Hire a Pro Advice: Refinish a Hardwood Floor

Get help finding a foor sander or refinisher to refinish hardwood floors. Learn about choosing the shade of the new finish for the floor, too.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

The best way to find a professional floor sander to refinish a floor is to see his work in a house and get a direct referral from someone you trust. Nose around your neighborhood and when you see a floor refinisher's truck in front of a house, go directly to the homeowner and ask for a reference. Since that's the ideal and not the norm, it's a good bet asking for a reference at a local flooring retailer. Often the same place that sells vinyl, tile and wood flooring can also suggest a professional who does sanding. The Yellow Pages is one way to find a floor sander; on the Internet type "floor refinishing service" in any search engine like Bing or Yahoo.

The shade of finish you choose to refinish a floor creates a mood or atmosphere that's just right for the look you're trying to achieve or to complement your furnishings. For example, light or natural finishes complement clean, contemporary furnishings and sisal and jute rugs. They're also right at home with country furnishings, creating a warm natural look. For more traditional furnishings, darker shade finishes complement Oriental-style rugs and Mission furniture. Take the middle road and use medium shades and you've got a nice backdrop for most any style furnishings or rugs.