It’s true. Refinishing an old wood floor can be surprisingly different than refinishing a new one. Of course, by “old” we often mean the kind of wood floors that are original to a house. There are plenty of homes with floors like that in and around Belleville and surrounding areas—maybe you just moved into one.

And, we’ll be blunt: floors that are, say, 100 years old can be challenging to restore.

But it can be done.

Here’s a quick look at the 5 things you’ll want to know before scouting out the hardwood refinishing contractor to restore your old wood floors.

  1. Sanding and refinishing an older hardwood floor really has to be done by a professional. We’ve seen some homes where the homeowner learned this the hard way. This will save you tons of time. Be realistic about how much disruption you want to take on when you move everyone (and all the furniture) out of spaces to refinish. For an old wood floor, a DIY approach generally doubles the time it takes to get the sanding and refinishing done.
  2. There are key factors any professional will look at before giving you a quote for your restoration, and it’s important to know what they are:
    1. The number of rooms, hallways and stairs (as well as total square footage)
    2. The condition of the floor after coating is removed
    3. Recoating versus refinishing required
    4. The number of old finish coats required
    5. How many times the floor has been refinished
    6. Whether the floor has any water damage
  3. The type of sealer or paint on your floors will be a deciding factor in how it’s restored, too (as well as the presence of any glue from other types of flooring installed on top of it). Learn what is on the floor now or get your hardwood contractor to check it out. To remove carpet glue and paint, for example, the hardwood refinisher will need to use a different level grit of sandpaper when sanding.
  4. A quote is only complete for a project like this one when the materials, tools and equipment are all clearly priced out for you. Make sure any contractor you consider gives you this information in an easy-to-understand quote.
  5. The sanding method used to remove finish, stain and damage is the one step that has the HIGHEST potential to go wrong when it comes to old wood floors. Make sure the contractor you have on board has the expert knowledge for this step, especially.


With all the questions your hardwood refinisher will have for you, there will be some answers you don’t have right away. This is especially true with older hardwood floors since the owner is rarely the person who was around for their original installation!

Start with a conversation with a flooring professional. Valor Home Services has been serving the O’Fallon and surrounding area for more than 25 years. Give us a call or start a chat with us today.