+26 Should Hardwood Floors Feel Rough After Refinishing

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Service RI MA Ace Wood Flooring
Hardwood Floor Refinishing Service RI MA Ace Wood Flooring from woodfloorsbyace.com

Should Hardwood Floors Feel Rough After Refinishing?


Refinishing hardwood floors is a popular way to restore the beauty and luster of worn-out wood. However, homeowners often wonder if it's normal for their newly refinished floors to feel rough to the touch. In this article, we'll explore the reasons behind roughness after refinishing and whether it's something to be concerned about.

Understanding the Refinishing Process

Before we delve into the roughness issue, let's briefly discuss the refinishing process. When refinishing hardwood floors, the first step is to sand down the existing finish to expose the bare wood. This is done using a floor sander, which removes the top layer of the wood along with any imperfections or damage. After sanding, the floor is cleaned, stained (if desired), and then coated with a protective finish.

Why Do Floors Feel Rough After Refinishing?

One of the primary reasons why hardwood floors may feel rough after refinishing is the removal of the old finish and top layer of wood during the sanding process. Sanding is necessary to create a smooth and level surface for the new finish, but it can leave the wood feeling slightly rough due to the removal of the protective layer.

Grain Raising

Another common cause of roughness after refinishing is grain raising. When water-based finishes or stains are applied to hardwood floors, they can cause the wood fibers to swell, resulting in a slightly rough texture. This is known as grain raising and is a temporary issue that can be resolved with light sanding or buffing after the finish has fully cured.

Uneven Sanding

If your hardwood floors feel rough after refinishing, it's possible that the sanding process was not performed evenly across the entire surface. Uneven sanding can leave behind ridges or low spots, leading to a rough feel underfoot. In such cases, it may be necessary to resand the affected areas to achieve a smoother finish.

Quality of the Finish

The quality of the finish used can also impact the smoothness of your refinished floors. Inferior or poorly applied finishes may not level out completely, resulting in a rough texture. It's crucial to choose a high-quality finish and ensure it is applied correctly to achieve the desired smoothness.

Normal Curing Process

After refinishing, the finish needs time to fully cure and harden. During this curing process, the floor may feel rough or slightly textured. This is normal, and the roughness should diminish as the finish continues to cure. It's essential to follow the manufacturer's guidelines regarding curing times and avoid placing heavy furniture or rugs on the floor until the finish is fully cured.

How Long Should Roughness Last?

The duration of roughness after refinishing can vary depending on several factors, including the type of finish used, the humidity levels in your home, and how well the finish was applied. In most cases, roughness should start to diminish within a few weeks as the finish cures and hardens. However, if the roughness persists or worsens over time, it may be a sign of an issue that requires professional attention.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your hardwood floors remain consistently rough or the roughness becomes more pronounced over time, it's advisable to consult a professional flooring contractor. A flooring expert can assess the situation and determine the underlying cause of the roughness, whether it's due to an issue with the sanding, the quality of the finish, or other factors.

Preventing Roughness After Refinishing

While some roughness is normal after refinishing, there are steps you can take to minimize the extent and duration of the rough texture:

1. Choose the Right Finish

Opt for a high-quality finish that is known for its smoothness. Water-based finishes are generally smoother than oil-based ones. Research different finishes and consult with flooring professionals to find the best option for your floors.

2. Hire a Professional

Refinishing hardwood floors is a complex task that requires skill and experience. Hiring a professional flooring contractor can ensure that the sanding and finishing processes are done correctly, minimizing the chances of roughness.

3. Follow Manufacturer's Guidelines

Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines regarding curing times and maintenance after refinishing. Avoid placing heavy furniture or rugs on the floor until the finish has fully cured.

4. Regular Maintenance

Proper maintenance, including routine cleaning and occasional buffing, can help keep your refinished hardwood floors smooth and free from roughness. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish.


While it's not uncommon for hardwood floors to feel rough after refinishing, it's essential to differentiate between normal roughness and potential issues. Understanding the refinishing process, the causes of roughness, and how to prevent it can help you achieve the smooth and beautiful floors you desire. If you have concerns or the roughness persists, don't hesitate to seek professional assistance to ensure your hardwood floors look and feel their best.