Updated: May 28
When you bought your hardwood floors, you saw it all: the rich character of the flooring, the wide-ranging color palette it offered, how it complemented your home’s look and feel. But do you know how
When you bought your hardwood floors, you saw it all: the rich character of the flooring, the wide-ranging color palette it offered, how it complemented your home’s look and feel. But do you know how to care for your hardwood floors? Most people assume that this includes regular sweeping and mopping. It does, but there’s one important step in caring for your floors that many people lack knowledge about—refinishing.
In this guide we will cover what refinishing is, why it is necessary at times, and how often you should have this done.
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What is Hardwood Floor Refinishing
Refinishing means removing the top layer of finish and sanding down to the original surface of the wood. It’s different from resurfacing, which is simply putting a new coat on top of the existing finish.
The results are quite different as well: refinishing will restore all signs of wear, allowing your floors to look brand new again; whereas resurfacing will only make them look better temporarily—and they’ll start showing wear again soon afterward.
Refinishing Hardwood Floors
Refinishing your hardwood flooring is one of the best ways to protect it from damage. However, it’s important to know when refinishing is necessary and how often you should be refinishing.
When Should Hardwood Flooring Be Refinished?
Here are some signs that your hardwood floors might need to be refinished:
Water Damage on Hardwood
Depending on the type of wood, water can cause major damage over time. If you see any swelling or warping in certain sections, this can be a sign that your wood floors need to be refinished.
Excessive Dents and Scratches
Constant foot traffic wears down the finish of hardwood floors and causes scratches and dents over time. While minor dents and scratches may not seem like a problem, they leave the floor more susceptible to other kinds of damage down the road.
Fading and Discoloration from Sunlight Exposure
Sunlight exposure can fade or discolor some types of hardwood flooring if left unprotected by a finish. The heat generated by sunlight also causes some types of wood flooring to dry out which makes them more susceptible to breaking or cracking over time.
How Often Should You Refinish Hardwood Floors?
The frequency with which you need to refinish your hardwood floors will depend on several factors: how much traffic occurs in an area where the wood is installed, what type of wood is used for flooring (some varieties are softer than others), how thick your wooden planks are, whether or not they are engineered boards (engineered boards generally last longer than non-engineered boards), age (floors get worn down after years of use), and maintenance practices (such as mopping).
Depending on foot traffic, the National Wood Flooring Association suggests refinishing hardwood floors every 7-10 years. Rough and damaged floors that are deteriorating, pose a hazard, or are no longer protected from spills should be refinished right away. The floor may continue to deteriorate beyond repair and will eventually need to be replaced if left unsealed.
Factors Affecting The Price Of Hardwood Floor Refinishing
The cost of having your hardwood floors refinished is really a case-to-case basis. If you are refinishing wood that has never been finished, it might not be extremely expensive. However, if your wood is stained and in good shape but the finish has faded from wear or has cracked and chipped, then the cost can easily become significant. It all depends on how much wear the floor has, where the finish has come off in cracks or chips and how much stain you want to add. Of course, even if there is no existing finish on the floor and you are simply sanding down to bare wood, these costs will still apply as well.
The Benefits Of Refinishing Your Hardwood Floors.
The benefits of refinishing your hardwood floors include:
Your floors will look better
Hardwood floors are a significant investment, and you want them to look their best for as long as possible. Refinishing your floors will enhance the color and raise the grain, allowing you to enjoy your flooring more fully.
Your floor will last longer
It’s common sense that regularly cleaning your car will help it run better longer, and the same is true for hardwood floors. The less accumulation of dirt from foot traffic, the longer your finish will last because there won’t be any particles on top of the finish to scratch it or wear down its protective layer over time.
Hardwood Floor Refinishing: The Right Time To Do It
According to the flooring experts at The Home Depot, you should consider refinishing your hardwood floors:
When You Move Into A New Home
Refinishing your floors is one of the first things that you should do when you move into a house because it will hide all of the imperfections from previous owners. This can also be beneficial for people who are moving into an older house and prefer the look of new floors.
When You Have Outgrown Your Current Floor
It’s time for a change if the existing hardwood has seen better days or doesn’t fit your needs with its current finish or style. If there are scratches, damage, stains, or general wear and tear, refinishing is probably in order—especially if this is a rental property and you want to minimize what you owe come move-out time.
When You Have A New Baby In The House (Or On The Way)
If there’s someone in your life who might be crawling on the ground soon, it’s important that they do so on smooth and even surfaces that are free of splinters! While most refinishes use only water-based finishes (which are safe for infants), some companies still use oil-based finishes; we recommend asking which kind will be used before choosing a professional or doing it yourself.
The Advantages Of Hiring A Professional To Refinish Hardwood Floors
There are some advantages to letting a professional refinish your hardwood floor. The most important is that the job will be done much faster and better than if you do it yourself, and the equipment they use is more powerful than anything you can rent. Professionals also know how to get the most out of their machines, using them effectively so that no sanding or finishing is left undone.
Another advantage of hiring a professional is that you can be assured that your floor will be finished correctly. If you have no experience with wood floors, or have had problems before, a professional can make sure your floor won’t have any further issues after refinishing. They also know how to match the current finish on your floors with a new one, ensuring consistency throughout your home.
Keeping Hardwood Floors in Tip-Top Shape
In summary, refinishing hardwood floors is a great way to keep your floors in good shape. Refinishing can help remove scratches and dents that accumulate over the years from normal wear and tear. It will also make your floors look shiny and new again.
To ensure your hardwood floor stays in tip-top shape, it’s important to refinish it every few years. However, you may need to do this less often if you take good care of your floor and don’t have any pets or kids at home who may damage it. The best thing to do is contact an expert for advice on how often you should refinish your hardwood floors!