Resurfacing vs. Refinishing Hardwood Floors: A Guide

November 24, 2023by CMO Flooring0


When it comes to maintaining hardwood floors, homeowners often encounter two terms: resurfacing and refinishing. While they may sound similar, they involve different processes. This guide will clarify the differences, especially for homes with radiant floor heating systems.

Understanding Hardwood Floor Maintenance

The Importance of Floor Care

  • Proper maintenance extends the life of hardwood floors and enhances their appearance.

What is Hardwood Floor Refinishing?

The Refinishing Process

  • Refinishing involves sanding down the top layer of the wood to remove scratches and stains, then applying a new finish.

Benefits of Refinishing

  • Revitalizes the look of the floor and can fix minor damages.

What is Hardwood Floor Resurfacing?

The Resurfacing Technique

  • Resurfacing is more in-depth, involving the removal of a significant portion of the wood’s surface, usually to fix more severe damage.

When to Choose Resurfacing

  • Ideal for floors with deep scratches, warping, or other major issues.

Comparing Resurfacing and Refinishing

  1. Depth of Treatment
    • Refinishing is less invasive than resurfacing.
  2. Time and Cost
    • Resurfacing is typically more time-consuming and costly due to its extensive nature.

Resurfacing and Refinishing with Radiant Floor Heating

Considerations for Heated Floors

  • Both processes can be compatible with radiant heating, but require professional assessment to avoid damaging the system.

DIY vs. Professional Services

When to Call the Professionals

  • Due to the complexity, especially with radiant heating, professional services are recommended.

Maintenance Tips Post-Treatment

Caring for Your Floors

  • Regular cleaning and avoiding excessive moisture are key to maintaining both resurfaced and refinished floors.

The Impact on Home Aesthetics and Value

Enhancing Your Home’s Appeal

  • Both treatments can significantly improve the look and feel of your hardwood floors.


Understanding the difference between resurfacing and refinishing hardwood floors is crucial for making the right decision for your home’s flooring needs, especially when considering radiant heating systems.

Looking for professionals to install and supply quality flooring in your home? Talk to our professionals at CMO Floors for a free consultation!

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