Distressed hardwood flooring in an American home

Should I Repair or Replace My Hardwood Floors?

How do you know when to repair or replace your hardwood floors? If your hardwoods have seen better days, you might be wondering what the next step is. The good news is that there are few factors you can use to determine if you can repair your floors — or if they need a complete overhaul.

Read on to find the complete guide on knowing when to repair or replace your hardwood floors!

Start By Making a Visual Assessment

Take a long look at your hardwood floors. Do they look pale and discolored? If your floors have lost their luster, then it's time to take action.

Discolored hardwood floors may result from sun exposure — and this is an easy problem to fix. Hardwood floor refinishing is the right solution when the sun has made them look washed out. All you need to do is add a rich new stain and your floor will look fresh again!

But if you look closely and notice splintered wood or areas of warping in your floors, the issue could be deeper. A cosmetic fix won't solve the problem in these instances. As a result, you'll want to pursue a new hardwood floor installation instead.

Oak floors, a staple in most American homes, remain a durable and dependable choice, but look at new hardwood flooring installation as a chance to try something different. You don't have to stick with the same old look!

As one option, you could install floors diagonally to create the illusion of a bigger and more dynamic space. As another option, you could go with a different species of wood, such as walnut or cherry, for a more unique look. You could even give bamboo a try!

How Big Are Those Scratches?

Did you move a sofa across your floor without lifting it? Moving furniture or dropping heavy objects can leave significant gouges in your hardwood floors. And when you're dealing with more than just minor scratches, even the best hardwood floor cleaner won't be able to conceal them.

Refinishing your floors may offer some help if the scratches are minimal. But for gouges in prominent places, a full replacement may be the better answer — even if it is the more expensive option. After all, you don't want unsightly gouges calling attention to themselves.

Think of new hardwood floor installation as part of a bigger living room makeover, or pair the project with some fresh kitchen cabinets. Consider mahogany floors for a sturdy and elegant look or try natural planks to lighten the tone of your space. When it's part of a larger project, the hardwood flooring cost won't seem as significant.

Listen for Creaks As You Walk Across Your Hardwood Floors

Listening to your floors can provide another clue when you're trying to determine whether replacing or refinishing is the right answer. Do your floors make a lot of noise as you walk across them? If they do, that might be a sign that new floors are in your future.

Creaky floors may seem like a charming and quaint part of your home, but they can indicate bigger problems — and ones that refinishing won't solve. While hardwood floor refinishing provides a cosmetic update, creaking can indicate anything from warped boards to foundation issues. You'll want to address these issues right away.

If you're not sure how serious the creaking is, ask an expert to come and weigh in. And if your floor dips in any areas, that can be a serious concern that calls for a complete replacement.

A full replacement causes some temporary inconvenience, but it will be worth it. Just remember that opting for new hardwoods offers an opportunity to invigorate your space.

Consider the Age of Your Floors

You'll also want to consider how many times you've refinished your floors. With multiple refinishing projects, your floors can weaken over time as they lose thickness. Try to determine the age and history of your floors so you know whether it's time to refinish or move on.

Noticing lots of nailheads emerging through the surface of your hardwood floors may be another indication that it's time to replace them. You'll want to look closely to see if there only are a few showing up — or if the problem is widespread.

While refinishing is the less expensive choice, don't give up on the possibility of a full replacement. The hardwood flooring cost can vary depending on the wood you choose and the size of your room. Check your budget and see what works with it.

Know If Refinishing Is Possible

In some cases, refinishing your floors might not even be a possibility. When the damage to your floors is really severe, you'll need to invest in new hardwood floor installation. But what should you look for?

If your floors move due to warping, insect infestations, or water damage, they may not be salvageable. A full replacement is the only way to prevent future recurring issues.

And besides, if a lot of your floors look bad due to stains, gouges, or water damage, it's worth your while to replace them. The last thing you want is to see ugly stains and cracks on the floor every time you invite people over.

Make the Choice to Repair or Replace

Hardwood floors are a sought-after feature in homes, so if you have them, take care of them. Determine the extent of wear on your floors to take the right course of action. With a little attention, you can make even the dullest hardwoods into a gorgeous expanse of flooring once again.

When you're ready to bring your floors back to life, contact us and we can help!