Realistic Hardwood Refinishing Expectations
There’s little doubt that the main appeal of hardwood floors are their looks as there’s arguably no other surface that’s more warm, inviting, and luxurious than wood. Whether you opt for a darker floor such as mahogany or a lighter tone like maple, wood blends in with any surface décor and really adds a rich, hearty feel to any room in the house.
That being said, another one of the big drawing points of wood floors is their long life span. While hardwood floor installation costs much more upfront than tile, laminate, carpet, etc. that price really needs to be prorated for the 50-100+ years that a quality solid wood floor can last. The main reason that wood floors are so long-lasting is because the 5/16” – 3/4” thick planks can have dents and burrs sanded out and the whole floor can be refinished 3-5 different times total. Therein lies the conundrum though – what kind of looks can you really expect from a hardwood floor that has been refinished?
At the End of the Day, Wood is Still Wood
Sanding out scuffs and preparing the hardwood for refinishing is a great way to restore some luster to a surface that may be upwards of 20 years old or more. It’s important to remember though that wood is still a natural material and floors take a beating between furniture legs, pets, and general wear over the years so it’s best to keep expectations realistic.
Is Refinishing the Best Option or Is Replacement Necessary?
Part of the things to remember about refinishing a wood floor is that not every section will be able to be saved. Spots with especially deep crevices or those with swelling from water will likely have to be replaced instead of just refinished. When adding new wood into the mix it can sometimes be difficult to match colors as the old wood tends to amber over time and the new wood is more pale.
Different Results Between Ripping Up Carpet and Refinishing Exposed Hardwood
When you have you have hardwood floors refinished that are currently exposed you generally know what you’re getting in to. A wood floor hidden under carpet for years though can be a surprise party waiting to happen. You may find that the carpet did a great job of protecting the wood all these years or you may see that the previous owners laid down the top surface to hide urine stains. You might even find a trap door underneath that leads to buried money and your refinishing project will be paid for but be ready for a variety of scenarios.
In-Place Staining and Finishing Can Be Tricky
When a hardwood floor is installed new, once the boards are acclimated to room conditions they can be set on sawhorses and stained comfortably and conveniently. Refinishing a room however involves skill as sanding down boards already in place, applying stain and polyurethane on hands and knees, and trying to keep foot traffic off the area while it dries is much harder than it sounds. Hint: (Hire Dynamic Edge Hardwood Services and then go on vacation.)
Refinishing Beats the Alternative
While it may sound like a refinished hardwood floor is more trouble than it’s worth the exact opposite is actually true. Professional refinishing really does restore an unmatched elegance to the room and sure beats having a new floor installed. Plus, having the project performed before selling a home brings an immediate ROI well beyond what you’ll pay for the sanding and staining….
…or as we like to say, “new floor stain doesn’t have to be a pain”