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Wood Floor & Stair Refinishing

Give your home a refreshed look and feel with a refinish.

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New Wood Floor Installation

Hardwood flooring creates a warm, welcoming environment for your home.

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Hardwood Floor Recoating

Some floors just need a recoating to revitalize their beauty.

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Hardwood Floor Repairs

We can make the new flooring blend in and leave a flawless, uniform finish.

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Wood Floor & Stair Refinishing
New Wood Floor Installation
Hardwood Floor Recoating
Hardwood Floor Repairs

2019 guide to hardwood floor refinishing costs for Madison, WI. Having your wood floors refinished can be a big undertaking. A lot of times we forget that having your floors refinished is a form of remodeling because we aren’t tearing something apart. Perhaps we should change our perspective on remodeling, and rather think of it as anything that will improve the overall look and value of your home.


What can I expect to pay for my refinishing project?

There are many different things that can factor into the over all cost of having your floors professionally refinished. Here are a few key factors that play a part in how much it’ll cost.

  1. Natural or Stain– Choosing between the look of natural hardwood or deciding to stain your floor is perhaps one of the most determining factors in the total cost of refinishing your floors. The main factor in the cost difference is that floors that are going to receive stain need additional sanding over natural hardwood floors, as the stain pigmentation will highlight any imperfections in the floor. Because of this, there is a lot of detail sanding that needs to be performed, not to mention the labor involved with staining the floor.
  2. Different types of finish– There are 4 different types of finish that we offer. Single component, commercial finish, UV cured finish and hardwax oil. Each one of these finishes have unique properties to them, and choosing the right one can help provide longevity to your hardwood floors.

Our minimum refinish price starts at $1,600 and increases from there depending on what the client selcts. Our typical jobs average about 700 sqft, and the average cost to refinish this would be approximately $3,500. We’ve done jobs from 300 sqft all the way up to 4,500 sqft.  All of these factors play a part in what it costs to refinish hardwood floors.


Do I have to move my furniture? 

Yes you will have to move the furniture before your refinishing project starts. I know this can sometimes be a daunting process of figuring out where to put all of your furniture during your floor refinishing process. Here are a few helpful tips as to where you can move your furniture. You can move a lot of your furniture into your garage. I know that your vehicles might have to site outside for a short period of time, but this will save you space. Stack stuff in other rooms that aren’t currently being refinished. You can also rent a Pod and move your furniture into them. This frees up a lot of space inside your home and makes it easier for you to move around

Some clients also find it easier to hire a moving company to take care of moving all the furniture in and out. If you are a busy person this might be a great investment for you.


How dusty will my house get from having my floors refinished?

When we are refinishing floors the machines produces a lot of wood dust. To help keep the dust at bay we offer a dustless package. What does the dustless package include? All the machines are hooked up to a dust-containment system that take the dust away from the machines and collects it. We also run an air scrubber by BuildClean

The combination of the equipment we run and how we prep things after we are done sanding leaves your home clean after the refinishing process is completed. Now when we say its 99% dust free, there is still 1% of dust. On an average sized job we are removing 60lbs of dust, there is still around 1/2lbs of wood dust that can be floating in the air and settle on things. It would be like if you didn’t dust for a week or so. Overall your house is left pretty clean after your wood floors have been refinished.

Should I get multiple quotes from a hardwood floor refinishing contractors?  

Yes! I know this may sound weird that we are telling you to get a couple other quotes from other flooring contractors. This way you can compare the cost to refinish your floors, but also different options that are offered. Not everyone, including myself, may be a great fit for you. After all, you will be seeing this contractor for awhile during the refinishing process, and should feel at ease that they will do a wonderful job and you have no worries with them working in your house.

Here are a couple of top rated wood floor refinishing companies in the Madison, WI area.

Imperial wood floors

Nelson Wood Flooring 


Does the way a floor is sanded play a part in how long my floor will last?

Refinishing hardwood floors is nothing short of an art form. There is a lot of knowledge that we’ve gleaned over the years in perfecting how we sand floors, which will play a role in how long your floors will last. Even something as seemingly trivial as the material and grit of the sand paper used can impact the final product. Knowing the paper grit and sanding sequence to use will make a difference in how well your floor will perform. Throughout our experience we have developed our craft and sanding technique that leaves the floor with a closed grain. This allows the finish to sit on top of the wood and ultimately leaves a better build of finish which means more protection for your floor.


What to look for in a contractor for your refinishing job

If you are looking to have your wood floors refinished in Madison, WI how do you know that they know what they are doing? There are a few things to look at when determining the right company to hire.


Certifications don’t always mean that you are getting the best possible floor. What it can mean, is that the company you are thinking to hire has taken the time to educate themselves and their employees on improving their skills and new ways to refinish your wood floors. There are a couple of different certifications that are offered not only by the NWFA but also by some manufacturers on how to properly sand, stain, and finish hardwood flooring. A lot of times by attending some of these classes you gain valuable information on new products that are out there.

With some certifications like the NWFA Sand and Finish certification they require that you get a certain number of  CEU credits in order to keep up the certification.

Before and After Photos

A good flooring contractor should show you some before and after photos of past work that they’ve done. This will give you an idea, not only of what your floor can look like, but also the different species and looks they are able to create for you. After all, this is a pretty big home improvement project!

Online reviews

Online reviews are similar to a referral from a neighbor. So many times in this technical savvy world we live in, we don’t always talk to our neighbors a lot just due to the fact that we live busy lives and our paths don’t intersect. Checking out what past clients have to say about flooring contractors and the reviews they’ve received online, like Google, Houzz and Facebook can play a part in giving you a snapshot of of how great a job they do and how highly recommend they are as a company.


