What To Know Before Hiring A Wood Floor Contractor


We may buy a house that has hardwoods throughout the house, but they have been under carpet for years! And, the color is light, we may want the stain darker. We can just pull up all the old carpet and have them redone to the color of our choice right? (We realize if areas are too badly stained or missing that we’ll have to have new wood put down.) Is there a general cost per sq. foot to have your wood floors re-done and or re-stained?


Dear Dori

If you have enough wear layer on the top of the tongues on this floor, by all means have it sanded and stained and finished with at least 3 coats of oil modified polyurethane or 4 coats of a water based finish. If you want a water based finish, I would suggest the Dura Seal 1000 type of finish for darker floor. This is called an oxygen cross-linking water based finish, and it has a less pale blue color than the Catalyzed types. But read about this in the ‘Product Reviews’ section of this site, under Dura Seal 1000.

But make sure you find an honest floor mechanic that will tell you if your floors can be sanded, many are too thin these days. Please read my article on hiring floor contractors in the ‘How To’s’ section of my web site. There are other ways to strip a floor without sanding, as described in my chemical stripping article also in the ‘How To’s’ section of this site.

And sanding a floor in prep for a stain is very tricky. There should be no or almost no sanding marks in the floor, as the stain will make these very prominent. An experienced stain man will know the compatibility of his stains and finishes. Most contractors cannot do this well. Be SURE to LOOK at several jobs this contractor has done. I charge $3.50 per square foot (min. 300 ft.), to sand stain and finish a floor with 3 coats poly. But it only costs $2 per ft. to sand and apply just the poly for a clear blonde finish floor.