How Long Does It Take To Refinish Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floor refinishing takes around 2-6 days to complete, depending on various factors. In this article, we will break down each aspect of hardwood floor refinishing and explain how this affects the total job time. For the most accurate assessment, give us a call today!

Factors Affecting Hardwood Floor Refinishing Time

The time it takes to refinish hardwood floors can vary based on several factors:

Floor Condition: The initial state of the hardwood floors significantly affects the refinishing time. Floors with deep scratches, stains, or extensive damage will require more sanding and repairs, prolonging the process​.

Room Size: The size of the area to be refinished is a major determinant. Larger rooms or multiple rooms will naturally take longer than a single small space.

Type of Finish: The type of finish applied also impacts the timeline. Water-based finishes typically dry faster, allowing for multiple coats in a day, whereas oil-based finishes take longer to dry between coats​.

Humidity and Temperature: Environmental conditions like humidity and temperature can affect the drying and curing times of the finish. High humidity can slow down the drying process, extending the overall refinishing time.

Preparation and Clean-Up: Time spent on preparation, such as moving furniture and covering immovable items, and clean-up after the job, can add to the overall duration.

Experience and Equipment: The efficiency and expertise of the professionals doing the work, as well as the quality of the equipment they use, can impact how quickly the job is completed. Experienced professionals with high-quality tools will typically work faster and more efficiently​

Can I Stay In My House While The Floors Are Refinished?

Most likely yes, however it comes with several considerations:

Dust and Odors: The sanding process generates a lot of dust, and the chemicals used in the finishing process can produce strong odors. These can be problematic, especially for individuals with respiratory issues or allergies. Ensuring good ventilation can help, but the odors might still be pervasive.

Access: Depending on the layout of your house, certain areas might be off-limits while the floors are being worked on. This can be particularly inconvenient if it’s a high-traffic area like the kitchen or living room.

Drying Time: After the application of each coat of finish, the floors will need time to dry. This could mean restricted access to those areas for several days.

Safety: Wet finishes can be slippery and walking on floors before they are fully cured can damage the finish and pose a safety hazard.

Tips for Staying at Home While Floors Are Being Refinished

Seal Off Work Areas: Use plastic sheeting to seal off the area being refinished to contain dust and fumes.

Plan for Alternative Spaces: Arrange to use other parts of the house that are not affected by the refinishing process.

Schedule Wisely: If possible, schedule the refinishing during a time when you can spend a few days away from home or have limited activities planned.
When It’s Better to Stay Elsewhere

Extensive Refinishing: If a large portion of your home is being refinished, it might be more practical to stay elsewhere.

Health Concerns: Individuals with asthma, allergies, or sensitivities to strong odors should consider temporary accommodation to avoid health issues.

Ultimately, the decision to stay in your house during floor refinishing will depend on your tolerance for dust and odors, your ability to navigate around work areas, and whether you can manage the inconvenience of restricted access to parts of your home.

Can Hardwood Floors Be Refinished In One Day?

Refinishing hardwood floors in one day is highly challenging and typically not recommended due to the time-intensive nature of the process. The standard refinishing process involves several steps, each requiring significant time.

Preparation alone, which includes removing furniture, cleaning the floors, and making necessary repairs, can take several hours. Sanding the floors to remove the old finish and smooth out imperfections is labor-intensive and, depending on the size and condition of the floors, can take several hours to a full day.

If you choose to change the color of your floors, staining is an additional step that adds more time as each coat of stain needs to dry thoroughly. Applying the finish usually involves three coats, with drying time between each coat. Water-based finishes dry faster but still require a few hours between coats, while oil-based finishes often need 24 hours per coat.


Refinishing hardwood floors is not always a long process. It usually only takes a few days, depending on the complexity of the room. By the end of it, your flooring should look as good as new. Regular maintenance and care will ensure that your hardwood floors remain beautiful and durable for years to come. Get in touch with Matt’s Professional Flooring today to get more information on your hardwood floors.

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