If you take good care of them, hardwood floors can last for around twenty years without showing their age. However, sooner or later, there comes the point where something needs to be done about the discolored wood or clear damage.
The good thing about hardwood floors is that they can often be refinished rather than replaced. It's cheaper and less hassle.
Unfortunately, though, sometimes refinishing isn't an option — or it's just better to replace it.
So how do you know if it's time to replace hardwood flooring rather than refinish it? Look for these signs.
1. Nails Sticking Through
If nails are sticking through the wood, you should get it taken care of as soon as possible. This can be dangerous if someone steps on them or a pet and is a clear sign that you might need to replace your hardwood floors.
If nails are sticking through, then the structure is falling apart.
Although it's not impossible they could be fixed and refinished, it's one of the main signs that replacing them altogether could be better.
2. Water Damage
Water damage is one of the main things that can be hard to repair. If you have discolored wood, mold growing, or the floorboards are starting to lift, it could be because of water damage.
It's best to be preventative about water damage and prevent it from soaking into your floor. If you spill water, make sure you clear it up as soon as possible and don't let it settle.
Water can seem harmless, but it is, in fact, hazardous for hardwood flooring.
However, if there is already water damage, it may not be an option to refinish the hardwood, and you should instead opt to replace them.
3. You've Refinished Them Before
Most damage to hardwood floors can be salvaged by refinishing, but that doesn't mean you always should. Sometimes, refinishing them will only extend their life by a little.
You might have noticed this. You might have refinished the floors multiple times, only to end up in the same place where there's clear damage.
If you've been refinishing and refinishing, and the lifetime of those repairs is getting shorter and shorter, it's definitely time to replace the floor.
4. The Wear and Tear Is Excessive
Sometimes, it might simply be a case of the day-to-day wear and tear being excessive.
Hardwood floors are prone to get worn down over time. This is unavoidable because floors are for being walked on. All you can do is keep an eye on the wear and tear and make sure the everyday damage is minimal.
However, eventually, age will mean you have to replace the floors.
5. The Floorboards Move
If the floorboards move together when you walk on them, experts say they aren't a good candidate for refinishing.
This is one of the few signs where refinishing may not do the job, and your only option may be to replace them.
This can be disappointing to know, as some people think of replacing the hardwood as a huge hassle, but the good news is if you pick someone reliable and trustworthy, it may not be as much of a hassle as you think.
6. Pet Damage
Pet damage can be one of the major issues when it comes to damage done to hardwood flooring.
While pet hair can be swept up, cat and dog scratches on the floor are common. Even if you provide your cat with a hundred scratching posts, they're likely to scratch up something they shouldn't!
Dogs can also drag toys or bones on the floor, creating more scratches.
The main problem, though, tends to be pet urine. It can soak through the wood and create stains and smells if not dealt with right away.
If you have a cat who's been acting out by refusing to use their litter box or a puppy who isn't quite potty trained yet, they might have been the killing blow to your old hardwood.
7. Large Scratches and Marks
Maybe it's not the urine. Maybe it's the scratches from the pets and other things. Whether things have been dropped on the wood or children have been running across it, whatever the case, there might be too many marks.
Refinishing may still be an option at this point, but if this sign is in combination with other things, it should be replaced. It might be better in the long run.
It could also be that pests have caused the scratches and marks. If there is termite damage or something else has been at the wood, it may be too much.
8. It's Just Time
Ultimately, it might just be time to replace the floors. It could be that you've had them for a long time. Maybe they're showing multiple signs.
You should look at the floor and assess what you truly want to do. If you're not sure, you can call in an expert and ask.
If you're worried about biased opinions, ask more than one expert and decide from there.
It Doesn't Have to Be a Hassle to Replace Hardwood Flooring
Ultimately, only you can decide if it's time to replace hardwood flooring or if you want to try refinishing it.
You should look at the floor and consider all of these signs. Ask for an expert opinion if need be, and then come to a decision.
Just remember that it doesn't have to be a huge hassle. If you pick someone reliable, the job will be done in no time.
For an appointment to meet with one of our flooring experts who can best advise you, contact us today.