When it comes to floors, “Wood is good.”
Wood is natural, beautiful, long-lasting, and hypoallergenic. It is also perceived as a symbol of quality in a home. Old hardwood floors even offer an extra charm and history. However, with the charm, stains appear as well, along with some other signs of age. So, how do you determine whether to try to salvage a 50-year-old hardwood floor or simply replace it?
– John Lessick
The answer comes out of preference and not do-ability. The fact is that at least 95% of the time, hardwood floors can be refinished, boards can be replaced, and repairs can be made to accomplish a very nice floor.
The key is to set proper expectations. You should expect your old floors to look beautiful after refinished, but you should not expect it to look like a brand-new floor.
Sanding wood is harder than you think. Better call in the experts.
Give your floor a facelift
Skilled contractors can salvage and refinish almost all old floors. Damaged floor segments can be patched. Holes can be plugged. Insect-infested boards, termite-damaged planks, or delaminated strips can be replaced if the damage is not too big. You can tighten and quiet squeaky floors, at least temporarily, with dry lubricant or nails. Even pet urine and water marks can be lessened.
Unfortunately, some old floors are long gone and beyond repair. These are some symptoms that show a terminal floor condition:
- Floors with excessive movement between boards.
- Floors with significant structural problems.
- Floors that have already been sanded way too many times.
Replacing a wood floor will always be considerably more expensive than refinishing it, considering it includes removing the existing floor and buying the new one, plus the installation fee. Refinishing a hardwood floor is also cheaper than placing a nice $50-$60-per-yard carpet.
Additionally, a well-maintained hardwood floor can last 20 to 30 years or even more before requiring refinishing, so it definitely pays off in the long run.