There are several steps involved in hardwood refinishing which can be labor and time-intensive, such as the drying time, finishing, sealing, staining, and belt sanding.
Usually 3 to 5 days to refinish hardwood floors but depends on the size of the area.
Before the contractors can start work on the refinished floor, they will have to sand off the finishing from the old flooring. They must also repair any damage that it may have sustained. Then, the contractors must clean up the dust before they can begin the refinishing job. The stain application also needs time since it requires two coats for best results.
After the stain has dried completely, the polyurethane coating is applied. Three or more polyurethane layers are necessary for a polished look. There are two types of materials commonly used in hardwood flooring: water-based polyurethane and oil-based polyurethane. The trouble is that oil-based polyurethane can take longer than water-based polyurethane. That’s a pity because oil-based polyurethane is longer-lasting, more visually attractive and to top it all, is less expensive than the water-based version.
Oil-based polyurethane can take about 3 to 5 days while water-based polyurethane can take up to 2 days. With oil-based polyurethane, the time depends on the darkness of the stain (if any), coats of polyurethane and the humidity level. With natural polyurethane (that is when there is no stain), dry weather, 3 coats of polyurethane, it will take just 3 days to do the job.
Polyurethane coats normally take 24 hours to dry. Stains take 24 hours, though darker stains can even take up to 48 hours to dry. The refinishing area is also important. Most contractors can sand about 1,000 square feet each day. So if you are refinishing a large area, say 3,000 square feet, your contractor will need at least 2 days for sanding. If the contractors have more manpower at their disposal, they can sand more area in 24 hours.
The time taken can also vary with the humidity level. With higher humidity, the coats take longer to cure. Certain species of wood, maple and pine, for instance, require a longer time and more work.
What To Expect During a Hardwood Floor Refinish
The duration of hardwood floors refinishing is important because you will have to vacate your house while the work is in progress. If you do choose to live rather than move temporarily, you must take several precautions. No matter how well you seal the spaces where work is in progress, fine dust will permeate the rest of your home. Besides the hazardous dust lingering in the air continuously, there will also be a strong smell of polyurethane and stain.
Some other words of warning: the odor can persist for several days and the noise from the equipment will also be very high. The floor will cure in a few weeks, although most floors are usually inhabited within 24 hours.
The Length of the Refinishing Job Depends on All These Factors
- The area that the contractor will need to work on
- How quickly the contractor is able to shift your furniture
- The level of damage to the old floor
- Contractor’s requirements
- Your own specifications