How Much does Floor Sanding Cost?

Comprehensive Guide to Floor Sanding Costs in Australia

Hardwood floors are the pride of many Australian homes, offering both aesthetic appeal and durability. However, like all things pretty, it requires periodic care to maintain its lustre especially since you’re stepping on it all the time. 

And one of the most common questions homeowners ask is, “How much does floor sanding cost?” This guide aims to provide a comprehensive answer, breaking down the costs and factors that influence them.

Average Cost of Floor Sanding

In Australia, the cost of floor sanding is typically calculated per square metre, making it easier for homeowners to estimate expenses based on the size of their space.

On a national scale, homeowners can expect to pay between $25 and $40 per square metre for floor sanding. This range isn’t arbitrary but is derived from extensive market research, encompassing quotes from various professionals across different states and territories. It’s worth noting that while this is the average range, prices can fluctuate based on several factors, including the specific region, the expertise of the professional hired, and the current demand for floor sanding services.

One of the primary determinants of this cost is the type of coating chosen. The finish not only affects the final appearance of the floor but also its durability and maintenance requirements. Two of the most popular coatings in the Australian market are solvent-based and water-based polyurethanes and their details are below:

Solvent-Based Polyurethane

This type of coating is known for its high durability and glossy finish. It’s a favourite among homeowners who desire a high-shine, reflective surface that accentuates the natural grain of the wood. On average, sanding and polishing with a solvent-based polyurethane will cost between $25 and $35 per square metre. While it offers a stunning finish, it’s worth noting that solvent-based polyurethanes tend to have a stronger odour during application, which dissipates once dried.

Water-Based Polyurethane

A more environmentally friendly option, water-based polyurethanes are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them a safer choice for households, especially those with children or pets. They provide a clear finish, preserving the natural look of the wood. The cost for sanding and polishing with a water-based polyurethane typically ranges from $30 to $40 per square metre. Besides being eco-friendly, they also dry faster and have a milder odour compared to their solvent-based counterparts.

Factors Affecting Cost

Understanding the intricacies of floor sanding costs also requires a deep dive into the various factors that influence the final price. While a ballpark figure can be helpful, it’s the nuances of each project that determine the actual expenses. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of how various factors determine the final price:

1. Size of the Space
The area slated for sanding is a significant cost influencer. Typically, larger spaces can offer a cost-benefit. For instance, while sanding a 20m² room might cost around $600 (at $30 per square metre), a more expansive 100m² area might be quoted at $2,500, effectively reducing the rate to $25 per square metre. This economy of scale is something homeowners with larger spaces can leverage.
2. Type of Wood

Different timbers come with varied sanding costs. Common Australian woods like oak might cost around $30 per square metre to sand and refinish, while cherry, being slightly harder, could push the cost to $35 per square metre. Exotic or imported woods, due to their rarity or unique properties, might command prices upwards of $40 per square metre.

3. Refinishing Method

The battle between traditional and dustless refinishing also affects the price. Traditional sanding, while thorough, generates a lot of dust and might cost around $25 per square metre. In contrast, dustless refinishing, which minimises airborne particles, could be priced slightly higher, say $35 per square metre, given the specialised equipment and cleaner process.

4. Labor Costs

The expertise of the professionals hired can significantly sway labour costs. Experienced professionals with a robust portfolio might charge around $30 to $40 per hour, while newer entrants to the field might offer rates of $20 to $25 per hour. Additionally, metropolitan areas, with their higher living costs, might see labour rates 10-15% higher than more rural regions.

5. Additional Costs

There are always potential add-ons to consider. For instance, furniture relocation might add an extra $5 per square metre to the bill. Removing old flooring or carpeting on top of the hardwood could introduce another $10 per square metre. Addressing minor damages or securing loose floorboards might range from $50 to $100 per repair. And if you’re opting for traditional sanding, factor in another $50 to $100 for post-sanding cleanup.

Types of Finishes and Their Costs

The finish on a hardwood floor doesn’t just dictate its final appearance; it also plays a pivotal role in the floor’s durability and maintenance. With a myriad of finishes available in the market, understanding each type and its associated costs is crucial for homeowners. Here’s a detailed exploration:

Clear Finish
As the name suggests, a clear finish retains and enhances the wood’s natural colour and grain. It doesn’t add any tint but provides a protective layer, making the underlying wood type and quality paramount. This finish is priced slightly higher due to its clarity and preservation qualities, often costing around $35 to $40 per square metre.
Gloss Finish

For those seeking a shiny, reflective surface, the gloss finish is the go-to option. It offers a luxurious sheen, making the floor a centrepiece of the room though it might show scratches more prominently. The premium appearance of a gloss finish comes with a price tag of approximately $40 to $45 per square metre.

Types of Hardwood Flooring and Their Refinishing Costs

As you consider the finish, bear in mind that the type of wood also plays a significant role in both aesthetics and financial considerations. This time, let’s get into some popular hardwood flooring types, diving into their intricacies and how they resonate with the costs:

1. Oak

Oak remains a classic choice for hardwood flooring, known for its resilience and adaptable appearance. Its distinct grain patterns can range from straight and tight to more intricate and swirling. The cost of refinishing oak floors typically falls within an average range of $20 to $25 per square meter. Oak’s versatility extends to staining options, allowing you to tailor the colour to your preferences.

