Hardwood floors are known for their classic beauty and durability. Unlike other flooring materials, hardwood can be sanded down and refinished several times throughout its lifespan, allowing decades of use. A properly maintained hardwood floor can last 30 years or more before another refinishing is required. However, hardwood floors will eventually require replacement. This can be the case after several rounds of refinishing, or it can be caused by other factors that compromise the structural integrity of the floor. Each floor is unique and should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Below are some insights from Floor Coverings International Concord to help you determine if your hardwood floor should be replaced, or if it can be successfully refinished.
If the floor shows scuffs, scratches, or is generally dull in appearance, this is a sign that a refinishing is in order. Sanding the floors will take care of any roughness or blemishes on the floor’s surface, and after refinishing, it can regain a like-new appearance.
Sometimes, a few planks may have deeper gouges or show signs of bowing or warping. In these cases, the damaged boards will likely have to be replaced before refinishing can be done to restore the integrity of the floor. The entire floor will have to sanded and refinished, of course, but a full replacement will not be required.
However, there are some situations where the entire floor will have to be replaced. Some examples are outlined below.
Floors that have been refinished multiple times to the point where the wood is thin, or if the tongue and groove components are exposed, will have to be replaced. When the nails become exposed also indicates it’s time for replacement. It’s worth noting that not every type of wood flooring can be refinished, but our hardwood experts at Floor Coverings International Concord can help you determine whether yours can.
Major spills or stains on the wood from beverages, pets, cleaners, or other household accidents can also indicate the need for replacement. If the stain is small enough, it is possible that just the affected boards can be replaced.
Structural or Subfloor Problems
Another sign your flooring needs replacement is when it’s discernibly uneven. This indicates the subfloor needs to be addressed. In some cases, the joists of the home will have to be more securely fastened in order to fix the issue.
Signs of Crowning or Cupping
Older hardwood planks may have at one point experienced moisture damage that cause the wood to warp. If this happened, or if the floors just show general signs of aging, they should be replaced. If you don’t determine the cause of the cupping or crowning and address it at the root, it could affect the new floor and subfloor.
Moisture is the biggest enemy to hardwood floors and often the primary cause for replacement. Take steps to keep wood floors moisture-free, and you’ll help maximize their lifespan. Part of the beauty of hardwood is it can be refinished multiple times to allow for generations of enjoyment. Use this guide to determine if you can successfully finish your wood floor or if a full replacement is required. Contact Floor Coverings International Concord today for a free in-home consultation!
Photo: © Jo Ann Snover