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How to Tell If Your Hardwood Floors Can Be Refinished

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Beautiful hardwood floors increase a home’s value. They also add a comfortable quality to the room. Like all flooring materials, they require maintenance. They also show wear and tear, especially in busy living spaces. 

Replacing hardwood floors is costly, so many homeowners refinish them to make them look like new. However, refinishing hardwood floors involves sanding down a layer of wood. Knowing when it’s time to refinish and whether your floors can be refinished saves money and time over replacing them. 

Visual and Auditory Cues

If your hardwood floors have significant damage from deep scratches or warping, they will need refinishing. You might even need to replace some of the planks. 

Hardwood floors with obvious squeaks often need to be replaced. Some squeaks originate in the subfloor, which can be costly as it requires the removal of the planks. An experienced contractor can reuse planks and fix subfloor issues. 

Test Your Floors

Older hardwood floors often show damage from scratches, spills, settling, and sun exposure. They can also have damage that isn’t as visible. With two simple tests, you can determine whether your floors need to be refinished

The Paper Test

If your floors look like they’ve seen better days, the paper test can tell you if you have enough flooring to withstand the refinishing process. You’ll need:

  • One piece of heavy cardstock paper (like a business card)
  • A pencil
  • Space between the planks

To see if your flooring is thick enough for refinishing, stick the piece of cardstock between two planks. Be sure it touches the subfloor beneath the planks. Then, draw a line on the paper where it meets the top of the planks. 

Remove the paper from the space and measure from the bottom of the paper to the line you drew. To be refinished safely, wood planks should be at least ¾-inch thick. If they are less than this, you’ll need to replace them. 

The Finish Test

Hardwood floors need to be finished so they repel water and stains. You can test your finish by putting a teaspoon of water on worn-looking planks. If the planks absorb the water, then they no longer have a protective seal on them. The water will pool on the finished planks. 

Hire an Experienced Contractor

The best way to refinish hardwood floors is to hire an experienced contractor, like Parquet Avenue. With over 10 years of experience working with hardwood floors, our technicians understand how to preserve hardwood floors that need refinishing. Contact us today for answers to your questions about refinishing your hardwood flooring. 

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