Sometimes it’s hard to tell for sure that your floors needs to be refinished now or next year. It makes sense to keep floors as is for a while to save some money, but you have to be careful with that. What may happen is floors get buckled or darken too much to get that new look back. Let’s go over few things to help you distinguish when you can wait or not.

First of all, let’s go to the basics. Floor finish protects wood from damages like:

  • Dirt, which can get into wood deep enough to damage its structure
  • Water, which can leave dark stains. In general it’s impossible to tell for sure how deep water has penetrated. From our experience, 10% of the cases are unpredictable and 90% of the cases can be predicted with 80-90% chance of guessing.
  • Moisture, which doesn’t change color of material but makes it cup or buckle.

Based on these facts, here is what you want to avoid:

    • THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE – areas where the finish is worn out. These areas will allow both water and dirt to get into material which can result in permanent stains and damage. Here is a picture of finished and unfinished floor one next to another. Finished material looks brighter and richer compared to the dull, unfinished area.
  • Material starts to cup or buckle. This means that something is wrong with your hardwood floor. Reasons might be – improper underlayment, high moisture, bad floor finishing. The best solution in such cases is to call a flooring professional to get better opinion.
  • You got simply tired of floor color or finish. Solid 3/4″ hardwood floor in general can be refinished up to 3-5 times, depending on material and whether stain was used in prior finishing.
  • Some area of flooring have been replaced or added as shown below. To match all material properly, the entire must be refinished at the same time.