Hardwood floors are an awesome investment, adding value and warmth to your home in the short term, as well as for resale. But eventually, they may need to be refinished. Most floors age like a fine wine, making it hard to know exactly when it is time to give them a little TLC. To take out the guesswork, we created this guide so you know exactly when it may be time to refinish your hardwood floors.
Diagnosing your floor
Do Not Refinish
Take a look at your floor. Is it scratched, faded and lacking lustre? You may think this is the time to haul out the sander, but there are plenty of less invasive alternatives to remedy these symptoms. In this case, refinishing the floor is like performing surgery on someone who only needed a Band-Aid and can do more harm than good. There are plenty of products to refurbish your floor, fill the scratches and get the lustre back, without having to sand out the natural grain.
Is your floor showing signs of more than just the usual wear and tear? Are there more than just a few warped or split boards, widespread water damage or deep gouges? In this case your floors might be a lost cause. In most cases, when there are only a few boards showing these signs, those boards are replaced – but if the whole floor is showing these symptoms, you may need a new floor entirely.
If you’ve ripped out some carpet, only to discover old hardwoods underneath, you’re in luck! Old hardwoods are the most commonly refinished flooring type and can give new life to your old home.
Alternatively, old and grimy wood that may have been left unfinished for an extended period of time is also a good candidate for refinishing.
If you’re uncertain about whether or not it is time to refinish your floor it is always best to consult with our flooring professionals.
It is important to know what kind of floors you have when refinishing. If you are unsure, the best way to find out is by looking at the edges in exposed areas – the areas around vents tend to be good indicators of the condition of your flooring.
Engineered wood flooring
This wood is made up of layers of wood, glued together. The top decorative layer of the planks is very thin, and can only withstand a few delicate refinishings in its lifetime. We do not recommend refinishing your engineered wood flooring yourself – it’s best to consult a flooring expert.
Laminate is a synthetic product – not wood – meaning it will never need to be and cannot be refinished.
Solid hardwood floors
Solid wood is the best and easiest type of flooring to refinish; however, every wood type reacts differently to the process. Some types, such as maple, are much more challenging and susceptible to damage. It is always best to consult with or hire a professional to ensure you’re treating your floors properly. Not sure who to talk to? Call us at 604-248-5780 so we can point you in the right direction.
Refinishing your floors is a BIG job – and it is not uncommon for homeowners to largely underestimate the the amount of work required to refinish their flooring. Hiring a professional to refinish your floors is the best way to ensure the work gets done properly, and on time.
The job includes more than sanding and staining, with dust flying everywhere and toxic chemicals you’ll likely have to leave your house for several days. Newly stained wood cannot be walked on while drying, so flooring refinishers wear masks to protect against the fumes, and cutting off access to most of your home.
There are several risks to consider before attempting to DIY your hardwood floors, including:
- Sanding away unique grain patterns
- Unevenly finished floored
- Discolouring baseboards
- Dust drying onto newly stained wood
Doing it yourself could result in serious damage to your flooring that might require replacing the floors in your home – a cost you probably don’t want to incur!
Our professionals would be happy to help you with any questions you may have about your flooring – old or new. Check out or online gallery or give us a call today!