Hardwood floors are as durable and resistant as they are beautiful. If you’ve ever been in an old home with the original flooring, it’s amazing how well it can withstand time and use with proper care. Part of caring for your hardwood floor is knowing when it is time to refinish it.
Refinishing is a way to refresh the look of your floors without the expense that comes with replacing your flooring. This process will not only fix any surface scuffs and scratches, but you can choose a completely new color finish.
Can All Hardwood be Refinished?
As a rule, yes. All hardwood floors – including engineered wood floors – can be refinished. However, before the process starts it’s necessary to evaluate the current condition of the floor and if you’re not sure what material your flooring is made of to determine that as well. Engineered wood flooring looks a lot like a layered cake when you look at the edge. Solid hardwood is thicker and will not have any layered appearance.
Solid hardwood floors are almost always good candidates for refinishing due to their thickness. Engineered wood floors can be refinished as long as there is still enough thickness in the top layer. This is directly underneath the wear layer, and it varies between products. It is worn down by normal usage if there is no wear layer on top, or by previous work being done on the floor.
Be Prepared for the Process
Although refinishing your wood floors is more time consuming (what takes a day to replace can take a week to refinish), it can be more affordable and more environmentally sustainable project than replacing them. However, it will still be a big home improvement project and it’s important that you’re prepared for what it will involve.
The entire surface area of the floor will be sanded to remove the current finish along with any wax, or sealant. While professionals use equipment that minimizes dust as much as possible you should be prepared to have more in the air during this process than usual. Minor repairs can typically be made at the same time. These will be identified ahead of time. There will also be some chemical smells that can be irritating as the new finish is applied, which is why many people choose to refinish their floors when they are on an extended vacation. Once the process is complete it will be necessary to stay off the floors for a day or more depending on the specific products used.
When it’s all said and done your floors will great without having to replace anything, but it’s not always the best choice, nor the most economical. For example, if you have damage that is more severe it might be time to spring for a new floor entirely. The best way to decide is to work with a professional to assess your floors as well as your goals for the project. Give us a call, we can discuss your project with you and determine the best way to get your floors looking great again!