Should I Refinish or Replace My Hardwood Floors?

You might notice that your hardwood floors, which used to look so lovely, now appear worn and damaged. You might be deciding whether to replace or refinish the existing flooring. Of course, hardwood lasts a long time, and you might be able to refinish it. Still, it might not be as cost-effective as you think. Understanding the available options can help you make the best decision for you.

Understanding the Existing Floor

One of the top things you need to consider when deciding whether to refinish is the existing flooring. Consider what kind of floor there is, to begin with. If you have bought the house, you might not know what you have to work with. Luckily, you can figure it out using one of several methods. Perhaps you can see the wood’s cut. It is engineered if it looks layered, but it is likely a hardwood piece if it does not.

Looking at Any Damage

You will want to see how bad your floor currently is. For instance, hardwood might not be that damaged, but it could look like it was not cleaned correctly or had a lot of foot traffic. You might be able to clean it better to bring it back to life. Still, you might find it has scratches, dents, or some discoloration. Then you might want to refinish it.

But if there are more significant dents, the floor looks wavy, or there are big gouges, it might be time to get a new floor added. The same is true if there is water damage or there is quite a bit of structural damage.

What Refinishing Cannot Do

Refinishing involves removing the existing layers of the stain. Then you will have the bare wood, allowing the contractor to place a new layer over it. You can often get a different color or shade than the one you had before.

It is impossible to get rid of buckling or remove water damage through refinishing. The same is true if the planks are beginning to split. There are some other disadvantages too, including:

The process is smelly and dirty, and you might not be able to stay in your home.
Specific finishes might not have as many fumes, but they may not do well in the long term.
You may need to stay away from your home for the next several days.
Specific floors cannot be refinished.

All About Replacement

You might decide to replace the floor if you want a different look to the flooring. You can then upgrade later to another style to better suit your lifestyle. Plus, replacement is an excellent choice if there’s damage on the floor, such as caused by pets or mold. If you choose a prefinished floor, you will know how it looks in the end. Or you can fully customize your floors and choose your stain and finish.

Once you have the floor replaced, you might be able to access the area soon after the contractor finishes. Of course, you will want to talk to the contractor to see if you need to leave your home while they are replacing the flooring. Many times, this is the ideal time to visit friends or take a short trip. Just remember that either flooring option might be inconvenient for your family.

Closing Thoughts

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to deciding on the best option for you. If you want a cost-effective method, you might want to go with refinishing. But you might see there is damage that you can’t fix. If that is the case, you might want to have it replaced. You can always ask your local flooring contractor to take a look.

About: My Flooring Guy has showroom locations in the City of Orange & Huntington Beach. We specialize in hardwood, vinyl, & laminate installation as well as refinishing and repairs services. We offer free in-home estimates.

Areas we service: Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Westminster, Newport Beach, Garden Grove, Lakewood, Tustin, Cypress, Anaheim, Irvine, Santa Ana, Yorba Linda, Buena Park, Laguna Hills, Tustin, Norwalk, Fullerton, La Habra, Brea, Placentia, and all of Orange County.

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