How much does floor polishing cost per square Metre?

Determining the cost of floor polishing per square metre can be a crucial aspect of home improvement or maintenance planning. This guide delves into the various factors that influence the pricing of floor polishing in Auckland. From the type of flooring material to the size of the area and the level of polishing required, these elements collectively contribute to the overall cost. Understanding these cost determinants will help you budget effectively and make informed decisions when polishing your floors to perfection.

How much does timber floor sanding and polishing cost?

The cost of sanding and polishing timber floors is an important consideration for homeowners looking to enhance the appearance and longevity of their wooden flooring. This process involves several steps, each contributing to the final cost. Generally, floor sanding and polishing costs between $35 and $60 per square metre. The price can vary based on factors like the condition of the floor, the type of timber, the desired finish, and the geographical location. Additionally, the size of the area to be treated plays a significant role in determining the overall cost. Typically, professionals charge per square metre, and prices may also differ based on the complexity of the job and any additional treatments required, such as staining or repairing damage. 

How much does it cost to sand and polish floorboards?

The cost of sanding and polishing floorboards is a key factor for many homeowners when considering refurbishing their wooden floors.  A three-bedroom home’s average floor sanding and polishing costs about $2,500. That being said, prices can range between $1,000 and $8,000, depending on several variables, including the condition of the floorboards, the total area to be covered, the type of wood, and the specific finish desired. Professionals typically charge on a per square metre basis, with prices varying based on the complexity of the job and the level of finish required. 

DIY floorboard sanding and polishing costs

Embarking on a DIY project for sanding and polishing floorboards can be a cost-effective way for homeowners to revitalise their wooden floors. The costs associated with this do-it-yourself approach primarily include the rental or purchase of sanding equipment, the cost of polishing materials, and any additional supplies needed for the job, such as sandpaper, stains, and sealants. 

However, it’s important to factor in the value of time and effort and the potential for higher expenses due to inexperience, which can lead to mistakes requiring professional rectification. While DIY floorboard sanding and polishing can reduce labour costs significantly, it demands a considerable investment in terms of time, physical effort, and attention to detail to achieve a professional-looking finish.

Different timber floor polish to choose from

When it comes to polishing timber floors, the type of finish you choose can significantly impact your floors’ appearance and durability. Here are some popular options:

Water-based polyurethane

Water-based polyurethane is popular for its clear finish that won’t yellow over time. It dries quickly and has a lower odour compared to solvent-based options. This type of polish is environmentally friendly and known for its ease of application. It provides a durable finish that is resistant to scratches and stains, making it suitable for high-traffic areas.

Solvent-based polyurethane

Solvent-based polyurethane is known for its robust and durable finish. It imparts a rich, glossy look to the timber and is highly resistant to wear and tear. However, it tends to have a stronger odour and longer drying time compared to water-based polyurethane. Over time, it may develop a slightly yellow or amber tint, which can add warmth and depth to certain types of wood.

Traditional oil-based varnishes

Traditional oil-based varnishes are revered for their classic, rich finish. They penetrate deep into the wood, enhancing its natural grain and beauty. These varnishes are highly durable and offer a timeless aesthetic. However, they have a longer drying time and emit a strong odour during application. Oil-based varnishes require more maintenance over time, as they tend to darken or yellow, needing reapplication to maintain their appearance.

Sanding and floor polishing DIY

Undertaking a DIY project for sanding and polishing your floors can be a rewarding experience, offering both cost savings and a sense of personal accomplishment. However, it requires careful planning, patience, and the right tools and techniques.

  • Preparation
  • Sanding
  • Cleaning
  • Polishing
  • Applying Finish
  • Drying

DIY sanding the wooden floor and polishing process

DIY sanding and polishing of wooden floors is a detailed process that can rejuvenate the appearance of your floors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through this process:

Remove the Existing Floor Finish: Start by removing any old finish or wax from the wooden floor. This may involve using a chemical stripper or simply sanding down the existing finish. Make sure the floor is completely clean and free from any residues before you start sanding.

Get Prepared: Safety is paramount. Wear protective gear like a dust mask, safety goggles, and ear protection. Clear the room of furniture and fixtures, and seal off the area to prevent dust from spreading to other parts of your home. Ensure good ventilation in your working area.

Get Familiar with the Drum Sander: Rent or purchase a drum sander essential for sanding wooden floors. Familiarise yourself with its operation before starting. Practice handling the sander in an inconspicuous area or on a piece of scrap wood to get a feel for how it works and moves.

Fasten the Sandpaper onto the Drum: Securely attach the appropriate grit sandpaper to the drum sander. It’s typically recommended to start with coarse grit for the initial sanding and gradually move to finer grits for subsequent sandings.

Begin Sanding: Start the drum sander and slowly walk it forward along the grain of the wood. Keep the sander moving to avoid gouging the wood. Overlap each pass slightly to ensure even sanding. Repeat this process, changing to finer grit sandpapers until the floor is smooth and free of old finishes.

Sanding Edges: For the edges of the room, use an edge sander, which is smaller and designed to reach places where the drum sander cannot. Again, start with coarse-grit sandpaper and progress to finer grits. Be cautious around the edges to prevent damage to baseboards or walls.

Applying floorboards polish

When applying polish to your floorboards, the process involves careful selection and application to ensure a durable and aesthetically pleasing finish. Start by choosing the right type of polish for your floorboards; water-based polyurethanes are preferred for their clear, quick-drying finish, while oil-based varnishes offer a deeper, richer look. Before application, thoroughly clean and dry the floor to remove any dust or debris, as these can affect the final appearance. Testing the polish on a small, inconspicuous area first is advisable to check for any adverse reactions to the wood. 

Sanding and polishing floorboards quotes

When seeking quotes for sanding and polishing your floorboards, it’s important to approach multiple professionals to get a range of estimates. This gives you a sense of the market rate and options in terms of service quality. Ensure you fully understand each quote, including all aspects of the job, like sanding, polishing, repairs, and materials and labour costs. Verifying the credentials and experience of the service providers and their reputations can safeguard the quality of the work. Be clear and upfront about your specific needs and expectations, such as the type of finish desired or any particular time constraints you might have. 


Achieving beautifully polished floorboards involves selecting the right polish, meticulous preparation, and careful application. When considering professional sanding and polishing services, obtaining multiple detailed quotes and assessing each for quality and cost-effectiveness is crucial. This approach ensures a stunning finish and lasting protection for your floorboards, enhancing your home’s overall aesthetic.

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