Hardwood Floor Refinishing While in Residence?

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Topic: Hardwood Floor Refinishing While in Residence?

Home and Garden April 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Hardwood Floor Refinishing While in Residence?

I would love to have my hardwood floors refinished (80-year-old Mt. Pleasant rowhouse), but the house is furnished and occupied (people and dog).  Does anybody have experience in living through a project like this?  Any tips?  Recommendations for a refinisher?  Or is it even possible?  Thanks very much!

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I had my floors refinished before I moved in, but I think it’s possible (at least in theory) to get your floors refinished while you’re living in a place.  I think my refinisher’s contract sheet said that they charged $75/hour to move furniture.  Presumably you’ll need some space to move the furniture _to_.  I don’t know if they’d charge extra on account of needing to spread the work out over 2 or more days so as to allow the given room(s) enough time for the floor to dry before moving furniture back in.  Also, make sure they use low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) or no-VOC materials — if they use oil-based stains, etc., the fumes will be nasty and you won’t be able to get away from them.


We lived in our house when our first floor floors were sanded, stained, and sealed (3x).  If I remember correctly, sanding and staining only took a day.  We had our contractor coat with polyurethane first thing in the morning when we left for work.  We let it dry for 12+ hours (this was during the summer and we cooked on back deck after work) and were able to tip toe across the floors.  As long as the floor isn’t sticky, you can step on it, but I would limit my steps.  I rememner one or two prints in the floor that the contractor easily buffed out.
We moved our own furniture so I can’t weigh in on that.

Thanks very much for the information.  I’m glad to hear that it can be done without the mess from sanding being too much. 

Just to chime in, I had my floors refinished after I’d moved in. It wasn’t ideal, but also wasn’t possilble to refinish prior to moving in. 
I moved everything from upstairs downstairs then after the upstairs was dry moved everything upstairs. It was manageable and my floors are beautiful.
The sander had a bag attached that captured most (but certainly not all) of the dust.

It was years ago but if they’re still around I’d recommend them – Golden Floors (or something like that).

Best floor guy around:  Joe Burge – 202-210-7067

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