Sanding, oiling, varnishing wood flooring costs

If you have a real wooden or hardwood floor, it is necessary to have it sanded and treated every once in a while. By doing this, you ensure that your floor will look as good as new and that it’ll last for a long time. These types of floor renovations are often cheaper than laying a completely new floor and can be done fairly quickly. It’s always a good idea, both for the lifespan of the floor and for your wallet, to have this kind of work done.

The costs

The price you pay depends on the surface of your floor and the treatment you want. Just polishing is cheaper than having the floor painted or oiled. This depends on your personal taste, but also on the type of floor you have. The following table shows the costs for three common floor treatments, for both hardwood and wooden floor coverings. The costs include materials and labor. If, in addition to these activities, you would like to have other work carried out, you’ll usually pay a fixed amount per hour.

Type of floor treatment Costs
Sanding and polishing $13 per 11 ft2
Sanding and oiling $17 per 11 ft2
Sanding and varnishing $22 per 11 ft2
Extra work $26 per hour


Sanding and polishing: the cheapest option you have is to sand and polish your floor. You can get it done for $16 per 11 square feet by a professional company, resulting in a glossy effect. Keep in mind your floor won’t be treated with oil or lacquer, which makes it a little more vulnerable to leaks.

Sanding and oiling: oak floors will benefit greatly from an oil layer. Sanding the floor first will remove any unevenness and make the floor even and clean. The oil can then be used to color the floor, but it also forms a protective layer against liquids and dehydration.

Sanding and lacquering: hardwood is often finished with a layer of lacquer, which doesn’t automatically result in a shiny effect. There is also matt lacquer available to help you restore the natural color of your floor. This is best on light woods and protects your floor in daily use.

The price structure

A professional company charges $6 per 11 square feet in labor costs. The rest of the asking price consists of materials and call-out costs. This means that about 20 percent of the total costs consist of labor, 2 percent goes to the call-out costs and the remaining 78 percent is for the materials. By sanding and treating the floor yourself, you can save about 22 percent on the total costs. However, you should bear in mind that you’ll also need to hire a sander and maybe buy other equipment as well. Realistically speaking, savings made by doing it yourself aren’t that large. The following diagram shows this price ratio.

Prevent problems in the future

It’s best if you leave your beautiful wooden or hardwood floor untouched as much as possible in order to get the longest lifespan out of it. Then the best thing to do is to postpone these types of renovation projects for as long as possible. It is important that you maintain your floor properly in order to achieve this. There are a number of ways to do this after your floor has been laid or renovated.

Maintenance lacquered floor

A lacquered floor requires very little maintenance. It is important that you keep the floor dust free and that you wipe any spilled liquids with a damp cloth as soon as possible. Vacuuming and occasional mopping is very important. In addition, it is wise to re-apply the protective layer once every three months. This can wear out because the floor is in use. You can also degrease the floor every 6 months before applying the polish. This will ensure your lacquered floor will last considerably longer and continue to look good.

Impregnated floor maintenance

If your floor is impregnated with wax or oil, you can easily remove spillages with a damp cloth. Mops can also be useful, but without a cleaning agent. If you no longer get any shine from the old wax layer after rubbing, you can apply a new wax layer. Make sure that you first completely remove the old layer with a washer and that you only rub out the wax after it has dried.

Interesting savings tips

The price you pay for renovating your floor is often cheaper than installing a new floor. That is why this is often the better choice financially. By using a lacquer or oil with a natural color, you can virtually restore your floor to its original state. However, you will have to make an investment for this. Here are a few tips to help you keep the costs under control.

  • Use a local business: by finding the manpower as close to home as possible, you can avoid or keep the call-out costs to a minimum.
  • Do it yourself: by sanding and treating the floor yourself, you can save about 15 percent of the total price. This is because the materials will probably be more expensive if you buy them yourself and you’ll have to rent a sander. The work itself is not that difficult, but it’ll take time and energy. You can also consider having the sanding done and do the aftertreatment yourself.

Compare quotations

The best way to find out what this means for you financially, is to request quotations. You can do this quickly and easily with our comparison tool. This service is free of charge and does not oblige you to buy anything. Fill in your details, and the tool will send you a number of quotations from companies in your region. You can compare these with each other in order to make the best decision regarding your floor treatment.