2. Jarrah

Native to Australia, Jarrah hardwood boasts a deep reddish-brown hue that matures over time. Its unique colour variation, coupled with natural termite resistance, makes it sought-after. Refinishing Jarrah floors is slightly more intricate due to the wood’s density and rich colour, resulting in costs ranging from $25 to $30 per square meter. However, the investment translates into a floor radiating warmth and character.

3. Blackbutt

Blackbutt, another Australian native, is celebrated for its light appearance and versatility. Subtle grain patterns and neutral tones make it a canvas for various design styles. Refinishing Blackbutt floors typically ranges from $20 to $25 per square meter, thanks to its straightforward process. The lighter colour allows for diverse stain options, enabling you to tailor the aesthetics to your home.

4. Teak

Teak hardwood stands out for its durability and moisture resistance, often seen in bathrooms and kitchens. With a golden-brown hue and distinct grain, teak floors bring exotic charm indoors. Refinishing teak requires nuanced attention due to its natural oils, with costs ranging from $30 to $35 per square meter. The expertise invested translates into both stunning visuals and durability.

Wood Type and Traits Affecting the Cost

On top of the usual costs for the sanding, your chosen wood also contributes to the overall cost. As each hardwood type contributes distinct traits to your home’s personality, these attributes also play a pivotal role in the refinishing process and costs:

  • Grain Patterns: Intricate patterns may necessitate meticulous sanding for an even finish.
  • Wood Hardness: Harder woods, such as Jarrah, may require additional sanding and expertise.
  • Colour Variation: Woods like Jarrah with colour variation might demand extra attention during staining.
  • Oil Content: Woods with natural oils, like teak, might necessitate specialized finishing techniques.
  • Stain Flexibility: The ability to customize staining options can influence refinishing costs.

Navigating Investment for Business Spaces

While the focus on residential floor sanding is paramount, the realm of floor sanding extends to commercial spaces as well. Just as homes reflect the personalities of their occupants, commercial establishments convey the ethos of their businesses and understanding the nuances of commercial floor sanding costs is essential for businesses seeking to create an inviting and professional environment that resonates with clients and employees alike.

Factors Influencing Commercial Floor Sanding Costs

  • Square Footage: The size of the commercial space directly impacts the cost. Larger areas require more materials, labour, and time, leading to increased expenses. On average, commercial floor sanding costs range from $30 to $40 per square meter.
  • Type of Flooring: Commercial spaces often feature a variety of flooring types, from hardwood to concrete. The type of flooring and its condition influence the complexity of the sanding process and, consequently, the cost.
  • Traffic Levels: Businesses experience varying degrees of foot traffic, impacting the wear and tear on floors. High-traffic areas might require more frequent maintenance, affecting refinishing frequency and cost.
  • Customization and Branding: Commercial spaces often incorporate custom designs, logos, or patterns into the flooring. The complexity of these designs can influence the cost of sanding and refinishing. Business
  • Downtime: The timing of floor sanding plays a role in cost considerations. Businesses might need to schedule sanding during off-hours to minimize disruption, potentially impacting labour costs.
  • Materials and Finish: Commercial spaces might opt for specialized finishes that enhance durability and aesthetics. The choice of materials and finishes contributes to the overall cost.

Final Words

As you navigate the realm of floor sanding costs, remember that this isn’t merely a financial transaction – it’s an investment in your home’s (or business’s) aesthetics, functionality, and longevity. The intricacies of floor sanding costs may seem daunting, but armed with knowledge, you can make informed decisions that align with your vision and budget.

Your Journey Begins

Before embarking on your floor sanding journey, seek professional guidance to ensure you’re on the right path. At Glen Gilbertson Floor Sanding, we’re dedicated to bringing your hardwood floors back to life with precision, skill, and commitment. Our expertise extends beyond cost considerations; we’re here to guide you through the entire process, from selecting the right wood type to refining your floors’ appearance and longevity.  

Send us a message or call us today and take the first step towards elevating your space through the art of floor sanding.


Why Proper Floor Maintenance Matters

Beyond aesthetics, regular floor maintenance is crucial for preserving property value. Well-maintained floors are resistant to wear and tear, ensuring they remain a home’s centrepiece for years. Plus, with proper care post-sanding, you can ensure longevity and a lasting shine.

Local Expertise and Community Involvement

Being a part of the Eastern Suburbs community, we’ve always believed in giving back. From participating in local events to sponsoring community projects, our commitment extends beyond just floor sanding. 

Ready to transform your floors? Reach out to us for a consultation or quote. Call us or visit our website for more details. 

And for in-depth information about flooring types, maintenance tips, and interior design trends in Eastern Suburbs homes, explore our blog and resources. Stay updated and ensure your floors always remain the talk of the town.