Hardwood floors are a much better flooring choice in more ways than one. They are beautiful to look at, extremely durable, sturdy as well as extremely reliable. Yet there are times when they get so discoloured or damaged that they need immediate replacement.
But seeing that replacing the hardwood floor is a pretty expensive financial proposition, how to know for sure that a hardwood floor needs replacement. There are certain factors and conditions which need to be looked into and understood like:
- Extensive water damage: Water is anathema for hardwood floors and cause extensive damage to the same. While a little damage can always be taken care off, when the water damage results in the buckling, peeling or cracking of the planks, it is a clear indication that the flooring needs to be changed.
- Irregular floorboards: In instances wherein the sanding and refinishing is poorly done, it results in the formation of irregular floorboards. The degree of deformity depends on the quality of hardwood used for the flooring. This damage is further intensified by excessive foot traffic, pets, movement of furniture and other types of everyday household abuse. While this problem can be corrected when it is in the nascent stage, once it gets intensified, the hardwood floor needs to be replaced.
- After multiple refinishes: Hardwood floors are durable but not permanent. They can thus handle only a limited number of sanding and refinishing. In fact every time the hardwood floor is subjected to it, its wood quality gets compromised and weakens. Typically a hardwood floor can handle up to 5 sanding and refinishing in its lifetime. Of course this number varies a bit depending on the
- Quality of the previous refinishing jobs done and
- The type of hardwood that has been used to do the flooring.
But generally after 5 refinishing jobs, it is best to opt for a replacement since by them the hardwood gets weakened beyond redemption.
- Damaged subfloor: The subfloor is the foundation on which the hardwood floor sits. And if it gets damaged, no amount of sanding and refinishing will be able to get the desired look of the hardwood floor. In fact damage will start setting in which will make replacement seem like a viable proposition both financially and aesthetically. Subfloor damage in hardwood floors can range from:
- Water or moisture damage resulting in cupping of the wood,
- Termite damage,
- Damage resulting in large gaps between the wood etc.
- Old flooring: With age hardwood flooring tends to show signs of decay and becomes bouncy and soft. Such hardwood floor is not salvageable at all and needs to be immediately replaced.
Benefits of hardwood floor replacement
Replacement of hardwood floors might be a relatively costly option but it has certain advantages like:
- It takes lesser time than refinishing,
- It is a neater and much cleaner process,
- It allows a person to make changes in the style, design and type of wood etc.
Even hardwood floors known for their longevity have a definite life-cycle. And they should thus be changed once the same gets over so as to keep the floor of the house looking as good as new.