The Unintended Cost of DIY Floor Refinishing

Andy Ross of All Hardwood Floors offers expert refinishing services, and they can bring an old hardwood floor back to life in a gorgeous way. But a professional-looking refinishing job can be easier said than done.

Sanding Hazards

The main problem with DIY refinishing is that hardwoods are unforgiving, even if you make a simple mistake. If the sanding is done too aggressively, which can happen if you exert too much pressure or use the wrong kind of sanding pad, you can gouge the wood. Or you can create a dip in the floor that cannot be filled and fixed. It’s not uncommon for DIY refinishers to ruin a fine floor so that it is no longer functional and has to be completely replaced. That can add considerable cost to the project before you even price-in the expense of a new floor.

Staining and Finishing Problems

Mismatched stains can also create unforeseen problems, and then you may have to go back and sand the wood again before applying a new stain. If you accidentally apply stains and finishes that aren’t chemically compatible, they can fail to adhere, or peel off later when you least expect it. But the most common risk with staining and finishing may be the application procedure itself. Without experience it can be easy to leave unsightly brush or roller strokes in the surface of your floors, that permanently mar the finish.

Other Risks and Issues

When refinishing a floor there are also health risks. You never want to breathe fine particles of sawdust or old stains and paints. That requires painstaking attention to mitigate the dust that is generated when you sand a floor. You’ll also want to take care not to be exposed to any toxic fumes from stains or sealants. Without proper equipment and training those issues may become more than you bargained for as a DIY homeowner.