Is your hardwood floor in need of maintenance? If it’s looking shabby, you might think refinishing is the obvious solution. However, whether or not to refinish is a decision that isn’t so straightforward. There are times when refinishing a floor does more harm than good. This depends on many factors, including the type of floor you are working with, and how many times the floor has already been resurfaced or refinished.
If you have an engineered floor, your floor is likely to withstand sanding only a few times over its natural lifespan. You need to be careful not to sand it down too far.
If you have a laminate floor, it would be a mistake to attempt to refinish it. This type of synthetic flooring is not designed to need refinishing.
Depending on the type and overall condition of your floor, it’s possible that you could get by with skipping the refinishing. If the floor looks shabby due to scratched or damaged finish, but the underlying wood is undamaged, it could be beneficial to consider screening and recoating your floor instead. Screening is a term that refers to removing the finish on a floor using an abrasive process, without actually doing anything to cut down into the bare wood underneath the finish. You can then recoat the floor. With this method, you’d spend less money than you would spend on refinishing, and you’d avoid reducing your floor’s lifespan more than necessary.
It may take an experienced professional to evaluate the condition of your floor. Unless you’re absolutely sure what the right course of action is, it’s a great idea to schedule a consultation with a NWFA certified professional. For a homeowner who’s inexperienced with flooring, a consultation is worthwhile, as it could save you from making costly mistakes — or even ruining your floor completely.
Evaluate the Condition of Your Floor
Does your floor have any of the following problems?
- Warped boards
- Areas that sag
- Water damage
How long has it been since you last refinished the floor? What type of wood or material is your floor composed of? These are all factors that will influence whether to screen the floor, refinish it or replace it entirely.
Cost vs Benefit of Refinishing Floors
Refinishing a hardwood floor is less expensive than replacing it entirely — and it’s a tangible investment you can make in your home. If done correctly and appropriately, refinished hardwood floors can enhance both the eye appeal and the resale value of a home.
When making your final decision, it’s worthwhile to consider both the current condition of your floor as well as your goals as a homeowner. Would you find it beneficial to invest a bit more upfront with the goal of increasing your home’s value? Again, it will be valuable to consult a professional if you need advice regarding the costs vs benefits of refinishing. A professional evaluation is a quick and reliable way to determine whether screening, refinishing or replacing the floor would be the most economical option.