We are in the middle of getting our wood floors refinished in our living room, entryway, and dining room, and I'm pretty happy about the results so far. It's been a steep learning curve though, and here's what I wish I would've known a week ago:
Do your homework
Know the process. There've been a couple times when the procedure followed was a little different than what they did with my mother-in-law's floors, but because we hadn't read online and/or asked our flooring guy at the beginning, we weren't sure at what points the procedure was supposed to be different and what points they flooring guys may have missed a spot in their haste (and there was a little of each occurring). Researching ahead of time prevents you from getting taken advantage of while also reducing the amount of time you have to spend checking in on the people refinishing your floors. Also, check out other blogs and websites to see how other people handle renovations. For example, The Happiest Mom is having her kitchen renovated and reading about her kitchen renovation has been helpful to me during my floor refinishing!
Because of sounds and smells, our normal schedule wouldn't work at all (and obviously we couldn't use certain rooms at all!) We found the only way naptime for the toddler could possibly work was to either nap during the floor guys' lunch break or to drive around until the toddler fell asleep in the car and sew in the driveway while he slept. Also, you may need to make alternate arrangements for sleeping, cooking and/or laundry depending on what areas of your house become inaccessible, so get creative. Use futons, air matresses, crock-pots, microwaves, and the hospitality of friends and family to be as comfortable as you can during the time your house is being worked on.
Get out...but not too far out
Again because of smells and sounds, it might be a good time to plan outdoors activities for you and your kids, but the catch is that someone probably needs to be available to get home quickly in case questions arise. So it's a great time to play outside in the yard, visit a friend or relative or park just a few blocks away, or go to a store that's just a couple of miles away. Make sure to give your cell phone number to your flooring guys, and ask how things are going before you leave in case they already have a question but were waiting to get to a natural break time to ask you about it.
and above all...
Stuff will be different than what you're used to. Stuff will go wrong.
It will be noisy and stinky and disruptive to your kids.
And it will be over in a couple of days.
And your floors will be beautiful.
And you'll be fine.
If you'll excuse me now, I'm going to go shop somewhere not very far away from home...