If the state of your floors has your feelings down in the basement, it might be time to perk things up and get that new floor feeling back.
Hardwood flooring adds value to your home, but not when scratches, fading, or water damage enter the picture.
Replacing everything is a big (and expensive) job, so how do you know when you need to do that and when you can just make some smaller flooring repairs? The kind and extent of the damage determine the proper approach for getting your floors back in top condition.
Let’s take a look at when you need a repair and when you should consider a floor replacement.
When to Repair Your Floors
Repair should be your first option if at all possible. Even if there’s a large area of damage, refinishing might be the best route to take. Older hardwood floors with thicker planks might be able to handle refinishing many times, while newer floors might be limited in the number of times they can be refinished or even not at all.
Refinishing can take care of minor surface damage and even slight warping and is generally done to the floor of an entire room at once.
If damage is limited to individual planks, those could be replaced with care. However, you would still want to consider refinishing the entire floor to get the new planks to match the old as closely as possible. Fortunately, if the match isn’t perfect, you can decorate to hide them with a rug or furniture.
When to Replace Your Floors
While most hardwood floors can be rescued and repaired, there are several scenarios when replacement is the better (and necessary) choice. Not all damage is superficial and those creaks, wiggles, and slopes can be indicative of issues only solved with a new floor.
Soft and squishy can mean water-damaged subflooring, which could be growing mold on the underside of your floor planking. Cleaning up a mold infestation can be more costly than replacing the floor.
You might also need to replace the wood if you’ve already refinished the floor many times. The sanding each time takes off about 1/8th of an inch, so you can only sand down so many times before it begins impacting the structural integrity of the floor.
Of course, you might want to replace the floor just to change the look of your space with wider planks or a different wood. Depending on the size of the space, the cost of refinishing can be as much as a replacement, making a new floor a more attractive option. A large renovation that involves moving walls around can also make replacement more time and cost-efficient.
Time for Flooring Repairs?
When your floors begin looking a bit shabby, flooring repairs might be in order. But deep scratches, warping, or water damage could mean replacement is in order. If you’re lucky, you might be able to just replace a few boards but to keep the integrity of the look, it might be necessary to go farther than that.
If you found this article helpful, check out others on our site related to how to repair your floors and general home improvement projects.