Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

View Video

Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

View Slideshow

Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

See More

DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

View Slideshow

Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

View Slideshow

8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

View Video

Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

View Video
Popular in Home Improvement

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Find out what you need to do to restore and refinish hardwood floors in your home.


My home has beautiful hardwood floors, but they desperately need to be refinished. How is this done? And can I do it myself, or do I need to hire a professional?


To answer your second question first, no, I would not recommend that you sand and refinish a hardwood floor yourself. The job involves using heavy sanders that require a deft touch so as not to gouge the floor. And the refinishing is a multistep process that needs to be done right the first time.

The difficulties in sanding and refinishing depend on the condition of your floor, but they could include having to remove carpet glue and fill cracks between floorboards as part of the preparation process. Two different types of sanders are used: a belt floor sander for the main areas and an orbital sander to go around the floor perimeter. Once sanding is complete, the floor is stained and finished, usually with a polyurethane varnish. A semigloss finish adds more shine than satin, without the high maintenance of a gloss finish.

Answered by: Greg Cook, Home Remodeling Editor

About Greg

As a diehard do-it-yourselfer, Greg Cook has shared what he knows about building and remodeling with a national consumer audience for more than 25 years. He has served on the staff of magazines and websites such as Better Homes and Gardens,, and Remodeling Ideas. Since launching his freelance career in 2006, Greg has contributed to Popular Mechanics, Men's Journal, and a host of special-interest and custom publications. He specializes in energy efficiency and sustainability.

More for You:

Learn the Basics of Flooring

Video How-To: Refinish Wood Floors

Free Home Improvement Newsletter


Loading... Please wait...