Refinishing vs. Installing New Hardwood

March 4, 2021 9:12 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Are your hardwood floors looking older and dingier than you’d prefer? Depending on the type of floor you have, you may be able to refinish your floors instead of installing new hardwood. Refinishing can restore your floor’s beauty at a lower price, although it can only be done a few times over the lifetime of your hardwood. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of hardwood floor refinishing in Milwaukee, WI—it’s possible replacing your floors is the better choice.

What kind of hardwood do you have?

The most important factor in your decision is whether you have engineered hardwood or solid hardwood. If it’s solid—and you haven’t refinished too many times already—you have the option to refinish again. You should have at least ¾ inch thick hardwood for refinishing purposes.

If, however, it’s engineered hardwood, it’s less likely that refinishing is a good option. (If that’s the case, you may be able to have it polished and stained to get a few more years of beauty out of it.) That’s because engineered hardwood has a thin layer of hardwood pressed over other layers of wood, and some fibers. The more you sand it down, the more likely the underlayers will show.

Refinishing hardwood floors

Refinishing your hardwood floors is a good option because it allows you to change the look, the color and the finish without tearing everything out and starting anew. You can also take the opportunity to replace damaged planks—the new finish will help the new planks blend right in.

To refinish a floor, it’s stripped and sanded to the bare wood. Then the planks are stained and finished as if it were a newly installed hardwood floor. The effect is cohesive, and costs far less than replacing your entire floor.

However, refinishing cannot fix water damage, split planks or rotting planks. If the damaged area is small, you can fix it and replace those planks during the refinishing, but if it’s extensive, you’ll need to replace the entire floor.

Finally, refinishing your floors may void the manufacturer’s warranty, so make sure that’s not a concern before you begin.

Installing new hardwood floors

Installing new hardwood floors is significantly more expensive than refinishing. However, new hardwood floors will allow you to refinish them later on down the line, when they’re looking less than beautiful. Generally, hardwood floors are a great investment that improves your home’s overall value, so replacing them if necessary is not a poor financial decision in the long run.

Another bonus to installing new floors: your home will be available to live in during the process, unlike refinishing. Refinishing generates toxic fumes that can be harmful to humans and animals, so it’s best to stay out of the home while it’s happening. It also takes days to dry and cure. Replacement is a much simpler, smoother process on the whole.

If you have questions about the pros and cons of hardwood floor replacement in Milwaukee, WI, or if you’re interested in learning more about hardwood floor refinishing, call SNR First Rate Floors today.

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