If you think that your old wood flooring needs to be replaced, you should seriously consider whether you should be replacing it or refinishing it. You will be considering the economics and the condition of the floor. If it can be refinished, there is no point in spending a lot of money on replacing it entirely. On the other hand, if it is damaged beyond repair, replacement will be the ideal option.
Refinish or Restore
If your goal is only to get that original sheen back, it is recommended to refinish your hardwood floor. It is the perfect way to restore the existing wood and can save you a lot of cash. On the other hand replacing the floor will give you a new look and more longevity. A refinish project will have to be repeated after a year or two or there will be a need to replace that floor altogether.
Refinishing has its limitations. If multiple planks have been damaged or if the floor has warped, replacement will be the ideal solution to your problem. The goal behind finishing is to restore the looks and not to restore the structural stability of the floor. Old floors could show the tongue between the boards or they may not be as thick as they used to be. So you don't want to give any cosmetic treatment to these types of floors.
Consider the age of your hardwood floors before you plan refinishing or replacement. Usually, wooden floors that have been there for several decades are not the perfect candidates for refinishing. Chances are that it must have been refinished many times. So if you have old floors, it is a good option to consider replacement.
If you desire to make some major changes to the hardwood floor – such as changing the direction or the width of the planks, you should again consider replacement. The new trend is to choose wider and more stylish planks. Many times changing the direction of the planks can also help in making the room appear larger.
Whether it is replacing or refinishing the hardwood floor, it will be best to check all the above-mentioned factors and keep your budget in mind. Refinishing may seem to be an easier and faster method to revamp your flooring, but the fact is that it could be a messier thing and may take even longer than a replacement project. Refinishing could be a bigger challenge if you have lots of furniture. So make sure to discuss the various aspects of both types of projects with your installer before you make a commitment.
On the other hand, if you don't have the budget to go about a floor replacement job, you may consider refinishing as a temporary fix. Eventually, it will depend on your situation. For example, if you are moving into a new home, you could refinish the old hardwood floor and save. So your budget and the condition of the existing floor will be the two main factors that determine your final decision.