Hello - I just bought a new house (new to me) and want to get the hard
wood floors redone in them. They are in decent shape, but in the high
traffic areas, the polyurethane has worn off and you can pretty much
see the dull wood. My house is about a 1000 square feet and I need
about 800 sq. feet refinished. I have Red Oak 3/4" thick by 2 1/4" wide
What is a good estimate? I have a guy who is a friend of a friend of my
parents, and he seems pretty reliable, but just curious and wanted to
know what other people have gotten for estimates.
He quoted me at $2,300 which includes 3 coats and sanding one room in
which the previous owners painted over. In the process of getting a
couple more estimates, but just wanted to see what others have to say.
I did mine myself, once. Once.
I wouldn't do it again as it was a complete labor intensive pain in
the ass. But I sorta knew that going in and felt it was something I
needed to try once. Once. :-)
$2300 doesn't sound horrible. Is that for water based or oil based
poly? What brand?
Thanks Todd. What is the difference between using water vs oil based
poly? Does one hold up better than the other or look better? He just
told me to pick out the color and let him know. I was told that 80% of
the time, people choose "Early American" which is MinWax color stain,
so I am not sure what poly. he was planning on using?
Durability. Oil is far superior, but can tend to yellow if you get a
lot of sunlight in. The downside of oil based is that it smells like
holy hell and the place will be largely uninhabitable for 3 days while
they layer up the coats.
The water based poly to have when I was looking was a relatively
pricey product called StreetShoe. Odor is far less, durability of
this product evidently rivals oil, yellowing isn't an issue, and I
think successive coats can go on quicker. It's the darling of those
doing hardwood for malls and such with high traffic. 4 or more coats
That may hint that he's planning on using MinWax's oil based poly.
I'd totally recommend using stain. Some folks omit stain to go but
it's a huge mistake, IMO because the stain so nicely brings out the
wood grain. I used the Golden Oak stain or maybe it was Natural on
red oak and it really augmented the grain beautifully.
Color is personal preference. Dn't obsess about matching wood
furniture--all trees play well together in the forest say the
Thanks Kiwanda. Yea, this quote included sanding and refinishing the
kitchen, where I found hardwoods underneath the vinyl flooring. I have
removed the vinyl and backing to the best of my ability. That was not
very fun and kind of expensive for the right adhesive remover.
The "Brazilian" (floor guy) said that they can get the rest of with the
sander. I will check on the oil vs water and which he was planning on
Thanks for the suggestions.
I wouldn't use any stain, it will make it very dark and will get darker
every year, just a poly coat will darken it greatly and make it grainy,
but that is a personal preference, I liked gloss coat, it's the most
durable (like the gloss kitchen paints), easy to clean and always look
great, but again that's personal preference some people think it looks
too plastic. I also have waxed hardware floors in the bedrooms, but
much prefer the gloss for looks and durability.
If I had to do it over again I may bleach them first (scandinavian
look) followed by poly coat, a friend of mine did that and it looked
I did three rooms in our house about two years ago and would happily do
it again if needed. These rooms required much more than refinishing;
two had multiple layers of carpet glued/stapled to them, and one
hallway had vinyl glued down. The floors were laid in 1958 and not
badly worn, but getting all that glue up caused some damage. Not
counting the removal work, it took basically one full day to strip and
sand all the floors down to bare, smooth wood, and another day
(intermittant) to put down three coats of water-based poly. They look
great and the whole project cost me about $100, for perhaps 400 sq feet
of red oak. I didn't bother to get a bid on it so don't know what it
would have cost locally.
For the $2,300 the OP was quoted I could install AND finish entirely
new oak floors in most of my house.
10 years ago I had about 600 sq ft sanded, filled, stained (went with a
fruitwood color), and water based urethane ??? (2 coats) for $1200. All
I had to do was help get that big frikken sander in and out of the
truck. I went with the satin finish rather than the gloss ... my
Now, how can he refinish those other rooms without sanding and filling ?
My floors are the exact same type as yours. The amount of square feet
I had done is also roughly the same as yours. I live in Northern
California and just had mine redone last week with 3 coats of oil-based
polyurethane. I didn't stain them but left them that natural red oak
color. They turned out fine. Total cost: $1450. The quote you got
seems high to me, but that probably depends on the going rate in your
area. I'd suggest that it's really worth shopping around and getting
at least three quotes.
One note: oil-based polyurethante stinks to high heaven and takes a
while to dry. My refinisher highly suggested we sleep somewhere else,
especially the night the top coat was applied and it was a good
suggestion. It takes a minimum of 24 hours before you can walk on it
and they really suggest 72 hours. You can count on the smell being
there for at least a couple of weeks with the windows wide open, so if
you are already living in the house, be prepared to be majorly
The 2300 sounded high, until I re-read the part about removing paint from a
room, and that makes the price sound okay. I like a little stain on the
floor too, to bring out the grain. With oak, you'll probably be happier
with a satin or semi-gloss poly than a high-gloss, and it's easier to keep
my 2 cents.
Also...my hardwood runs into what is going to be the kitchen. Should I
wait and have the floors done once the cabinets are in? Or do the
floors before the cabinets. Remember that the floors in the kitchen
still have some adhesvie residue from the vinyl that use to cover it
until I ripped it up.
I was thinking, have them sand the floors (let the dust settle), then
have the cabinets installed and then have the coats of stain and poly
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