Comprehensive Guide to Hardwood Refinishing-Answers to Top 10 FAQs

1. How long does hardwood refinishing take?

Hardwood refinishing duration can vary based on several factors, including the size of the area being refinished, the type of wood, and the extent of damage or wear. On average, the process typically takes around three to five days. However, it’s essential to note that this timeframe can extend if there are complications or additional services required, such as repairs or intricate staining techniques.

During the refinishing process, the floors need time to dry between each step, which can contribute to the overall duration. Additionally, factors like humidity and temperature can influence drying times. Proper preparation and planning with your hardwood refinishing professionals can help ensure a smoother and more efficient process.

2. What are the benefits of wax removal from hardwood floors?

Wax buildup on hardwood floors can lead to a dull, yellowed appearance, making the floors look aged and unattractive. Removing wax buildup not only improves the aesthetics of the floors but also enhances their durability and longevity. Without the layer of wax, the natural beauty of the wood can shine through, providing a more vibrant and appealing look to the space.

Furthermore, removing wax buildup can improve the effectiveness of maintenance routines. Without the barrier of wax, cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors becomes more straightforward and requires less effort. It also allows for better adhesion if you decide to apply a fresh finish or protective coating to the floors, ensuring a more durable and long-lasting result.

3. How often should hardwood floors be professionally cleaned?

Professional hardwood floor cleaning is recommended every 12 to 18 months, depending on various factors such as foot traffic, household pets, and environmental conditions. Regular professional cleaning helps remove dirt, grime, and allergens that can accumulate on the surface and in the wood’s crevices over time.

Professional cleaning also involves specialized equipment and techniques designed to deep clean hardwood floors without causing damage. This process ensures that your floors are thoroughly cleaned and restored to their original beauty while preserving their integrity. Additionally, professional cleaners can provide recommendations for maintenance and care to help extend the lifespan of your hardwood floors.

4. Can hardwood floors be refinished without sanding?

Yes, hardwood floors can be refinished without sanding using alternative methods such as screening or buffing. Screening involves lightly abrading the existing finish to create a smooth surface for the new finish to adhere to. This method is suitable for floors with minor surface imperfections and shallow scratches.

Buffing, on the other hand, involves using a rotary buffer to apply a new coat of finish directly over the existing one. While buffing doesn’t remove the old finish, it can effectively refresh the appearance of the floors and provide added protection. However, it’s essential to note that these methods may not be suitable for severely damaged or heavily worn floors, which may require traditional sanding to achieve optimal results.

5. What are the signs that hardwood floors need refinishing?

Several signs indicate that hardwood floors may need refinishing, including visible scratches, dents, or gouges, dull or faded finish, uneven coloring or staining, and noticeable wear patterns in high-traffic areas. Additionally, if your floors feel rough or gritty to the touch, it may be a sign that the finish has worn away, leaving the wood vulnerable to damage.

Inspecting your hardwood floors regularly can help you identify these signs early and address them before they worsen. Refinishing your floors at the right time not only restores their appearance but also protects them from further damage, potentially saving you time and money in the long run.

6. How can I maintain my hardwood floors after refinishing?

Maintaining your hardwood floors after refinishing is essential to preserve their beauty and prolong their lifespan. Some tips for proper maintenance include:

  • Regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and debris
  • Promptly wiping up spills to prevent staining or water damage
  • Using felt pads or area rugs in high-traffic areas to reduce wear and tear
  • Avoiding harsh cleaning products or excessive water when mopping
  • Periodically applying a hardwood floor cleaner or refresher to maintain shine and protect the finish

By following these maintenance tips and establishing a regular cleaning routine, you can keep your hardwood floors looking beautiful for years to come.

7. Is hardwood refinishing safe for pets and children?

Yes, hardwood refinishing is generally safe for pets and children once the finish has fully cured. However, during the refinishing process, it’s essential to take precautions to minimize exposure to dust, fumes, and chemicals, which can be harmful if inhaled or ingested.

To ensure safety during refinishing, consider temporarily relocating pets and children to a different area of the home or arranging for them to stay with friends or family until the process is complete. Additionally, proper ventilation and dust containment measures should be implemented to reduce exposure to airborne particles.

Once the finish has cured, typically within a few days to a week, hardwood floors are safe for pets and children to walk and play on. However, it’s always a good idea to follow any specific recommendations provided by your hardwood refinishing professionals regarding safety precautions and timeline for reentry.

8. Can hardwood floors be refinished in high-humidity environments?

Refinishing hardwood floors in high-humidity environments can present challenges, as excessive moisture in the air can affect drying times and the performance of finishes. However, with proper precautions and techniques, it is possible to refinish hardwood floors in these conditions successfully.

One essential step is to monitor and control the humidity levels in the environment during the refinishing process. Using dehumidifiers or air conditioning can help regulate humidity levels and create an optimal environment for drying. Additionally, selecting finishes and sealants designed to withstand high humidity can help ensure long-lasting results.

It’s also crucial to work with experienced hardwood refinishing professionals who understand the unique challenges posed by high-humidity environments and can implement appropriate strategies to mitigate them effectively.

9. Can hardwood floors be refinished multiple times?

Yes, hardwood floors can typically be refinished multiple times, depending on the thickness of the wood and the extent of previous refinishing. Most hardwood floors have several layers of wood beneath the surface, allowing for multiple sanding and refinishing cycles over their lifespan.

However, each refinishing process removes a small amount of the wood’s surface, so it’s essential to consider the thickness of the wood and the depth of any imperfections or damage. In some cases, particularly with thinner engineered hardwood or heavily worn floors, there may be limitations on the number of times the floors can be refinished.

Regular maintenance and proper care can help extend the lifespan of your hardwood floors between refinishing cycles, minimizing the need for frequent refinishing.

10. How can I prepare my home for hardwood refinishing?

Preparing your home for hardwood refinishing is essential to ensure a smooth and successful process. Some steps you can take to prepare include:

  • Clearing the area of furniture, rugs, and other belongings to provide unobstructed access to the floors
  • Removing any wall hangings or decor that could be damaged during the refinishing process
  • Securing pets in a safe and comfortable area away from the work zone
  • Covering vents and sealing off adjacent rooms to prevent dust and fumes from spreading
  • Communicating any specific concerns or preferences with your hardwood refinishing professionals to ensure they are addressed during the process

Taking the time to properly prepare your home can help minimize disruptions and ensure a satisfactory outcome from your hardwood refinishing project.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve addressed the top 10 frequently asked questions about hardwood refinishing, covering everything from the process itself to maintenance and safety considerations. Whether you’re considering refinishing your hardwood floors or simply looking to learn more about the process, we hope this guide has provided valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about caring for your hardwood floors. For more information about MKZ Hardwood Refinishing and our services, visit our website.