Refinishing the Hardwood Floors

Hey, folks. There’s a lot happening around the house this week. We decided it was time to have the hardwood floors refinished. As I mentioned before, we thought about doing them ourselves, but it just didn’t seem like a good idea.

I know, I know. We’re the worst DIY’ers ever. This is turning into less of a DIY blog, and more of a “look at the people we’ve hired” blog.

But we wanted the floors to look nice, and we were certain it would take us at least a month to do on our own. And when we started thinking about timing, and our 10-month-olds nap times, and equipment rental costs… well, it just made sense to hire it out. Especially since Mel has been out of town visiting family for the past week, so she’s missing out on most of the general disarray.

We hired Don Christie from Christie’s Floor Sanding to do the job for us. He was fast, professional, and affordable, and I think the floors look great.

Living Room

The living room and dining room floors had some stains didn’t have much finish on them anymore when we started. In a lot of places, it looked like bare wood already. There were a handful of stains, but the floors here were mostly in pretty good shape already.

Before - Living Room.
Before - Living Room.
During - Lining Room.
After - Living Room.
After - Living Room.

Dining Room

The dining room was in very similar shape. You see the light-colored rectangle in this first pic? That’s from the rug under our dining room table, which means that we (not 80 years of previous owners) are responsible for much of the discoloration in this room. My theory is that since the floors didn’t have hardly any polyurethane on them at all, the floor was quickly soaking up all the  oils from our grubby little bare feet. The dark area around the back side of the room is probably pet urine, but it sanded out pretty well.

Before - Dining Room.
During - Dining Room.
After - Dining Room.


In my last post, I asked you guys for some advice on what to do about the entryway area. It had been tiled over in the past, and we sort of wanted tile in the future. Based on the discussion in the comments from that post, we decided just to have the entryway finished like the rest of the floor, and we’ll tear it out later for tile if we feel like it. Turns out, this area is so small, that it only cost about $50 to refinish the floor in this area anyway, so if we end up tearing it out later for tile, no big deal. We think it turned out really well, with only a very slight discoloration.

Before - Entryway
After - Entryway.


The hallway was clearly the most damaged area in the house, and the floors had been pretty ravaged by pet urine. The staining pattern was strange, though, because it created an area with a dark ring around the edge, but mostly bare wood in the middle. We discussed with our floor guy the possibility of replacing some of the boards, and we decided to wait to make that decision after they had sanded it down. We ultimately decided to leave it in place, and we’ll just live with the stain. Looks like a great place for a rug, right?

Before - Hallway.
During - Hallway.
After - Hallway.

Master Bedroom

The floors in the master bedroom were in tough shape – there were a number of stains throughout, and quite a few gouges from negligent carpet-layers in the past. All but one small stain was sanded out, and that small stain is barely noticeable.

Before - Master Bedroom.
During - Master Bedroom.
After - Master Bedroom.

KP’s Bedroom

The floors in KP’s room had some of the worst staining in the house – particularly that dark circle in the bottom left side of the first photo. That spot is still visible, but it’s not bad.

Before - KP's Bedroom.
During - KP's Bedroom.
After - KP's Bedroom.

So that’s it, readers. Now we have to move all our furniture in again. Didn’t we just do this 4 months ago?

14 thoughts on “Refinishing the Hardwood Floors”

  1. Wow, great floors! We’re lucky that ours have been protected by paint so any staining should be minimal…we’ll see when we get to that part of the reno though!

  2. Wow it looks great! We have thought about this but we don’t have anywhere to put the furniture. Did you put it in storage?

  3. Thanks guys – The furniture is mostly in the basement or the kitchen. Luckily, we don’t own much stuff. We decided to get rid of the couch, so it just went straight out to the curb.

  4. The floors look GREAT!! I like the natural color. I refinished my floors myself but I give a big thumbs up to hiring out 🙂 DIY is a lot cheaper but it’s a lot of work and doesn’t look as good as the pros (in the instances I’ve seen, including my own). Good choice.

  5. Thanks everyone (like how I take credit for how great they look even though I didn’t have anything to do with it)?

    @Britten – we didn’t use any stain. This is one coat of sealer, and two coats of oil-based poly. I think the oil-based poly results in more of the golden look than a water-based poly.

  6. Did you slide all around the house in your socks for a while before putting all the furniture back? We would’ve got a running start in the kitchen, then slid from the dining room into the living room. If you were wearing sweatpants and a hoodie (and I’m assuming you were), you could even treat your new floors like a slip-n-slide!

    They are beautiful.

  7. I tore up the old wall to wall carpeting upstairs, at least 20-30 years old. A ton of dirt under the mats, and a paint-splattered, dark brown floor that looked like a warehouse. Some type of fir (downstairs is oak, but the builders must have figured the attic-like third floor did deserve oak. Anyway, the transformation after sanding and refinishing was amazing. Because it is a softer wood, it dents and scratches–eventually I’ll have to put some rugs or something over parts of it, but have avoided doing so because I so much like the way it looks.

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