Gordon James

Gordon James
Refinishing vs. Resurfacing Hardwood Floors

Many older homes, originally constructed with aged hardwood floors, are now showing their age. If this is happening to your hardwood floor, you may wonder if the solution is to completely resurface your flooring or just refinish the wood. People often use resurfacing and refinishing interchangeably. But, they do have slightly different meanings. The builders at Gordon James are familiar with hardwood floors, and how to bring out their natural beauty. Before viewing our gallery, “Medina Masterpiece,” for example photos of a renovated hardwood floor, consult the following article to learn more about the basics of each process, and the differences between them.

What’s the Difference?

  • Refinishing involves sanding down the uppermost layer of the floor and applying fresh stain and lacquer over the existing wood. It only requires a drum sander, stain, and lacquer to make your floor look shiny and new again. You can undertake to refinish yourself — but the professional treatment is sure to leave you most satisfied.
  • Resurfacing your floor involves more than just putting a layer of polish on top. It may require removing old floorboards, grinding down uneven boards, and reinforcing wood planks with new nails. This process is more time-consuming and expensive — it requires an investment in wood-grinding equipment, lumber, a nail gun, power saw, and other special tools. In other words, this a job best left to professionals like the experts at Gordon James.

What’s Best for Me?

Refinishing your floor can cure scuff marks and discoloration. If the planks are fairly even and smooth, all it needs is a light sanding and few new coats of stain and lacquer. Conversely, if your floor exhibits a number of the following signs, a full resurfacing may be the best solution:

  • The floorboards are noticeably warped, bent, water-damaged, or rotted
  • Following sanding, some or all planks still have an unattractive or uneven color
  • Some or all planks contain cracks, holes, or missing pieces
  • Nails are missing from the floorboards

A floor that needs resurfacing will still look very uninviting if you only apply a coat of stain and lacquer. While installing laminate flooring in a hardwood style on top of the existing floor is another do-it-yourself option, laminate simply doesn’t have the same richness and depth as well-maintained wood.


Though the considerations listed above may seem complex, rest assured that Gordon James will handle all facets of construction with skill and technical acumen. Contact us today, and you’re guaranteed to be floored by the results.