Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors take time and effort to maintain. Even with the utmost care, years of wear can take its toll. When it’s time to take care of your hardwood floors, you may find yourself asking “Should I refinish or replace my floors?” In most cases, the answer is refinish, but depending on certain factors, such as price, aesthetic and time available, replacing may be ideal. 

Price of Hardwood Floors

The most important thing to consider when deciding whether to refinish or replace your floors is the cost. There are budget friendly ways to refinish your floors. You can sand and refinish most hardwood floors  up to ten times before needing replaced. Replacing floors entirely can be costly. You must take into consideration the materials needed plus installation costs. While it’s possible to install your own hardwood floors to save some money, it may take certain knowledge you’re not familiar with. 


If you want to brighten up your dull hardwood floors, it is best to refinish them. However, if you’re looking to change the room completely, you will need to replace your hardwood floors. The standard for hardwood floors in most homes are oak planks. While oak can form a beautiful floor, a more exotic wood can bring out the features in a room. You may also want to consider the pattern of your hardwood floor. Diagonal patterns can make a room appear larger. If space is something you’re aiming for, you should replace your floors and opt for diagonal planks. 


Installing a new hardwood floor can take considerably less time than refinishing a floor. If you hire professionals to replace it, you’ll save more time, but not money! Even if you install the new floor yourself, it can take less time than refinishing. Refinishing a floor can be messy and time consuming, requiring many tools you may not have readily available. 

Quality of Your Hardwood Floors

There are times when, even if you want to just refinish your floor, you should replace it completely. It can be dangerous if structural damage is just coated over with a new finish. If you suspect there is damage beneath your flooring, you should rip it up and get a look at the underfloor.

Once you’ve repaired the underfloor, you can move forward with replacing your hardwood. Additionally, you should not just sand and refinish loose boards. Gaps between boards will only get worse as time goes on, making it even more of a hassle to maintain. Flooring damage resulting from warped boards or pests should also be replaced instead of refinished as covering these problems will not make them go away and will lead to more issues in the long run.

Hardwood floors that have been installed for decades may resist refinishing due to being refinished many times previously or too much surface wood exposure. You should replace older floors. 

Whether you should refinish or replace depends on a variety of circumstances. Refinishing a floor is more cost effective than replacing but replacing a hardwood floor can give a room an entirely new look. You should replace severely damaged hardwood floors since refinishing will not repair the damage. Floors are built to last, but after years of wear and tear, even the toughest woods need a touch up.

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