Are new floors on your wish list? Our house has oak flooring, notorious for being orange, and we couldn’t stand how dated it looked! Even now, looking at before + after photos, I am shook at how this update has completely modernized our home. The kicker is that this is the same exact flooring! Rather than install new floors, we sanded and lightened our existing wood floors using a solution called Bona NordicSeal for a fraction of the price. Keep reading to learn more about our new, refinished hardwood floors.

Refinish vs. Replace

There are definitely pros and cons for refinishing vs. replacing. Obviously, the main pro to brand new floors is just that — new floors that will last a lifetime; but it comes with a hefty price tag. I’m no expert, but a large deciding factor for us was that our current wood floors, under all the orange 🙃, were actually in decent shape. Any surface imperfections could be sanded off, and the cost was less than half of what it would have been to replace it all. A no-brainer for us; but if you have mis-matching flooring or simply don’t like the plank size or wood species of your existing floors, LVP flooring may be a great option for you. (We used this for our basement remodel, which you can read about here.)

Like I said, I’m no expert, so imma hit you with the cliff notes of how this stuff works.

Bona NordicSeal


What I do know is that either way, new floors require a fair amount of prep work… Okay, a lot of prep work! First, you gotta move everything out. We moved all our furniture/rugs/etc. to the garage, and since we were also getting our walls painted right before the floors, we took everything off the walls as well. Totally up to you, but even if you aren’t doing your walls, I recommend taking items down that you don’t want to get covered in sawdust because let me tell you, you will find that shi*t on everything. It gets in every little nook + cranny, under doors, on top of molding, in your cabinets, — everywhere. (10/10 recommend hiring a cleaning company after too, btw.)


From the time they started to the time we could walk on the floors, it was 5 days total. This actually is not the norm — I’ll explain why it took a little longer in a sec. — but yes; you’ll want to plan to stay elsewhere for a few days unless you have another point of entry or can somehow swing staying off the floors but be forewarned the machinery is LOUD.

After they sanded the floors, they used a solution call Bona NordicSeal. It essentially bleaches the wood over a period of 24-48 hours without hurting the natural wood underneath. After researching and looking at a ton of before + after’s, we decided we wanted two coats vs. one, hence why it took longer. But we knew we wanted an extra lightened look and are happy we waited.

In between 1st and 2nd coat

After the 24-to-48-hour time period, they applied a second coat followed later by the topcoat. It took another 72 hours (I believe) until the topcoat cured and we could safely walk on it. As a precaution, we decided to wait an additional day before moving any furniture back in, just to be safe.


And just look at these floors! We are so happy with the results and despite the dust + prep work, 100% would do it all over again — (plus, we got a family vacation out of it by taking the girls to Boston!)

If you’ve been thinking about getting your floors re-done (or maybe you are now lol), I hope this was helpful!

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