Restoring your hardwood floors is a great way to increase the value of your home and improve the look of a living space. While it’s clear that this key home improvement is beneficial for many reasons, when exactly should you do it? Well, the answer might not be as straightforward as you think, because much of it depends upon personal preference. Some homeowners are very particular about keeping their floors in immaculate shape, while others allow decades to go by before considering a refinish job. The level of foot traffic in the home is another common determinant, as households with kids and pets tend to produce more wear and tear on hardwood floors. While the factors can vary greatly, it would be safe to estimate that the average homeowner will need to get their hardwood floors restored every 10 years.

So how can you tell if it’s time for you to refinish your hardwood floors? Believe it or not, scratches, dings and/or discolorations do not always mean that a refinish job is necessary, and a uniform-looking floor doesn’t always preclude a need to have it refinished. Also consider the fact that there are cases where restoring the floor can actually do more harm than good – for example, you might inadvertently sand away a gorgeous grain pattern that had been developing over several years. Here are a few tips to help you determine whether or not it’s time to get your hardwood floor restored:

  • Take time to closely examine your floor. If you have little more than some fading in the finish and mostly superficial scratches, your floor is probably not a candidate for restoring at the moment. Instead of going for an all-out refinish, you can consider getting your floor screened and recoated (a.k.a. “buff and coat”), which is a more lightweight method of refreshing its look. When you screen and recoat your floor, you’re basically “scuffing up” or abrading the floor using a buffer, and then applying a new coat of polyurethane finish. This is considered to be a lighter job, because you’re not really affecting the wood itself, just the existing polyurethane finish on top of the wood. When it’s all said and done, screening and recoating your floor can give it a fresh look and restore its luster.
  • Now let’s take it to the other extreme: If you see any severe signs of wear and tear such as warping, splitting or sagging boards, deep scratches or significant water damage, you would probably be better off getting those damaged boards replaced versus just having them refinished.
  • If there are only a small number of boards that need to be replaced and the finishing has been worn off the floor in the high-traffic areas of the home, your floor is probably a candidate for refinishing.

Restoring hardwood floors is no small undertaking, and it’s not always easy to determine when it’s time to get it done. When in doubt, it never hurts to solicit the help of a flooring professional. McSwain Carpets and Floors has not only earned a reputation for supplying the hardwood flooring Cincinnati homeowners prefer, but they can also offer you valuable insight and expertise regarding whether or not you should have your hardwood floors restored. Give us a call or visit one of our showrooms today to see how we can provide you with a flooring recommendation that you can trust.