Refinish or Replace? How to Know What to Do with Your Old Hardwood Floors

big dining room with hardwood floor

We live in the era of reduce, reuse and recycle, and that makes it tough to know what to do about older hardwood floors. Do you have them refinished? Do you have them replaced? Is one option better than the other in terms of eco-friendliness, costs, benefits, and all the rest? That’s what we’ll try to determine here by answering a few basic questions.

How Much Time Do You Have?

This is not a sarcastic question, but a valid concern. To refinish flooring as a DIY project takes a very long time. It involves removing all of the furnishings and storing them somewhere. It requires the entire floor to be sanded bare and treated with any cosmetic repairs or other improvements. If there is a problem with the subfloor (the area beneath the flooring), that may need repair before you refinish.

Then you have to do the different kinds of staining and top coating to create the look desired. This can take a week of time and coats have to properly dry and cure, meaning you cannot walk on the floor at all.

Does it mean you should just skip to the “other” answer and go for a replacement? No, because there are professionals who can do all of the work in the shortest time possible, and because they are experts they get the very best results.

How Much Do You Like the Overall Looks of the Floor?

While you can always opt for a new color of stain or finish and a different coating, such as a matte instead of a shiny finish, if you dislike the grain and width of the boards, it could be that refinishing is not the answer. Maybe you have ambitions of an exotic wood floor or a floor with big, wide boards. That could mean that refinishing is not the right path.

If, however, you like the looks of the boards and the grain and it is merely a matter of dullness or lots of gouges, scrapes and dings over the years, expert refinishing services are a wiser answer.

Can the Floor Be Refinished?

Here’s the thing about hardwood flooring; not all can be refinished. While most woods can be sanded and stained to give them a new and fresh look, you’ll find that those with severe damage, that have moved or formed gaps, or have pest damage are unable to be refinished. While it is possible to replace and repair boards, it might be more cost-effective to go with a new floor.

If you are in love with the old wood floors in your home but just want to spruce them up, we urge you to talk with flooring professionals. If it is a matter of flooring that has to be addressed because it looks bad, damaged, or unsightly and you’d prefer an entirely different style, give yourself a treat and purchase a new floor.

The team at Ottawa Diamond Flooring provide sanding and refinishing services for existing hardwood floors as well as specializing in the sale and installation of new floors of all kinds.