One of the best features of hardwood flooring is its longevity. We’ve seen hundred-year-old natural hardwoods that are still beautiful, even if they have experienced wear and tear over the century they have been in place. The first step to revitalizing your hardwood flooring is a deep cleaning, but if that doesn’t do the trick it might be time to refinish. Let’s talk about how to know if it’s time to refinish your floors and when it’s time to opt for a replacement.
What is Refinishing, Really?
Refinished floors is a term that gets used often, but not always one that is easily defined. Refinishing involves removing the floor’s current varnish, seal and stain by sanding down the floor’s top layer before exposing a hardwood’s natural grain. The process is finished by applying a fresh stain, lacquer or varnish. If your wood floor has minor scratches and light dents along with normal wear from foot traffic it is a good candidate to be refinished.
This process works for natural hardwood flooring as well as most engineered hardwood flooring. It is not possible for any floor with a printed finish such as LVP (luxury vinyl plank.) How many times a floor can be refinished depends on the thickness of the top layer or the overall thickness of the planks in the case of natural hardwoods.
In most cases, engineered hardwood flooring can only be refinished once or twice before you exhaust the top layer of the product. Natural hardwoods can usually withstand refinishing four or five times – but this is very specific to your individual flooring and should be evaluated by a professional. The good news is that most floors with normal wear and tear do not need to be refinished often at all.
Reasons to Replace Your Hardwood Flooring
All good things do eventually come to an end. Even the most durable and well-cared for hardwood floors can sustain damage that cannot be repaired. If your home has had standing water that left your flooring warped or cracked it may need to be replaced. Broken planks can sometimes be replaced individually, but only if you’re comfortable with the likelihood that the new piece will not exactly match the existing finish.
Deep scratches, gouges, and gaps can signify that your floor may not a good candidate for refinishing. Floors that have been refinished to their limit are also likely to need replacement.
The best way to determine the next best steps for your floor is to consult a professional. That’s what we’re here for. We will send a flooring expert to evaluate the damage and let you know what we recommend. Give us a call.