Hardwood flooring refers to flooring made of any hardwood type or grade. The wood boards are treated with a protective coating and sealant. There are two types of hardwood flooring, engineered and solid hardwood flooring. Solid hardwood or the standard golden flooring is 100 percent solid hardwood with durability, timeliness and authenticity. And the engineered hardwood is made with layers stacked in between natural hardwood. Engineered hardwood consists of at least 6 to 7 layers of pressed plywood. So, this type of hardwood is less likely to expand or contract due to temperature, humidity and moisture changes. When are hardwood floors beyond repair?
Can Old Hardwood Floors be Restored?
Yes, hardwood floors can be restored to their former elegance and quality. With proper care and maintenance, hardwood floors can last for even centuries. Restoration is a step-by-step process. There are several ways to restore. Restoration includes sanding the floors to remove any type of dirt, stain and scratches, and damage. Once the sanding process is complete, one needs to fill the cracks and gaps in the flooring. Finally, seal the floor and stain them with sealant to protect and preserve the floor.
The restoration is a time-consuming process. And it needs to be done with proper knowledge and experience. It is always better to hire a professional contractor for restoration.
Restoration of hardwood includes these main steps:
- Inspection of the hardwood: get the help of a professional and inspect the hardwood floor to identify the condition for any replacement or repair of damages.
- Cleaning the floor: before starting the restoration, one should remove the dirt, debris and other oil stains.
- Sanding the floor: Next, sand the surface of the floor to remove any dents, scratches, cracks and stains.
- Filling the floor: identify the damages, gaps, cracks and holes in the flooring. Then use any type of wood filler or putty and fill the gaps.
- Staining the floor: the floor needs to be stained to restore the natural color of the wood.
- Sealing the floor: we need to finally apply a sealant to prevent the floor from getting damaged as hardwood when exposed to moisture, heat, light and other external factors.
Should I Repair or Replace the Hardwood Floor?
Repairing and restoring the hardwood floor depends on the extent of deterioration, damage, age of the floor etc., if the damage is small with dents and scratches. We can repair the hardwood floor more effectively. This repair can be done by sanding the wood and refinishing the damage. Otherwise, if the damage is large, replace the boards individually.
Sometimes the damage is more severe, such as big gouges, warping, and other water dampening. In these cases, repairing the damage cannot be cost-effective. So, replacing is the best one can do. If the hardwood floor is old and refurnished several times, or if the wood is worn-out, complete replacement is better. This is affected by the budget and choice of the owner.
When Should I Replace My Hardwood Floor?
We can decide to replace the hardwood floor during the following circumstances.
- Prominent Damage of Wood: if the floor is severely damaged, with cracks, warping or extensive deterioration by water, it is necessary to replace the flooring.
- Wear and Tear Over Time: over years of use, the floor starts wearing off, thinning with brittleness. It’s time to replace the floor when this happens.
- Aging Hardwood Floor: this wood can last centuries and decades when maintained properly. But the floors can only be maintained for a limited period and start perishing afterward. At this time, the wood becomes weak and damage-prone.
- For Aesthetic Desires: in case one plans to remodel or redecorate the house. Or willing to change the flooring with a different type of wood. It can be replaced.
How Many Years Do Hardwood Floors Last?
With appropriate care and proper maintenance, the hardwood floor can last for several years. This lifespan of the hardwood floor depends on factors like the nature of the wood, the type of installation method and the method of foot use and wearing off. On average, hardwood floors can be used for nearly 100 years maximum. To extend the lifespan of the floor, follow these steps:
- Clean and maintain the floor regularly; this will help remove dust, stain and dirt.
- Many efficient and effective hardwood cleaning products are designed for a shining wooden finish.
- Avoid the use of abrasive and harsh chemicals and cleaning products. Otherwise, it will damage the wood faster.
- Use felt carpets and floor protectors or furniture pads to prevent the floor from scratches and dents.
- Prevent the floor from heat and moisture from getting collected. If not checked properly, the floor will be damaged easily.
- Restore and refurnish the floor occasionally, at least to protect the surface and appearance of the wood.
How Many Times Can you Redo Hardwood Floors?
The number of times one can redo the hardwood floor depends on several factors. Solid hardwood floors can be refinished 3 to 6 times over the lifespan. Solid hardwood floors are much thicker and strong compared to engineered hardwood floors.
Engineered hardwood floor is much thinner, with hardwood on the top and bottom of the plank stacked with layers of plywood. Depending on the thickness of the wood, it can be refinished once or twice. Do not sand or refurnish hardwood floors excessively and too often. This can wear off the wood much faster with time. Do not refinish hardwood floors without professional help, as this can reduce the lifespan as well.
When are Hardwood Floors Beyond Repair?
When the damages caused to the hardwood floor are extensive and severe, the hardwood floor becomes extremely prone to quick wear and tear. And, when this wear or tear and dent or damage is beyond the repairing process of sanding, repairing, filling and refinishing, the hardwood floor becomes beyond repair.
- When the hardwood floor is buckling with structural damage, it is beyond repair and needs a replacement.
- When the floor is soaked with water for a prolonged period, the dampness on the wood, the mold growth and decay make it beyond repair.
- When the floor has irreparable dents and large gaps as well as cracks, the filling cannot fix the dent. This makes it beyond repair.
- Extreme wear and tear: when the flooring is thin and brittle with refinishing done multiple times. It reaches beyond repair.
Is It Expensive to Redo Hardwood Floors?
Redoing the hardwood floor can be expensive based on factors affecting it. For example, the size of the flooring that needs fixing, the quality of the wood, whether the wood is solid hardwood or engineering hardwood, the amount of time and preparation needed and the labor cost of contact.
The cost of refinishing hardwood floors can range from $3 to $9 per square foot. And if the hardwood floor needs to be replaced and installed, it ranges from $6 to $14 per square foot.
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