I need some advice about refinishing hardwood floors. Is this something I can do on my own? I've done plenty of research but I want to try and collect input from DIYers with actual experience.
I recently bought a house. It was kind of a surprise opportunity, but now I find myself with a nice little place (1940's construction in good repair, double-layer brick, Florida) that I need to put some work into before my girlfriend and I can move in.
The house has oak hardwood floors that were covered in carpet for at least 15-20 years. We thought they looked to be in pretty good repair. Upon pulling up all the old carpet, they were revealed to need more work than we thought. Some termite damage that will need to be filled, some dark staining, etc.
I got a couple quotes for having them refinished. One guy was a high-level craftsman who gave me a lot of noise about working on multi-million dollar homes and being so busy that he can barely
fit me in next week, or failing that next year. He wanted $5000 for the job, which given the sq. footage of the house seems exorbitant. The other guy seemed like he knew what he was talking about, but I don't know who he'll actually have crewing on the job and I haven't seen any examples of his work. He wanted $2250.
We had considered trying to refinish them ourselves before we saw the extent of the job we had ahead of us, but being unimpressed with the professionals I've spoken to has put that option back on the table. I have a lot of DIY experience (minor construction projects and plumbing, minor woodworking, etc.) but this is the first house I've owned and while I've worked with wood and sanders a lot, these would be the first floors I worked on. The question is half about saving money but half about assuring that we can have nice-looking floors after this.
We're not moved into the house yet. Is it realistic for me (with help) to try to refinish these floors myself? How difficult is it, really? Sanding, filling small holes, staining, sealing, refinishing? Can an amateur actually do fairly good work at a job like this? And if so: does anybody have advice on how I should go about it? Or a set of full, precise instructions they can direct me to?
Assume I've done enough basic reading to know the major steps involved. And please feel free to ask me any questions if more information is needed. I've read this thread
, and if responding to the questions in the first answer would help, I'd be happy to do it.