If you notice any warping, cupping, or sagging on new wood, it might indicate moisture damage or structural issues. These problems need to be addressed before any refinishing can occur.

Consult a Professional

When in doubt, it’s always best to consult a professional for an assessment. They can perform detailed inspections to determine if your floors can be refinished successfully.

Floor refinishing is an intricate process that can breathe new life into your hardwood floors. Knowing what to do before and after the process can help ensure a successful, lasting transformation. If you’re in need of top-notch floor refinishing services in Oklahoma City, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Soto Flooring. Our professional team is here to ensure your finished hardwood floors will look as stunning as the day they were first installed!

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