I hired Hardwood Glen to refinish the floors. He offered three kinds of finishes and I chose the most expensive, lowest maintenance, and most durable – the conversion varnish – which Glenn said will last 30 years.

The varnish is highly toxic and Glenn said it would off-gas for 10 days, releasing 90% of the toxins in the first 24 hours. That meant I wouldn’t be doing any cleaning for 10 days. Additionally, for the first 10 days, the varnish would still be soft and the only way to walk on the floors is in stocking feet – shoes scratch it and even bare feet leave traces of oil that can leave permanent marks.

Glenn said my floors are pecan wood which is only available in Florida these days. And the closest wood available around here is Hickory. The remodeled kitchen cabinets are Hickory – that’s a match.

I asked Glenn to match the current color and he suggested “natural,” meaning there’s no stain mixed in the varnish. I looked online and couldn’t find examples of pecan with different stains, so I stuck to Glenn’s suggestion and picked “natural.”

What went well?

My choice of contractor – Glenn was professional and easy to work with. He did me a huge favor by squeezing me in right before his vacation while other contractors were booking more than two months out.

I’m also happy with the choice of material (conversion varnish) and the color (natural).

What could’ve gone better?

In hindsight, it would’ve been ideal to contact floor refinishers two months out (not one month out) and to allow a three-to-four week window for refinishing (not allowing two weeks). Two weeks seemed generous going in to this, and it’s true that two weeks is enough time to refinish a floor, but it’s not a lot of time considering contractors have other clients.


It cost me $1,950 to refinish these floors. And I’m happy with them.