Hardwood floors can last forever, but only if you take care of them.
Most floors need to be refinished every 10 years or so to make sure they stay in good condition, but you may need to do it sooner depending on your circumstances.
So, how do you know when its the right time to refinish floors? This refinishing guide will answer all your questions.
How It Works
When you refinish your floors, a thin layer of wood gets sanded off to remove any scratches, stains, or water damage. Then the wood gets a fresh coat of finish that protects the floor and gives it a nice shine.
Not all floor damage requires a full refinishing job. If your hardwood floor only has a few light scratches here or there that haven’t pierced through the finish, you may just need to screen and recoat your floor.
Screening your floor is very similar to a complete refinish, but instead of sanding the wood itself, you also sand through the old finish and replace it with a new coat. When you can get away with it, a screen and recoat is definitely a better choice, because it is much better for the floor. Most floor damage, however, needs a full refinish.
Here are a few ways to tell if your hardwood floor needs to be refinished.
1. Lots of Scratches
This is probably the most common reason people refinish floors.
All floors get scratches, but most of them are only on the surface of the wood and can be sanded away without a problem. If you find deep scratches, like places where the wood has been split, you will have to replace that section of floor entirely.
But remember: Scratches on the floor are common, and not every scratch means you need to refinish your floor. A few light scratches are nothing to worry about.
2. Discoloration from the Sun
Flooring under windows or in rooms with sliding glass doors often fade under constant exposure to the sun. Sanding the wood will remove the discoloration so it matches the rest of the floor again.
3. Water Damage
Not all water damage can be fixed with a refinishing job. If there are large gaps between floorboards or if some of the floorboards have popped out of place, you will have to replace that section of floor entirely.
But you can refinish floors with less severe water damage.
If the wood is just starting to warp or cup, you can usually sand it flat again and reapply a new finish.
4. Grey Floorboards
When your floor has turned grey, you need to refinish your floors quickly.
Grey floor means all the finish has worn off and the wood is absorbing water. This isn’t necessarily spilled drinking water. It can be water tracked inside on shoes, water from your pet’s feet, or even water from normal cleaning products.
You can refinish a grey floor, but when it turns black, you have missed your chance. Any black floorboards will have to be removed and replaced.
Don’t Put off Taking Care of Your Floors
You should never put off refinishing your floors, because the damage could just get worse. If you aren’t sure whether you should refinish your floors or not, try the water test: Pour a tablespoon of water on an area of floor that is used a lot and see how the water reacts. If it beads up, your finish is still good, but if it absorbs into the floor, you need to refinish the wood.
Do your Milwaukee or Racine hardwood floors need to be refinished? Contact us and we’ll get them shining again!