Refinish Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Sanding and Refinishing or Screening and Recoating

One of the superior qualities of hardwood is that hardwood (in most cases) can be restored to an original beauty by either a sand and refinish or a screen and recoat.  Any change to the finish should be avoided if possible.    Refinishing or recoating your hardwood will likely void the manufacturer's original finish warranty.  However, sometimes, the only solution which is reasonable available is to sand and refinish or to screen and recoat.

Product Review

BonaKemi's environmentally friendly wood finishes lead the flooring industry in V.O.C. emissions and durabilityWolfe Flooring provides both residential and commercial finishing products by BonaKemi. BonaKemi AB of Malmö, Sweden has been manufacturing the world's finest floor finishing products since 1919 and now sells in over thirty-five countries around the world.


There are many types of finishes available including waterborne, oil-modified polyurethane, acid cure urethanes (a.k.a., Swedish finish), moisture-cure urethanes, varnish, shellac and lacquer finishes, and "polymer finishes" (i.e., acrylic impregnated or an irradiated polymer). We offer two primary types: oil-modified urethane and waterborne which are described in the next two paragraphs. Click here to read NOFMA's complete description of the finishes. Gloss levels vary: matte, satin, semi-gloss, high gloss, and other variations.

Oil-modified urethane finishes are very popular and offer a deep luster.  Oil-modified urethanes yellow or amber a little over time which may or may not be desirable.  You'll save about 13% with an oil-modified urethane.  Click here to read more about the oil-modified finishes we offer.

Waterborne finishes dry without the odor of oil-modified urethanes and are not flammable. Likewise, water-based finishes are not prone to yellow. Finally, waterborne finishes are more environmentally friendly. Click here to read more about the waterborne finishes we offer.


It is the perfect time to get other products and services when you are having your floors sanded and refinished.  At the time of a refinish, you can upgrade your home by the addition of a wood medallion.

Extra Coats.

Our pricing normally assumes that we will provide two coats of finish in addition to the sealant as specified by the manufacturer. Some customers want an additional one or two coats to add a deeper look and longer lasting finish. This is recommending in high traffic areas. An extra coat is a fairly inexpensive addition.


Deep, penetrating stains can be added to alter the natural color of your wood. Some hardwood floors have an existing stain. Existing stains are lost during the sanding process. Thus, staining will be necessary if we are to attempt to match your current look. This also is a fairly inexpensive addition.

Wood Recoating or Refinishing Preparation

  • The following preparations may be needed to give your wood floors the like new appearance. Some of these preparations may be unrealistic given your circumstances. However, we've included these manufacturer and regulatory agency recommendations in hope of optimal results and for disclosure reasons.
  • Moldings are located at thresholds and around the room's perimeter (a.k.a., shoemolding). The molding may have to be removed, replaced, or added. Moldings are priced separately.
  • If you have a wood subfloor, verify that a wood subfloor has at least 18" of air above the ground. The ground in the crawl space should be covered with a vapor barrier 4 mils (0.1 mm) thick or greater.
  • The moisture content of your wood should be tested if you've had a moisture problem (e.g., flood, leak, cracked slab, etc.) of any type. The sanding should not take place until the moisture in your hardwood has reached normal levels of 14% or less. New finish would inhibit evaporation. Wolfe Flooring can perform this test if you're wary.
  • Please condition the room to about 75° prior to our arrival. If you have a radiant-heated floor system, please turn it off 24 hours before the recoating or refinishing.
  • Please, pick up all personal items from the floor, and secure all delicate breakables (e.g., dining pieces and figurines in a China cabinet) prior to our arrival.
  • Please, disassemble complicated electrical equipment like computers prior to our arrival.
  • If the building is new construction, the building should be presented broom swept and free of all equipment, etc.
  • The furniture must be carefully removed and put back in place. About half of our customers choose to handle their own furniture; therefore, furniture handling is priced separately. If you elect to handle the furniture, please remove the furniture prior to our arrival. Some manufacturers recommend that furniture not be returned onto the new flooring for a period of time. See directions below under "Follow-up Activities and Initial Maintenance."
  • Fixtures (e.g., toilets), doors, appliances, and other items may have to be removed and reattached. This service is priced separately.
  • Once we begin your recoating or refinishing, the work area should be restricted from all foot traffic. Unfinished thresholds, flooring products and tools can pose TRIP HAZARDS. PLEASE BE CAREFUL. Please restrict the work area during the entire project.
  • Please secure your small children and pets from following us out of your home while the exterior doors are open. KEEP CHILDREN AWAY FROM THE PLASTIC we may hang to contain the dust.
  • Your hardwood must be in suitable condition to get optimal results. The floor may or may not require specialized prep. Some types of preparation are priced separately.
  • Replace burnt, rotten, and termite damaged boards
  • Level uneven boards
  • Secure loose or squeaking boards
  • Extra sanding to eliminate severe crowning or cupping
  • Trowel fill or spot fill cracks, dents, termite damage, etc.
  • Reinforce floor to stiffen particular boards
  • Treat for urine contamination
  • Remove tackless strip from perimeter if the area was covered by carpet
  • Chip away wall plaster, etc.
  • Nail down protruding nails
  • Sweep clean
  • The V.O.C. emissions during the finishing process may be unpleasant depending on the type of finish you choose. You may need to consider renting a hotel room during this time.

Follow-up Activities and Initial Maintenance

Process the billing and get a hand written or published warranty. Retain the sales receipt and any product descriptions. If possible, document the manufacturer's name and the manufacturer's full product description including color.

Cutting and sanding boards will create dust. This dust cannot be contained completely. Some may settle in nooks and crevices and even in the AC ducts. Click to read more about our guarantees.

The curing time varies between different finishes. The first 24 hours are the most critical. After 24 hours, you may walk softly on the new finish. Furniture should be placed down carefully if it needs to put it back. Finishes are often 90% cured within the first 72 hours. Your new finish will likely cure for a full week. The finish is susceptible to scuffing during this week. Rugs should not be replaced till the week has passed. Do not clean the finish, not even with water. Finally, keep the pets off for the first 24 hours and for the first week if possible. If this is not possible, trim the pet's nails.

Maintain the same temperature for 48 hours after your recoat or refinish. Never allow the subfloor's temperature to exceed 100° F during the life of your wood. Leaving the building unoccupied with significant changes in temperature and relative humidity can cause damage. If you have a radiant-heated floor system, leave it off for 24 hours after the recoat or refinishing.

Ventilate the areas during the process and for 24 to 48 hours after the installation to dissipate the new product smell. Enhance the ventilation by switching your air conditioner to fresh air, not re-circulated air.

Never wet mop a wood or laminate floor. Moisture can ruin your floor.

Consult our wood maintenance guide for more extensive information on daily care.