When to refinish and replace hardwood floors depends a lot on their overall condition, as well as your own wants and needs. If you’re preparing to refinish a basement, understand the best flooring choices are engineered and carpet. In most instances, hardwood is salvageable and refinishing is a viable option. However, just because hardwood is able to be refinished, doesn’t mean it’s the right choice. For instance, if the hardwood is more than fifty to nearly a century old, it’s probably time for complete replacement.
When to Refinish and Replace Hardwood Floors
If you are doing some other home improvement, such as a bedroom to home office conversion or just updating the interior, cost is a big factor. Although cost isn’t the only consideration to take into account when you are deciding between refinishing and replacing hardwood floors. As an example, think about future use in your own household. If you have children and pets, hardwood isn’t the best choice. So, if it is time for replacement, consider engineered materials or tile.
Hardwood floors take a lot of abuse, and over time they can become stained, warped, chipped or just dull. When your hardwood floor begins to appear worn out, you can refinish it to restore its original shine, or you can tear out the floor and completely replace it. —San Francisco Gate
Though hardwood floors are generally able to last for many decades, up to one-hundred years or more, in some instances, refinishing isn’t sufficient. There are times when too much damage is present and no amount of restoration will salvage the whole floor. So, when to refinish and when to replace depends on the following signs:
- Separation between boards. While it’s normal for small separations to occur in the winter when humidity levels decrease and the spaces close during spring and summer, if separation remains, it’s probably time for replacement.
- Cupping. Higher edges on boards than in the centers is known as cupping. This warping generally cannot be mitigated and if spread throughout the entire floor, means it’s time to replace hardwood. It could also indicate a problem with the subfloor.
- Crowning. The exact opposite of cupping is crowning and as implied, means the centers bow up over the edges of boards. Crowning is generally the result of moisture imbalance and is also a sign there’s a larger problem at the root.
- Buckling. When hardwood pulls away from the subfloor, it’s known as buckling. Although this is not a common occurrence, it’s one that’s extreme. Buckling typically occurs after flooding and this means replacement is generally the only real option.
- Deep gouges and thickness. If a hardwood floor is littered with deep gouges, it’s often better to replace than refinish. Another consideration is how thick the boards are and the viability of removing another layer. If the floors have been refinished several times, replacement is a good choice.
When you’re ready to replace hardwood floors and have taken-up the old flooring, just phone 800-433-1094 or visit Pro Junk Dispatch and we’ll come out to pick up the materials and haul them away, along with any junk garbage.