What Is the Cost Per Square Foot to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors are attractive and durable options for nearly any indoor and outdoor space. Applying a finish to the surface of the wood, such as paint, stain or simply a clear polyurethane finish can preserve the integrity of the wood for years to come. If you are undergoing a flooring refinishing project, you may be required to stay on a tight budget. Estimating the cost per square foot of your refinishing project will help keep your finances on track.

Wood Costs

Calculating costs for wood floor repair will help keep you in your budget.

The primary cost for your floor refinishing is the cost of the wood itself. If your wood is already installed, the cost should be relatively low. If there are pieces that are scuffed, rotted or otherwise damaged, they will need to be replaced. Inspect your flooring for signs of wear and tear. Then determine how much new wood, wood filler or sandpaper you will need. Price the cost of this wood by square foot as well as the price for sandpaper or wood filler.

Refinishing Materials

Refinishing materials include paint, stain, varnish and any other decorative items. Visit your local home repair supply store to choose the right finishing material for your flooring. Bring a notebook to the store to keep an accurate account of the cost of paint or stain by the gallon. If you are covering a smaller area, a gallon might not be necessary. In this case, write down the cost of these materials by the pint or half gallon.

Tools and Supplies

Other tools and supplies will be necessary for refinishing. For example, you will need to prep the floors before refinishing with a sander. If you do not have access to one, you will need to buy or rent one. Make note of this cost in your notebook. Other supplies include hammers, nails, paint brushes, paint rollers and mixing tubs. To reduce costs, try borrowing some of these items from a friend or neighbor. Make a list of any supplies you will need for this project and what they cost.


Measure the length and width of the flooring area you need to refinish. Multiply these numbers together to determine the surface area you are refinishing. For example, if the flooring is 9-feet wide by 10-feet long, your square footage will be 90 ft. This number will help you determine how much paint or stain you will need. Add together all of your costs; this includes your wood, paint, stain, sanding tools, brushes rollers and all other materials. Take this total amount and divide by the number of square feet to determine your cost per square foot. For example, if the total amount is $100 and you are covering 90 square feet, your cost will be approximately $1.11 per square foot.

About the Author

Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.