Replacing Or Refinishing Residential Hardwood Floors?

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Hardwood floors are beautiful and will last for decades when properly cared for. However, if your home's floors have seen better days, then you need to know your options. 

Hardwood Floor Replacement vs. Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Refinishing hardwood floors rather than replacing them is less expensive and faster. However, there are three scenarios where replacing hardwood floors makes more sense than trying to refinish them:

  • Extreme wear of the hardwood flooring
  • Severe damage to the flooring or subfloor
  • Structural damage due to settling or water 

If your hardwood floors do not have significant damage and the subfloor is in good condition, then refinishing is advised.

DIY vs. Professional Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Refinishing the hardwood floors yourself takes a lot longer but also costs less. However, if you make any significant mistakes and need to call in a flooring contractor to fix them, then it may not be as inexpensive as you think. In fact, if the error is bad enough, you could ruin the floors and then end up needing them replaced.

For most homeowners, professional hardwood floor refinishing is the only way to go. Let the pros do the job and spend your DIY time doing a more manageable project.

How Hardwood Floors Are Refinished

Regardless of whether you refinish the floors yourself or pay to have it done by a professional, the process is the same:

  • All furniture and other items must be removed from the room
  • The wood floor is sanded back to bare wood
  • All of the sanding dust is removed from the floors
  • The floors are stained (optional)
  • Multiple layers of sealant are applied

Between applying stain and sealant layers, the floor is resanded with fine grit. This ensures the next layer will adhere and results in a fine finish once the project is completed. 

Caring for Hardwood Floors Post-Refinishing

Once your home's hardwood floors have been refinished, it is crucial to maintain them properly. Hardwood floors with owners who take proactive steps to keep their floors clean and in good condition have hardwood flooring that lasts for decades and looks as impressive as the day it was first installed.

The only care hardwood floors need is regular sweeping with a natural-bristle broom or vacuum. If you use a vacuum on hardwood, make sure you set your vacuum on the "bare floor" setting, so the brush doesn't turn and beat up your floors.

Finally, if your hardwood needs washing, then use a damp mop and hardwood floor cleaner for the best results. Never wet mop hardwood because this can cause it to warp.

Contact a local flooring company, such as McSwain Carpets and Floors, to learn more.