We hope that these answered some of your questions that you may have about getting your hardwood floors refinished. Whether you are downtown Madison or around the UW Madison area, there are always floors that need to be transformed! If you ever have any questions feel free to contact us or comment below.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but when it comes to hiring someone to have work done on my house, I do a lot of research to see  if I can answer some of my own questions before having them start the project. Having your engineered or solid hardwood floors refinished can be quite the undertaking. We want to help you make this process a little easier by answering some of your questions that we’ve heard over the last 10 years. Here are our top 11 questions answered about having your hardwood floors refinished!

What does it cost to have my floors refinished?

Having your floors refinished is time consuming. No matter if it’s a couple hundred feet or a few thousand. It requires the same amount of  equipment. You also can’t speed up dry times. With taking that all into place we start out at a minimum of $1,600 and go up from there based on the size of the job. To find out more about the cost you can read more here.

How long does the average refinish take?

Our average refinish takes 3-5 days from start to finish. A lot of this depends on what type of wood, condition of the floor, layout of the house, and whether the floor is getting stained. All of these factors play into the estimated time it takes to complete your job.

Will I have to leave my house during the refinishing process?

During the hardwood refinishing process you don’t have to leave your house. We work with you to let you know of times when you may not be able to walk on the floors (generally only a couple of hours). However, once the final coat is applied, in most cases you’ll need to wait overnight before you can walk on the floors. After the final coat has dried, you will be able to walk on the floor, but only with socks for a couple of days, as the floor is still curing. The alternative would be to choose our UV finish which is fully cured right away via our machine that uses UV light to cure the finish. This allows you to move furniture back into your space and walk on the floor after the curing process.

How dusty will my house be from having my floors refinished?

You’ll barely know that we were there refinishing your floors. We have invested in some of the best dust-containment equipment around. Take a look at this video to see how little airborne dust there is.   

Will my house smell from having my floors refinished?

  Generally the smell is very minimal as we try to use low VOC products (Volatile Organic Compounds). Typically speaking, the higher the level of VOC’s in a product, the more odors you will have. While we use low VOC products whenever possible, some of the stains we use do have a bit of a smell to them. However, once the stains have dried the smell from them starts to go away.

What colors can you make my wood floors?

The sky’s the limit when it comes to what color you want your wood floors to be. From bleaching a floor to remove color pigments, to using reactive stains to create a unique grey color, there are so many choices it can make your head spin! Not to worry, during our consult with clients we help them look at their floors as a part of the whole and not a separate entity. We can help you choose the right color for your home that will help tie together your new floor with your current decor.



What finish is best for my hardwood floors?

Choosing the right type and quality of hardwood floor finishes can be kinda tricky. Let’s go through a few things to help make the choices of finish a little clearer. One thing that always comes up is, “what is the most durable finish?”. Durability of finishes can vary so much and depend on different things. However, the biggest single factor in the durability and longevity of your finish is how well you maintain your floors. 

Water-Based Polyurethane Finishes

We offer a few different water based polyurethane finishes with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) along with hard-wax finishes. These finishes range from a single component finish all the way up to on-site UV cured finish. These coatings protect from above creating a film over top of the wood.  


Hardwax Oil Finish

Hardwax oil finishes are a little different in how they protect the floor. The oil not only soaks into the grain of the wood and protects within, it also protects from above by molecular bonding to the fibers of the wood. Hardwax oil finishes also typically tend to have a more matte look .


Which of these finishes is best for you?

There are many factors in choosing the right finish for your floors, but both will perform well. Selecting the proper finish really depends on what your expectations are for the floor and how much maintenance you are willing to do.

Do I have to move my appliances?

A lot of times it is best to move your stove and refrigerator when you are having your hardwood floors refinished. This allows us to refinish the entire floor, so if you ever change out your appliances to newer ones you won’t have to worry that its not the same size and that there will be an ugly spot that isn’t covered by the slightly smaller appliance.


Do I have to remove my baseboards when I get my floors refinished?

This is a very common misconception people have. They think that the machines wouldn’t be able to get up close to the base boards, and that there would be flooring that was unfinished. The machine we use to remove the old finish around the room where our belt sanding machine can’t go is called an edger. The edger gets nice and close to the base without damaging it so you don’t have to remove the base. The only time we recommend removing the base is if the floor is cupped and the base isn’t sitting flat on the floor, or the wood has been sanded a few times and there is a build up of wood showing under the base.  



How long after my wood floors are refinished can I move furniture back?

Typically, about two days after the final coat of finish is applied the floor is about 80-90% cured and you can move your furniture back on your wood floors. Now, there are a few a few exceptions to this. If you go with UV cured finish, you don’t have to wait to move furniture or rugs back on the floor. The reason for this is that the UV machine instantly cures the finish and it’s as hard as it’s going to get. Another exception is Hardwax Oil. With this type of finish you only need to wait 24-36 hrs after the oil is applied to move furniture back on. We suggest running your whole house fan on your furnace to help with the curing process of both the hardwax oil and the water based finishes.  



When Can I Put Rugs Back On My Wood Floors?

Putting rugs back onto your newly refinished hardwood floors depends on what type of finish was applied. Lets say it was an oil based polyurethane that was applied to your floor, because it takes almost a month for the oil based poly to cure you need to wait a minimum of 2 weeks before putting your rugs back down. With hardwax oils and water based finishes you need to wait 1 week, but with UV finish there is no waiting period before placing your rugs back in place.

red rug on wood floor



We hope we were able to answer any questions you may have regarding your floor refinishing project. If you’d like to see more refinishing jobs we’ve done take a look at these 5 amazing transformations! 

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National Wood Flooring Association Member • NWFA Certified Sand & Finisher Professional