When to Refinish and ReplaceIf you are doing some other home improvement, such as a bedroom to home office conversion or just updating the interior, cost is a big factor. Although cost isn’t the only consideration to take into account when you are deciding between refinishing and replacing hardwood floors. As an example, think about future use in your own household. If you have children and pets, hardwood isn’t the best choice. So, if it is time for replacement, consider engineered materials or tile.
Old-growth wood–typically, Douglas fir, oak and maple–has higher density and fewer defects than new wood, and often comes in lengths of 12 ft. or more, which you won’t find at a big-box store. Salvaging it from an old home takes time but saves money; boards wider than the standard 2 1/4-in. strips are particularly valuable. —Popular MechanicsThough hardwood floors are generally able to last for many decades, up to one-hundred years or more, in some instances, refinishing isn’t sufficient. There are times when too much damage is present and no amount of restoration will salvage the whole floor.
Wood Floor Failure Signs to Heed in North PortBut, you’ll need to know for certain if that hardwood needs replacing or can be brought back to life. Here are some wood floor failure signs to look for:
- Gouges. If a hardwood floor is littered with deep gouges, it’s often better to replace than refinish. Another consideration is how thick the boards are and the viability of removing another layer. Gouges are usually quite obvious and are also unsightly.
- Buckling. Hardwood can also pull away from the subfloor underneath. When this occurs, the hardwood buckles. Most often, buckling is the result of severe moisture exposure. Or, if a home experiences flooding. (If it’s due to flooding, the subfloor might also need some TLC.)
- Cupping and crowning. Cupping occurs when the edges turn up and the center stays down. Conversely, crowning is the opposite — the center bows up and the edges stay down, in-place. Either way, cupping or crowning, both are bad and will only worsen over time.
- Hardwood board separation. Temperature and moisture fluctuations can wreak havoc on hardwood. Over time, these two factors can cause the boards to gap and separate. If you see gaps and they don’t close during summer, replacement is probably the fix.