Hardwood Floor Refinishing vs. Replacement: Which Is Better for Me?

So your hardwood floors are starting to look worn. What do you do? Can you get away with a refinish, or will you need to fully replace them?

When this question of whether to refinish or replace hardwood floors comes up, it can be tough to determine which is the better solution for you.

If you’re trying to determine the next step for your hardwood flooring, check out our guide below.

When Is It Time to Refinish or Replace Hardwood Floors?

When your hardwood flooring begins to show an excessive amount of wear and tear, it’s time to think about making a change. Scratches, discoloration, or dull areas are the signs to look for.

The amount of wear and tear visible on a hardwood floor will depend on the type of wood used. Harder types, such as hickory hardwood flooring, will take years to show significant wear and tear.

Hardwood Flooring Cost: Refinishing Vs. Replacing

Time and money are typically the primary considerations when considering whether to refinish or replace hardwood floors. So how do they compare?

New hardwood floor installation is often faster than refinishing them. The work involved to sand, stain, and finish existing flooring takes time.

In terms of money, however, refinishing is usually the less expensive option. If you’ve got the time and patience, you might even be able to do it yourself, which is certainly the most economical option.

When Can Hardwood Flooring Be Refinished?

So you want to refinish your hardwood flooring, but is it a candidate?

When you refinish flooring, the top layer is buffed and sanded away to create a new, smooth surface. Since this involves removing some of the wood, there is a limited number of times that it can be done.

Real hardwood floors can be refinished anywhere from five to ten times, often lasting decades before becoming too thin. If you know that your flooring has been refinished less, then this is an option for you.

Refinishing engineered wood flooring, even if it is new, may or may not be an option. If you have engineered floors that are showing signs of wear and tear, have a professional assess whether you’ll be able to refinish them.

Should I Refinish My Hardwood Floors or Replace Them?

In the end, it’s up to you to decide which way to go. Replacing your hardwood floors gives you the option of investing in a harder type of wood that will last longer and may be the best way to go if you’re really in a hurry to get the job done.

Refinishing, on the other hand, tends to be a less expensive way to renew your flooring. You can even change the stain and finish to create a new look, if you please.

We hope this guide has helped you decide whether to refinish or replace hardwood floors. Check out our Home & Garden section for more tips and ideas!

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