Important Considerations For Refinishing Or Replacing Hardwood Flooring

If you are in the process of buying a home with hardwood floors that have seen better days, then you need to decide if you want to refinish them or install different flooring.

If the floors are still in decent shape, then it makes a lot of sense to have them professionally sanded and refinished. Hardwood floors that are professionally refinished last for decades with very little maintenance!

To help you decide if refinishing or replacement is best, here are some important considerations:

Hardwood Floor Refinishing is Not a DIY Project

Even though you can rent a drum sander and attempt to refinish the hardwood floors yourself, this just isn't a good idea. Wood floor refinishing is always a job for a licensed, professional flooring contractor.

The refinishing process involves chemical strippers, heavy sanding machines, and creates an excessive amount of dust. In addition, if you don't get the polyurethane layer applied perfectly, then your floors will have unsightly brush marks, bubbles, and ridges.

Professionally refinishing wood floors comes with a cost. If it isn't in, then it is your budget right now, then it is always better to replace the floors with carpet or laminate than try to refinish them yourself.

Determine if the Wood Floors Can be Refinished

Not all hardwood flooring can be saved with refinishing. The process won't fix:

  • broken, buckled, or cupped planks
  • deep gouges
  • pet urine stains
  • termite or dry rot damage

If your floors have these types of damage, then they may not be candidates for refinishing.

Fixing Damaged Areas in Vintage Hardwood Floors

If the vintage hardwood floors in your soon-to-be home have some planks in need of replacement, the floors can still be refinished.

Many years ago when the hardwood floors were installed, it is likely they were carried through into the bottom of closets and other out-of-the-way places.

Since it is impossible to match the aged wood the floors are made of, your flooring contractor will remove the planks in closets and weave those into the damaged areas of the flooring. Since the closet wood is the same age and species of wood, you won't be able to spot the repairs.

The newly removed closet floor can be changed to cedar or newer hardwood planks can be installed since they will only be seen when the closet's door is open.

Have the Hardwood Floor Refinishing Completed Before You Move In

Finally, if you decide to refinish the floors in your new home, the best thing you can do to make your life easier is to have your flooring contractor complete the work before your move-in date! Wood floor refinishing is a noisy, dusty project and is much easier to do when a home is empty.