Wood flooring looks elegant and welcoming, so it is easy to see why many people love it. It is incredibly amazing to have during the cold season because it is warm. However, it may wear out with time and cease to look appealing. This is when homeowners wonder what to do with it; should they restore or replace it? You can consider several factors if you are currently facing this dilemma. These include;
The cost of restoring wooden flooring is one of the most crucial factors that you need to consider. It is usually cheaper to repair the wood flooring than to get new wood flooring. When installing new wood flooring, you need to consider the price of new wood and the labor cost. When calculating the restoration cost, don’t assume it will be way cheaper if you do it yourself because even if it is a DIY project, you will still need to hire or purchase equipment, invest time and buy material. Also, remember that if you decide to replace the floor, you can resell the old wood. Nowadays, people love using reclaimed wood flooring to do various décor projects around their homes.
Surprisingly, refinishing wood flooring takes more time than replacing it. The refinishing work is quite untidy and thorough and can take about five days to finish. In that period, the floor should stay untouched. It uses base coat sealers, sanders, brushes, edgers, topcoat sealers, scrapers, buffers, paint, and putty knives. On the other hand, replacing wooden flooring requires significantly less time, and the only tools needed are a nail gun, measuring tape, a chalk line, several saws, a flat bar, and lumber. Therefore, if you do not have a lot of time on your hands and can afford it, replacing the flooring would be the best thing for you.
Sometimes, your wood floor could be completely worn out. If this happens, refinishing will not cut it. Some signs of damaged wood floors include warping or some planks may be damaged. Replacing the whole floor will be necessary because refinishing a damaged floor won’t make sense. When the floors are too old, your boards might be too thin, or there is a gap where two planks join. Replacing your flooring with these characteristics will do it a lot of justice, but refinishing will only be a temporary solution that will not be helpful in the long term.
If your main desire is to make your floors brighter and reinstate their initial look, refinishing them will do the trick perfectly. However, suppose you want to improve the floor’s appearance by completely changing the design of the entire floor, such as the design of the wood or material consistency or the direction the planks are placed. In that case, you will have to replace it. If you already like how the original floor looks, refinishing will suffice, but replacing will be the best option if you want to achieve a whole new look or texture.
The number of years you have had your floor is also an essential factor. If the flooring has been there for many years, it may be difficult to refinish for several reasons. If a significant section of the surface wood has stayed unfinished for some time or the floor has been refinished multiple times before, refinishing it may not be effective. Replacement is usually recommended for extremely old floors.
Wood Flooring Damage That Needs Replacement
1. Too Much Wear
If you refinish the floor many times, grooves will be visible in the nails and planks. When you try to sand the wood, you will notice more issues, making replacement inevitable. Wear signifies that the floor has been in use for a while. It has been subjected to sunlight, heavy furniture, heavy foot traffic, and pets, among other things that have come into contact with it.
The most important thing to do is check whether the damage has only affected the finishing or if it has penetrated to the core of the floor. If there are mere scratches, you can sand and refinish the floor and restore its old shine, but if there are nicks and gouges, you will have to replace the flooring.
2. Serious Flooring Damage
If nearly half of the planks have severe damage such as termite infestation, unsightly stains, chipping, or warping, you will need too much energy and time to replace all those boards. Replacing the flooring will be more reasonable.
If your floor has boards that move around when you step on them, refinishing them will not be helpful. The problem will worsen over time, and you will have an unattractive floor.
4. Structural Damage
If your home has structure damage, it will be unwise to stain, sand, and refinish the current flooring. You will need an expert to remove the floor and examine the frame underneath. The experts must first fix the construction issue before the floor replacement is done.
5. Water Damage
Moisture and water are the biggest enemies of your hardwood floor. Floods, spills, or leaks usually cause water damage. If your home has experienced water damage by sewage or blackwater, you need to replace the wood immediately because such water contains harmful bacteria.
6. Cupping or Crowning
Cupping occurs when the planks on your hardwood floor bend downwards at the center while the ends rise upward. This usually happens when the wood planks absorb too much water from beneath and expand. Replacing the flooring will be essential if the issue affects a big area. The opposite of this problem is called crowning. It occurs when the center rises upwards, and the edges bend downwards. The loss of excess moisture causes it. The planks will contract on the undersides making the sides to be lower than the middle parts. When these two issues arise, the professionals must solve the excessive moisture problem before replacing the wood flooring to prevent these issues from recurring.
What you Need to Know About Wood Damage
Your flooring can be prone to different kinds of problems, especially if they are old or of low quality. A flooring expert can evaluate the damage your floors have experienced when establishing whether they should refinish or replace. They can identify the cause of the issues, help you prevent more damage, and ensure the new wood flooring does not suffer from the same problems.
There are three leading causes of floor damage, including;
1. Too much wear and tear
2. Water damage
3. Poor installation
If the damages happen in the first year following an installation, the possible culprit will be the method of installation. Observe these key steps during installation.
1. Allow the flooring materials to acclimatize.
2. Follow all the installation instructions the manufacturer has provided.
3. Use the correct equipment when installing.
4. Enlist the services of a reputable installation company if you are not confident about installing the floor boards yourself.
5. Know the possible installation blunders people can make and avoid them.
Basically, replacing or refinishing a floor is a decision that boils down to the type of damage the floor has and your needs and goals as a home or property owner.
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