Refinish, stain or clear coat hardwoods???

6 Replies

Just closed on a single family in the city of cleveland.  Mostly cosmetic work and trying to figure best economic decision.  Place has beautiful natural hardwood floors.  Should I sand/finish, stain/finish or just polyurethane them?

Well, if really beautiful already.... maybe a couple, of areas rugs does the trick....

There are some directions online that entail a series of sanding at varying grits (course to fine) and you can rent a large sander (use a hand one for small areas). This worked for me to strip and prep the surface.

Then I like using a specialty paint store and buying their stain and polyurethane products (or equivalent) for this purpose. Think Ben Moore or Sherwin Williams, etc.. I buy over the off counter big box store for stain/poly of trim, but with a floor (especially if a rental or even if selling), get the best stuff do the appearance and to hold up to wear and tear, plus find one with good application advice. My best tip: stay super clean with vacuum and dust mop brigade as any speck or particle will be planted in your poly for life. Also, look for the low odor VOC formulas, too.

It was relatively cheap for me but labor intensive. still looks good, though..

Do you have any pictures of the floor currently?

thanks everyone for your advice!  I will try to get a picture and post tomorrow.  The less work the better especially since I'm just using it as a rental and I was hoping to only have to send it in the future before I sell.

@Jason Wokutch

Any photos? If it's in decent condition and not a very expensive rental where renters will be expecting high end, I would leave the floors alone.

Thanks for all of your suggestions!

So we ended up cleaning all the bad areas we could with simple green and a hand razor and some electric hand sanding.  After I got a tile sponge and put polyurethane on by hand.  Whole house only took half a can and floors have a nice shine.  Very simple and inexpensive way to save a floor!!!

I got to this forum late.

I would say if they are in good condition just to put a poly and make them shine.... Like you already did.

Good thing is once they get worn you can sand them down and stain them. Pretty much makes them brand new. Keep in mind if they are engineered hard wood you have a thin layer to sand and they can't be sanded as many times as solid hardwood.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here