Refinishing vs. Replacing Your Hardwood Floors

When your once beautiful hardwood floors start looking old and tired, it’s probably time to do something about them. But what? It can be difficult to determine whether to refinish or replace a hardwood floor. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself.

How old is the floor?

If this is the same floor that was there when you moved in, there’s no way of really knowing how old it is, but you may have some idea. The age of the floor can help determine whether or not its roughed up surface is just a cosmetic issue or is due to the fact that the floor has lived through many decades (and many refinishings–see below).

How many times has it been refinished?

This is also difficult to determine if the floor was there when you moved in, but if you’ve refinished it at least a few times, it may be time to replace it. Even solid hardwood flooring can be refinished a limited amount of times because eventually it gets filed down until the boards don’t click together anymore. Be sure to check how thick the wood planks are.

How badly damaged is the surface?

No matter how bad a floor looks, it may very well be salvageable. Even deep grooves can be fixed with sanding and some wood putty. However, if there is a lot of damage, the refinishing process will be much harder, lengthier, and more expensive than simply replacing the floors. So be sure to take this into account before you take on this project.

Is it made of high quality wood?

Again, you may not know whether or not your floor is high quality if you didn’t install it, but be wary. Low quality hardwood flooring planks that aren’t JAS certified are prone to quicker degradation than those that are.

Is there a lot of movement between boards?

Squeaky floors are one thing, and they can usually be fixed, but movement between boards cannot. If you see gaps between floorboards, it means the wood has most likely warped beyond repair. It also means that the planks are going to shift since they no longer fit the area they’re located in. If this is the case, you need to replace your floors.

Do I have the time or energy to refinish?

The truth of the matter is that refinishing is time consuming, even if you aren’t the one doing it. It can take days and it fills your home with noxious fumes, so you better be really sure this floor is worth saving. Otherwise, you’ll lose valuable time and effort when you could’ve just gotten a new floor.

If you do choose to refinish your floors, be sure to follow our refinishing tips. If not, always buy JAS certified luxury hardwood planks sourced from Vietnam, like what we offer here at PurezaWood. Our customizable hardwood flooring is the best in Chicago and beyond.

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